American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Releases Guidelines

While hay fever (or allergic rhinitis) is certainly nothing new, The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology has recently published some new guidelines for people who have hay fever, and the medical professionals who care for them. Below are five recommendations. For the full text, visit https://acaai.org/news/

  • Avoid first-generation antihistamines. They can cause drowsiness and other symptoms. The College suggests patients look for non-sedating treatments.
  • Intranasal corticosteroids are an effective treatment. They are the most effective treatment for people who suffer from persistent allergy symptoms, affecting quality of life.
  • “Pseudoephedrine is effective but has side effects. Many people use the oral decongestant pseudoephedrine to clear up a stuffy nose. Unfortunately, pseudoephedrine is the main ingredient in methamphetamine – commonly called “meth.” It is only available by prescription or by specially requesting it from a pharmacist, depending on what state you are in. Pseudoephedrine has many side effects including insomnia, loss of appetite, irritability, and heart palpitations. It should also not be taken if you are pregnant.”
  • The College has no verdict on alternative treatments like acupuncture. The allergists did an extensive review of medical studies examining the effectiveness and safety of alternative treatments such as acupuncture and herbal medicines. They concluded they could not currently recommend for or against the use of these treatments for hay fever.
  • Food allergy testing should not be a part of testing nasal allergies. “The guideline strongly emphasizes that food allergy testing should not be performed in the routine evaluation of allergic rhinitis because food allergies do not cause nasal symptoms.” The College states that testing for hay fever should include sensitivity to: pets, dust mites, trees, grasses, weeds, and mold. (1)

(1) The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Update: What You Need to Know About 2021 Spring Allergies, https://acaai.org/news/update-what-you-need-know-about-2021-spring-allergies