When you come to Ohio State, we’ll listen to your needs, diagnose what’s wrong and work with you to select a treatment plan to improve your life. Patients experiencing allergies are provided the best care available customized to your specific needs. For those experiencing seasonal allergy symptoms, our allergy specialists may suggest:

  • Allergy testing to understand what’s causing your symptoms
  • Allergy medications to address your symptoms
  • Immunotherapy to help build your body’s natural immunity against allergies

And if your needs are more advanced, we can handle that, too. At Ohio State, you’ll have direct access to medical expertise from across The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, including our expertise in sinus care, asthma and more.

Our team of allergy specialists have specialized education and training in all that afflicts your nose and sinuses.

What are allergies?

Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to something effectively harmless — such as pollen or pet dander. Your body’s immune system is trained to fight germs and infections. During an allergic reaction, your immune system mistakes an allergen for something more harmful.

The severity of allergies is different for each person. In extreme cases, allergies can lead to anaphylaxis — a potentially life-threatening emergency. Since the severity of allergies is unique to every person, you’ve come to the right place to deal with your allergies. Our allergists have the expertise to treat all cases, from mild irritations to potentially life-threatening reactions.

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What are the most common allergy symptoms?

Allergy symptoms, including seasonal allergy symptoms, may include sneezing, runny nose with clear mucus, a sore throat due to postnasal drip, itchy/watery eyes or an itchy throat. Symptoms are likely to last over many weeks or an entire allergy season.

What causes allergies?

Once your immune system wrongly identifies an allergen trigger such as pollen or mold as harmful, your body will continue creating antibodies when you encounter those allergens again. You might be more likely to develop an allergy if you have a family history of allergies or have asthma.

Learn more about the most common allergens

What makes Ohio State the better choice for your allergy care?

Although over-the-counter medicines are available for allergies, you should consider starting with a visit to one of our board certified allergists/immunologists who can perform allergy testing. Treating your allergies begins with learning for sure what your allergy triggers are — and aren’t.

With those results, your Ohio State allergy doctor can then develop a more targeted treatment to you. One particularly effective treatment is immunotherapy, which is when you are given small, controlled exposure to your allergic triggers to train your immune system to not overreact. Oral antihistamines, eye drops, nasal steroid sprays and decongestants are other treatment methods. Our allergists will work with you to meet your needs and provide you the customized care you deserve.

Allergy tests and treatment

Allergy conditions

  • Seasonal allergies – Commonly known as hay fever, seasonal allergies occur when your immune system reacts to an outdoor allergen, such as pollen. Seasonal allergy symptoms include sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes.
  • Allergic asthma – A majority of people with allergies or asthma experience both conditions. Inhaling allergens such as dust mite droppings, mold, pet dander and pollen creates asthmatic symptoms. Airway obstruction, inflammation, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness are common symptoms of allergic asthma.
  • Allergy-related runny nose, blocked nose and postnasal drip – Allergic reactions cause membranes to swell and become congested. Inflammation, pain, pressure and mucus are the result, culminating in a stuffy, runny nose. If the swelling isn’t controlled, it can obstruct normal sinus drainage, leading to sinus infections. Nasal congestion can also obstruct proper Eustachian tube (ear tube) function, resulting in fluid behind the eardrum.
  • Eczema and atopic dermatitis
  • Eosinophilic esophagitis
  • Food allergy and oral allergy syndrome
  • Hives and angioedema
  • Immune system disorders
  • Reactive airway disease
  • Rhinosinusitis and hay fever

How is a cold different from allergies?

The biggest difference between a cold and allergies is how quickly you notice symptoms and how long those symptoms last. Allergy symptoms will occur almost immediately after you’re exposed to something you’re allergic to and don’t go away for many weeks or even months. Cold symptoms will take several days to develop but should go away within a couple of weeks.

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