Everyone sneezes. But how do you know whether your sneezing is caused by having a cold or having an allergy?
A runny or stuffy nose can be a symptom of allergies. Allergic rhinitis, known as hay fever, is a term used to describe allergic reactions in the nose. Symptoms of hay fever can include sneezing, congestion and runny nose, as well as itching in your nose, eyes and/or the roof of your mouth.
People who suffer from nasal allergy symptoms don’t all have the same triggers. If you have seasonal allergies, you might be allergic to a specific tree or grass pollen that only sets off your symptoms at a certain time of year. Or you might be allergic to a specific kind of mold that appears in the fall when it’s been rainy and leaves are wet.
More than two-thirds of people who suffer from seasonal allergies also have symptoms year-round. Those can be caused by allergens indoors, such as dust mites, cockroaches, animal dander from pets and, again, mold. It’s important to know what triggers your allergies.
Allergists are specially trained to help you identify the source of your suffering and then stop it — not just treat the symptoms.
Once you know your triggers, you are better equipped to avoid them. How do you stop a runny or stuffy nose due to allergies? The best allergy medicine for sneezing is to see an allergist. Work with your allergist to avoid your triggers and reduce symptoms.
How to Get Tested
Both seasonal and year-round allergies can cause a runny, stuffy nose, and sneezing. Getting tested by a board-certified allergist is the first step to finding relief. An allergist will take a detailed medical history and review your symptoms to determine whether your allergies are triggered by pollens, animal dander, mold, dust mites, cockroaches, weather changes or something else.
Allergy tests are both convenient and accurate. When combined with a detailed medical history, allergy testing can identify the specific things that trigger your allergic reactions.
If your runny, stuffy nose or sneezing is from allergies, the best remedy is to get your allergies under control. Once you have been tested and have identified your allergies, you can work on avoiding triggers and controlling your environment.