Jefferson University Hospitals

Hay Fever

Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, is an allergic response to breathing in outdoor or indoor allergens such as pollen, pet dander and dust mites. Symptoms may include runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, problems with smell, headache and puffiness under the eyes.

Diagnosing Hay Fever

If you are experiencing symptoms or think you may have hay fever, Jefferson allergists and immunologists have specialized training and experience to diagnose your hay fever, or to determine if your symptoms are nonallergic.

Your allergist will ask for your health history and perform allergy testing. Skin tests or blood tests are the most common methods for determining your hay fever triggers.

Treating Hay Fever

The best treatment of rhinitis is to avoid the pollens that cause your symptoms, but sometimes it's difficult to avoid all pollen. Other treatment options include:

  • Allergy shots
  • Antihistamines
  • Corticosteroids
  • Decongestants
  • Nasal-inhaled steroids