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Hay Fever

Riviera Allergy Medical Center

Ulrike Ziegner, MD, PhD

Allergist & Immunologist located in South Bay, Redondo Beach, CA

Nearly 10% of American adults suffer from hay fever. If you experience cold-like symptoms brought on by exposure to allergens like pollen, pet dander, or dust mites, call or make an appointment online today with Dr. Ulrike Ziegner at Riviera Allergy Medical Center in Redondo Beach, California.

Hay Fever Q & A

What is hay fever?

Hay fever, which is also referred to as allergic rhinitis, is an allergic response to:

  • Pollen -- tree, grass, and ragweed
  • Dust mites
  • Pet dander
  • Mold Spores

Symptoms occur in fall, spring, and summer.

What are the symptoms of hay fever?

The symptoms of hay fever are similar to those of the common cold. The signs include:

  • Sneezing, runny, clogged nose and post nasal drip, along with an itchy nose
  • Coughing
  • Itchy throat
  • Itchy, red, watery eyes
  • Dark circles under the eyes

Seasonal hay fever symptoms occur in spring, summer and early fall. Perennial symptoms occur year-round.

How is hay fever diagnosed?

To diagnose hayfever, Dr. Ziegner performs a physical examination and gathers your medical and family history. This information helps her pinpoint the cause of your hay fever. She also completes one of three tests:

  • Prick or scratch test: In this test, Dr. Ziegner pricks or scratches your skin in order to place a tiny drop of a possible allergen into your skin. If you're allergic to the substance, a hive develops at the site of that allergen. This generally occurs within 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Intradermal test: Dr. Ziegner uses a thin needle to inject a small amount of a possible allergen under your skin. She checks the site after about 20 minutes for a reaction. The intradermal test is more sensitive than the prick or scratch test.
  • Allergy blood test. Dr. Ziegner collects a blood sample and sends it to a lab to measure your immune system's response to a specific allergen. This test measures the amount of allergy-causing antibodies in your bloodstream.

How is hay fever treated?

It is best to limit your exposure to the substances that cause your hay fever. If your hay fever isn't too severe, Dr. Ziegner recommends over-the-counter medications to help with the symptoms. Rinsing out your nose using distilled or sterilized water with saline, prescription medicines, and nasal sprays also relieve symptoms. Allergy shots help make you less sensitive to pollen and provide long-term relief.

If you experience cold-like symptoms brought on by exposure to allergens like pollen and pet dander, call or make an appointment today with Dr. Ulrike Ziegner at Riviera Allergy Medical Center in Redondo Beach, California.