How to Manage Year-Round Allergies

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Experiencing seasonal allergic symptoms is not uncommon, but hay fever–like allergy symptoms can occur year-round in some people.

Unlike hay fever, year-round allergies can be triggered by allergens like dust or pet dander throughout the year. This occurs due to an overreaction in the immune system.

Year-round allergies are referred to as perennial allergic rhinitis.

This article discusses perennial allergic rhinitis symptoms, triggers, testing, and treatment options.

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How Common Are Year-Round Allergies?

Research suggests the prevalence of perennial allergic rhinitis is between 1% to 13%.

Symptoms

Perennial allergic rhinitis can cause year-round symptoms that may be similar to a cold.

Symptoms can come on after exposure to an allergen. In most cases, symptoms are mild and can be treated. However, in some people, symptoms can be more severe. They can cause sleep problems and interfere with daily life.

Possible signs of perennial allergic rhinitis include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy eyes
  • Stuffy nose
  • Fatigue
  • Itchy skin
  • Itchy mouth

Who Is at Risk for Allergies?

It is unknown why some people have allergies and others do not. Having a history of allergies in the family increases your odds of having allergic conditions.

It is also possible environmental factors contribute to the development of allergies. Exposure to dust mites when young or growing up in a home where people smoke may result in allergies.

Common Allergy Triggers

Seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever) may be caused by pollen or mold spores that may appear seasonally in spring, the end of summer, or fall.

But perennial allergic rhinitis can be triggered by allergens present throughout the year. This includes:

  • Pet dander: The saliva, skin, or urine of pets like dogs or cats can be a source of allergens. Touching a pet can expose a person to allergens, as can dust in the house that may also contain pet dander.
  • Dust: This can contain numerous allergens, including dust mites. These microscopic creatures feed on dead skin cells and other things found in household dust. Dust mites live in carpets, mattresses, bedding, and upholstered furniture. Inhaling the excrement from dust mites can cause symptoms of allergic rhinitis
  • Mold: Mold is an allergen typically found in wet or moist spaces, like shower curtains and basements. An allergy to mold may be worse when the weather is humid or rainy.

Allergy Tests and Diagnosis

A healthcare provider will first ask questions about symptoms and take a physical exam to diagnose perennial allergic rhinitis or other allergies.

To learn about your symptoms, a healthcare provider will ask when your symptoms occur and if they happen after exposure to pets or other possible allergens.

A healthcare provider may order allergy tests to determine the source of allergies. A skin test is one possible test to determine the cause of allergies.

In some cases, if skin testing isn't possible, a blood test will be used to detect the presence of an allergic antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE) against a particular allergen.

Treatment Options for Managing Allergy Symptoms

There are a number of options available for the management of year-round allergies. These include:

  • Avoiding exposure to allergens
  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Intranasal corticosteroid sprays
  • Saline nasal spray
  • Allergen immunotherapy

Complications

In some people, allergic rhinitis can result in complications. These may include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Worsening of asthma
  • Sinusitis
  • Middle ear infections
  • Nasal polyps
  • Irritability due to poor sleep

Summary

Year-round allergies are referred to as perennial allergic rhinitis. They may cause hay fever or cold-like symptoms, including a runny nose, itchy eyes, and fatigue.

Pet dander, dust, and mold are triggers that may cause symptoms.

A healthcare provider may order tests to determine the source of allergies. Treatment options include avoiding allergens, medications like decongestants, and allergen immunotherapy.

A Word From Verywell

Dealing with allergies can be annoying, especially if your allergies exist year-round. If you are experiencing year-round allergy symptoms, consider reaching out to your healthcare provider. They will be able to help you identify the cause of your allergy symptoms and advise the best treatment options for you.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it normal to have allergies every day?

    Some people only experience allergies in certain seasons. This may be referred to as seasonal allergic rhinitis or hay fever. However, it is possible to experience allergy symptoms all year in other people. This is referred to as perennial allergic rhinitis.

  • Will allergies go away as you age?

    In some people, symptoms of allergic rhinitis may improve over a long period. However, this can take years, and it is unlikely allergies will completely disappear.


  • Is it possible to have allergies and not be allergic to anything?

    It is possible to have allergic-like symptoms without actually being allergic to anything in some people. This is known as nonallergic rhinitis.

    This can cause the same symptoms as allergic rhinitis, like a runny or blocked nose, but is not triggered by an allergen.

    Possible causes of nonallergic rhinitis are infection, environmental triggers, hormonal imbalance, or recreational drug use.

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