Allergies: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Experiencing an allergic reaction can cause feelings of discomfort. Symptoms such as a runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes, or a rash due to allergies can leave you feeling uncomfortable. However, there are a variety of treatments you can try that will help you find relief from allergies and experience respite from symptoms whatever the cause. In this article, we look at the causes and symptoms of allergies, in particular nasal allergies and the best methods of treatment.

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Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States and more than 50 million people experience a type of allergy each year.

There are multiple causes, symptoms and treatments for allergies, but unfortunately very few allergies can be cured.

What Are Allergies?

Allergies are among the most prevalent and frequently overlooked diseases in the country. An allergy is when your immune system reacts to a substance or an allergen. While some people have no issues with a given substance, your body views it as an invader. As a response, your immune system creates antibodies to fight the substance that it sees as ‘foreign.’

Substances that can cause allergies, or an allergic reaction, are known as allergens. They include dust, pollen, mold, insect stings, medications, food, pet dander, cockroach debris, and flakes of skin from certain animals.

When you have an allergic reaction, your immune system develops antibodies, which enable your body to defend itself. It also produces something called histamine, which is a chemical. Your allergic reaction, or symptoms usually depend on the substance involved. They can affect your airways, sinuses and nasal passages in a variety of different ways.

A reaction can take the form of sneezing, coughing, or a stuffy or runny nose. In other cases, your allergy symptom may cause wheezing, breathlessness, or a scratchy throat. You may also have itchy, watery or red eyes, or you may develop hives on your skin.

A severe allergic reaction may cause a swollen mouth or throat, as well as swollen lips or eyes. Some patients can also experience low blood pressure or develop an asthma attack. In a worst-case scenario, they may be at risk of death or having a medical emergency if they do not get the right kind of treatment as soon as possible.

An allergic reaction can differ from person to person. At Del Rey MD our principal focus is on allergies affecting the nose. We assist patients in Los Angeles with identifying the cause of their allergies. Our expert team then assesses the principal methods to alleviate the symptoms and conditions associated with the allergy and suggests a successful course of treatment.

What Is an Allergy Specialist?

An allergy specialist or allergist is a doctor who focuses on the identification and management of allergic illnesses. At Del Rey MD our allergists in Marina Del Rey, Long Beach, Bakersfield, Los Angeles, and surrounding Southern California have received specialized training to recognize nasal allergy triggers and conditions. They assist patients in Los Angeles with managing or avoiding allergic reactions in the nose and help them find relief from their symptoms.

Allergies in the Nose: Causes

An allergy in the nose, or nasal allergy is inflammation of the inside of the nose caused by an allergen. Dust, pollen, mold, pet dander, and cockroach debris are all allergens.

Nasal Allergy Symptoms

Allergic rhinitis, known as hay fever, is a term used to describe an allergic reaction in the nose. Symptoms of hay fever, which is a common allergy, can include sneezing, congestion, and runny nose, as well as itching in your nose, eyes and the roof of your mouth. You can learn more about different types of rhinitis and allergic rhinitis here.

While rhinitis can often be a temporary condition and resolve itself in a matter of days, for some patients it can become a long-term issue that causes discomfort.

Nasal Allergy Treatment Options

There are two avenues of treatment options for nasal allergies and the specific symptoms of rhinitis. Patients can use over-the-counter options if they want to alleviate a milder condition. However, if the symptoms are proving difficult to treat, a more long-term solution may be the answer.

Which Is the Best Over-the-Counter Medicine for Nasal Allergies?

Antihistamines are one of the most commonly used over-the-counter solutions to combat symptoms of allergic rhinitis. The medication combats the overproduction of histamines in your body and can help treat the underlying cause of your reaction.

Other over-the-counter medications which can help with allergic rhinitis and may provide temporary relief include saline nasal sprays, decongestants, corticosteroid nasal sprays, and allergy shots.

However, it may be decided that over-the-counter or prescribed medications cannot support your recovery or help reduce your symptoms long-term. If you are struggling to see results from over-the-counter treatment, then a long-term solution is necessary.

How Can You Treat Allergies Long-Term?

Del Rey MD offers a number of treatments for allergy sufferers in Los Angeles that can help alleviate the symptoms of nasal allergies long-term. One can consider immunotherapy for this problem, but often this is a treatment pathway that will take months or even sometimes years to become effective. When the traditional approaches (over-the-counter medications, prescribed medications and/or immunotherapy) are not addressing the symptoms, patients can consider a few in-office treatments to really improve their nasal symptoms.


RhinAer is a procedure to ease the discomfort and severe symptoms of rhinitis. The procedure involves one of our ENT physicians in Los Angeles applying local anesthesia to numb the inside of the nose so the treatment is as pain-free as possible.

When you have a RhinAer treatment, the procedure takes a matter of minutes and you can go back to your daily life with very minimal downtime. 


ClariFix is a clinically proven, minimally invasive cryotherapy, or localized freezing, of the inflamed area in the nose. The treatment is often viewed as a better solution to alleviating rhinitis symptoms.

The procedure involves having a small probe inserted into your nose and takes around 10 minutes to administer. It typically takes between two and six weeks for patients to see improvements after having the treatment. 

Balloon Sinus Dilation

A consequence of chronic nasal allergies is often chronic sinusitis. Addressing this will not only help your sinus symptoms but also reduce the allergy symptoms of patients. A very good in-office treatment to address chronic sinusitis is balloon sinus dilation. A balloon sinus dilation is an entirely pain-free procedure that can help ease the long-term symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

Also known as a Balloon Sinuplasty™, the process involves having a sinus balloon inserted into the nasal passage and slowly inflated to restructure blocked sinuses. The process helps sinus drainage to take place. 

Schedule an Appointment for Treatment with Del Rey MD

There is no reason why having rhinitis or nasal allergies needs to cause you discomfort or aggravation. If you have a recurring or persistent rhinitis problem, it is likely your condition can be treated. You can schedule an appointment today at one of our locations in the greater Los Angeles area including Marina del Rey, Long Beach, or Bakersfield to find out more about the solutions we offer.

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