You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a primary care provider. However, in some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred to an allergist or other specialist.
Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment:
- Write down your symptoms, when they occur and what seems to trigger them. Include symptoms that might seem unrelated to hay fever.
- Write down recent life changes, such as a move to a new home or new part of the country.
- List medications, vitamins and supplements you take.
- Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Someone who accompanies you can help you remember information from your doctor.
- Write down questions for your doctor.
For hay fever, some questions to ask include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms?
- What tests do I need?
- Is my condition likely to go away on its own?
- What is the best course of action?
- What other approaches can you suggest?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there restrictions I should follow?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Are there brochures or other printed material that I can have? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions you have.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
- When did your symptoms begin?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What seems to trigger your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- Do any of your closest relatives (such as a parent or sibling) have hay fever or other allergies?
- Do your symptoms interfere with work, school or sleep?
What you can do in the meantime
If you don't see your doctor right away, over-the-counter remedies may help ease symptoms. A number of medications are available that may help relieve your hay fever symptoms. They include pills, liquids, nasal sprays and eye drops.
Oct. 17, 2015
- Rhinitis overview. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/rhinitis.aspx. Accessed April 19, 2015.
- de Shazo RD, et al. Allergic rhinitis: Clinical manifestations, epidemiology and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 19, 2015.
- Allergies and hay fever. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/node/1347. Accessed April 19, 2015.
- AAAAI Allergy and asthma drug guide. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/treatments/drug-guide.aspx. Accessed April 19, 2015.
- de Shazo RD, et al. Pharmacotherapy of allergic rhinitis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 19, 2015.
- Norman PS. Subcutaneous immunotherapy for allergic disease: Indications and efficacy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- de Shazo RD, et al. Overview of immunological treatments of allergic rhinitis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- Pet dander. American Lung Association. http://www.lung.org/healthy-air/home/resources/pet-dander-1.html. Accessed April 19, 2015.
- Seidman MD, et al. Clinical practice guideline: Allergic rhinitis. Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. 2015;152:S1.
- Cockroach allergy. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://acaai.org/allergies/types/cockroach-allergies. Accessed April 20, 2015.