Which environmental exposures should be the focus of history in suspected allergic rhinitis (hay fever)?

Updated: May 18, 2018
  • Author: Javed Sheikh, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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Answer

A thorough history of environmental exposures helps to identify specific allergic triggers. This should include investigation of risk factors for exposure to perennial allergens (eg, dust mites, mold, pets). [42, 43] Risk factors for dust mite exposure include carpeting, heat, humidity, and bedding that does not have dust mite–proof covers. Chronic dampness in the home is a risk factor for mold exposure. A history of hobbies and recreational activities helps determine risk and a time pattern of pollen exposure.

Ask about the environment of the workplace or school. This might include exposure to ordinary perennial allergens (eg, mites, mold, pet dander) or unique occupational allergens (eg, laboratory animals, animal products, grains and organic materials, wood dust, latex, enzymes).


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