Dr. Roy

YEAR ROUND ALLERGIES

Perennial allergies or Year Round Allergies may occur at any time of year—unrelated to the season—or may last year-round.

Perennial allergies are often a reaction to allergens in household dust. House dust may contain mold and fungal spores, fibers of fabric, animal dander, dust mite droppings, and bits of insects. Substances in and on cockroaches are also the cause of allergic symptoms in some individuals. These substances are present in houses year-round but may cause more severe symptoms during the cold months when more time is spent indoors. (Substances that trigger an allergic reaction are called allergens)

Usually, perennial allergies cause nasal symptoms (allergic rhinitis) but not eye symptoms (allergic conjunctivitis). However, allergic conjunctivitis can result when allergens are inadvertently rubbed into the eyes due to itching.

 

Symptoms of Perennial Allergies

The most obvious symptom of perennial allergies is a chronically stuffy nose. The nose runs, producing a clear watery discharge. The nose, roof of the mouth, and back of the throat may itch. Itching may start gradually or abruptly. Sneezing is common.

The eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear and the back of the nose, may become swollen. As a result, hearing can be impaired, especially in children. Some may also develop chronic ear infections. Some people have recurring sinus infections (chronic sinusitis) and growths inside the nose (nasal polyps).

When affected, the eyes water and itch. The whites of the eyes may become red, and the eyelids may become red and swollen. The skin under the eyes can become dark (allergic shiners).

Many people who have a perennial allergy also have asthma, possibly caused by the same allergy triggers.

 

Diagnosis

Besides a careful history and thorough examination we need to conduct allergy skin testing which can help confirm the diagnosis and identify the trigger for symptoms (such as house dust mites or cockroaches). For these tests, the allergen extracts are placed into the uppermost layers of our skin. We then watch to see if there is a wheal and flare reaction (a pale, slightly elevated swelling surrounded by a red area).

An allergen-specific immunoglobulin (IgE) blood test is done if results of the skin test are unclear or need confirmation.

Then Avoiding or removing the allergen, if possible, is recommended, thus preventing the development of symptoms.

Antihistamines, Anti- inflammatories, topical Corticosteroids & occassionally decongesants make up the medical therapy for perennial allergies. Ultimately Allergen Immunotherapy could potentially help resolve these chronic diseases.