Central Auckland, East Auckland, North Auckland, South Auckland, West Auckland > Private Hospitals & Specialists >

Dr Andrew Baker - Immunologist and Allergy Specialist - North Shore Auckland

Private Service, Allergy and Immunology, Internal Medicine

Allergic Rhinoconjunctivitis (Hay Fever)

Rhinoconjunctivitis is the inflammation of the lining of the nose and eyes due to allergy.  It causes a blocked, runny and itchy nose, sneezing and itchy running eyes.

Hay fever is allergic rhinitis due to grass allergy and is mostly during spring/summer.

Allergic rhinitis due to dust mite lasts year round and can be worse overnight, in the mornings or around vacuuming or dusty environments.  Certain houses or a dusty old bach might set you off.  Cat/dog allergy can also cause year round symptoms.

For some people bad rhinitis can be associated with asthma so it is hard to breathe at the time.

In the case of allergic rhinitis, the specific allergen (the thing that you are allergic to) may be identified by skin prick tests. This involves placing a drop of the allergen on your skin and then scratching your skin through the drop. If you are allergic, your skin will become red and swollen at the site.

Skin tests are only of value if interpreted with respect to a careful history of a patient's clinical symptoms. They are not a diagnosis by themselves. 

When the correct allergy is identified, desensitisation can be a very effective long term treatment for allergic rhinoconjunctivitis.

Before an appointment with us, it is good to avoid all antihistamines for 4 days prior, so we can do this testing if needed.

We can work to improve your symptoms by:

- identification and minimisation of the allergen

- best medical therapy options

- desensitisation - a treatment that makes you less allergic and has sublingual and subcutaneous forms

This page was last updated at 1:09PM on September 7, 2021.