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Allergic Rhinitis Treatment in St. Louis, Missouri

Dr. Sonia Cajigal is a board-certified allergist in St. Louis, Missouri that specializes in allergic rhinitis treatment. Visit us to learn more about your allergies, your symptoms, and what you can do to feel better even through peak allergy season, including non allergic rhinitis. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!

“Dr Cajigal is a great listener. She trusts her patients instead of treating them as if they are not the experts of their own bodies. I really appreciate that (many doctors do not have that quality). She also immediately treats the symptoms instead of waiting to see if things clear. I use her for my children and myself. We have never left her office feeling as if it was a waste of time.”

– Stephanie, August 2020

Allergic rhinitis treatment provided by Dr. Sonia Cajigal of St. Louis Family Allergy in St. Louis, Missouri
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About Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic Rhinitis Overview
Allergic Rhinitis Symptoms
Allergic Rhinitis Testing

Allergic Rhinitis Treatment

Allergic rhinitis, also called nasal allergies, occurs when something you’re allergic to irritates the mucous membrane of the nose. Many people with allergic rhinitis are also prone to eye allergies, and allergic rhinitis tends to make asthma symptoms worse for those who suffer from both conditions.

The term ‘rhinitis’ describes inflammation of the nasal lining that’s caused by an allergic reaction or an infection. This inflammation increases sensitivity to inhalants, which is why symptoms of allergic rhinitis may also occur when you’re exposed to smoke, strong odors, changes in temperature or humidity, and other irritants.

Hay Fever (Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis)

Seasonal allergic rhinitis, also called hay fever, is triggered by seasonal pollen in the air from ragweed, grass, trees, and other plants during different times of the year. Seasonal symptoms tend to flare up in the spring and the fall when pollen counts are higher, and subside in the winter when pollen is absent.

It’s very common to mistake seasonal allergic rhinitis for the common cold or vise versa. Where the common cold typically lasts about one week, seasonal allergic rhinitis can last as long as the allergen is in the air, usually 2-3 weeks per allergen. It typically re-occurs every year. Another important distinction is that allergies cause itching in the nose and eyes, whereas the common cold typically doesn’t cause itching. If your cold has gone on for too long, it’s possible that you’re dealing with allergic rhinitis.

Perennial Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis can also be perennial, meaning that it can persist year-round. Pet dander, mold, droppings from dust mites, and cockroach particles are common perennial allergens that can cause allergic rhinitis. Perennial allergic rhinitis symptoms are usually less severe than hay fever symptoms.

Non Allergic Rhinitis

Rhinitis can also occur in the absence of allergies. This is called non allergic rhinitis, and is often caused by an infection. Non allergic rhinitis usually affects adults and causes symptoms year-round with the most common symptoms being runny nose and nasal congestion. Infectious rhinitis can be caused by a common cold or an upper respiratory infection, with nasal symptoms that are similar to allergies.

See an Allergist

in St. Louis, Missouri

Tree pollen in St. Louis causing seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever)

Allergic Rhinitis Symptoms

Allergic rhinitis symptoms can include:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Mucus / phlegm in the throat, sometimes called “postnasal drip”
  • Itching in the nose, roof of the mouth, throat, or eyes
  • Teary eyes
  • Dark circles under the eyes

Dr. Cajigal can help you determine if your symptoms are caused by allergies, and pinpoint what you’re allergic to so you can find relief.

See an Allergist

in St. Louis, Missouri

Child with seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever)

Allergic Rhinitis Testing

The first step to overcoming allergic rhinitis is to receive a proper diagnosis from an allergist. Dr. Cajigal will help you identify what you’re allergic to using a combination of your medical history and the methods below.

Skin Tests for Allergic Rhinitis

Prick and intradermal skin testing can be done to determine if you have allergic rhinitis and find out what you’re allergic to.

Blood Tests for Allergic Rhinitis

Circulating levels of antibodies in the blood can also help your allergist determine if you have allergic rhinitis and find out what you’re allergic to.
See an Allergist

in St. Louis, Missouri

Woman with perennial allergic rhinitis that needs to allergy-proof her home

Allergic Rhinitis Treatment

There are steps you can take to minimize exposure to allergens, effectively manage allergic reactions if they occur, and prevent certain allergic reactions altogether.

Allergy-Proof Your Home

These tips can help you minimize exposure to allergens in your home:

  • Keep windows closed during high pollen and mold seasons
  • Steam clean carpets or remove carpets altogether
  • Avoid air drying laundry outside
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom to reduce pet dander in your bedding
  • Vacuum with a HEPA filter to reduce dust in your home
  • Wash your bed linens and pillowcases in hot water and detergent frequently to reduce allergens
  • Use dust mite proof covers for pillows, comforters, duvets, mattresses and box springs
  • Men should shave frequently to prevent pollen from gathering in their facial hair

Be Mindful of Allergen Exposure Outside

If you have hay fever, you should be especially mindful of allergen exposure when you leave the house during allergy season. Follow these steps to limit exposure:

  • Check your local pollen counts whenever you check the weather
  • Limit outdoor activities during times of high pollen counts
  • Wear sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat to reduce pollen exposure when outdoors
  • Change clothes as soon as you get home if you’ve spent a lot of time outdoors

When you visit us at St. Louis Family Allergy, Dr. Cajigal will have additional recommendations for you based on your unique case.

Medications for Allergic Rhinitis

There are a number of over-the-counter and prescription medications that can help relieve allergic rhinitis symptoms. These include:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Nasal corticosteroids (nasal spray)
  • Leukotriene receptor antagonists
  • Cromolyn sodium

Be sure to discuss any medications with your allergist prior to using them. Medications to relieve seasonal allergic rhinitis are most effective if you start taking them before pollen is in the air, prior to allergy symptoms developing.

Allergy Shots for Allergic Rhinitis

Allergy shots are also an option if you’re looking for long-term, ongoing allergic rhinitis symptom relief.

We hope you’ve found this information helpful. Get in touch with us at St. Louis Family Allergy to learn more about allergic rhinitis and how to most effectively treat and manage it! We’re looking forward to your visit.

References

[1] American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: https://acaai.org/
[2] Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: https://www.aafa.org/
More Specialties

Asthma

Drug Allergies

Eye Allergies

Food Allergies

Nasal Allergies

Skin Allergies

Allergy Shots

Allergy Testing

Biologic Therapy

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Visit Allergist Dr. Sonia Cajigal of St. Louis Family Allergy in St. Louis, Missouri

Nasal Allergy Specialist
Dr. Sonia Cajigal

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St. Louis Family Allergy Google review score badge
"Dr. Cajigal was friendly, professional, and informative. She took the time to explain the tests and what was going on with my allergies. She is so knowledgeable and really cared about how I was feeling. I would highly recommend this practice if you suffer from allergies and asthma."

- Sue D, July 2020

“Dr Cajigal is a great listener. She trusts her patients instead of treating them as if they are not the experts of their own bodies. I really appreciate that (many doctors do not have that quality). She also immediately treats the symptoms instead of waiting to see if things clear. I use her for my children and myself. We have never left her office feeling as if it was a waste of time.”

– Stephanie, August 2020

"Great Allergist!"

- Ann H, December 2018

"She is the best."

- Stephen W, June 2020

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We are currently accepting new adult and pediatric patients at St. Louis Family Allergy!
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