TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – While coronavirus concerns are dominating many family conversations, others are currently trying to manage flu and allergy season. But what you’re suffering from, might not be allergy symptoms at all.
A 2018 study found that 37 percent of people who visited their local pharmacy and purchased over the counter allergy medication didn’t have an allergy diagnosis from their doctor.
“In some cases, symptoms like sneezing and stuffy noses are not actually caused by allergies. They’re caused by something called Nonallergic Rhinitis,” said Catherine Roberts with Consumer Reports.
Nonallergic Rhinitis is triggered by nonseasonal things like food, alcohol, odors, smoke, perfume, pollution, medication and even quick changes in the weather or temperature. Its symptoms often look like those of allergies, like congestion, runny nose and sneezing but without itchy eyes and sore throat.
Outdoor allergies usually start in February and last until November. Effective treatment for allergies and Nonallergic Rhinitis starts with identifying the cause.
“If you’re not sure if you’re experiencing an actual allergy or Nonallergic Rhinitis, head to the doc and get an allergy test,” said Roberts. “If the Nonallergic Rhinitis is the cause of your symptoms then an allergist can prescribe ways to help you find relief.”
You could try a saline rinse, using a neti-pot, or bulb syringe. If you have persistent symptoms, consider asking your doctor for a prescription spray that has the antihistamine, Azelastine or steroids.
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