Allergic Rhinitis

This kind of allergic reaction is also called “hay fever.” The reaction can occur over the whole year, but is more common in the spring and fall.

Many effects on the body can happen:

  • runny nose and congestion.
  • sneezing.
  • itchy and watery eyes.
  • dry throat.

The reaction can be caused by:

  • pollen
  • house dust
  • feathers
  • animal dander
  • cigarette smoke
  • air pollution

What you can do:

  • Use any medication suggested by your doctor
  • Do NOT use decongestant pills, nose drops or nasal sprays. These usually do not work well, or make the condition worse
  • Try to have as dust-free a home as possible
  • If you react to pollen, avoid the outdoors if you can when the pollen count is high
  • Rubbing your eyes or wearing contact lenses usually causes more irritation of the eyes

See a doctor immediately if you get signs of infection:

  • fever
  • increasing headache
  • face or ear pain
  • thick yellow-green nasal discharge


You do not need a prescription for most of the medicines to treat this condition. Many over-the-counter medications are very good. These are some suggestions:

Antihistamines are the best choice:

Atarax 3
times a day
Claritin once
a day
Benadryl 3-4
times a day
Hismanal once
a day (takes a few days to work)
sedating; some drug interactions problems in heart, liver and
kidney disease
Reactine once
a day
sedating – also helps with skins rashes
Seldane twice
a day
some drug interactions
problems in heart, liver and kidney disease

Several safe prescription nasal sprays:

topical steroids: Beconase, Flonase, Rhinalar, etc.
others: Rynacrom (sodium cromoglycate), Atrovent

Over-the-counter eye drops:

Naphcon-A (an antihistamine)

Several prescription eye drops:

Livostin (an antihistamine)
Opticrom (sodium cromoglycate)

Medicines suggested by your doctor:

The doctor may give you a prescription. It is important to start the medication quickly and take it as directed.

Follow up with your family doctor:

The emergency doctor may ask you to see your family doctor for follow-up if you visit the OUCC. A copy of your visit chart is sent to your family doctor unless you request that this not happen.

Help with appointments:

The doctor may ask you to see a specialist for follow-up. We will make an appointment for you and contact you by telephone, usually on the next normal working day. If you do not hear from us within 2 days, please call us at 841-5389 in the morning.

What to do if your illness gets worse, or your symptoms change after you go home:

Sometimes, an illness will worsen or the symptoms will change over time. Return to the Orleans Urgent Care Center or to the local Emergency Department, or call your family doctor for advice, if your illness gets worse or your symptoms change.