Is It Allergies or Just Your Nose?

It’s that time of year again. The seasons have just changed and the weather patterns are erratic right along with them. The air is rife with ragweed pollen and mold spores, and watery eyes, runny noses, facial pressure, sore throats and other hay fever symptoms are everywhere.

How do you know, however, if you’re suffering from an allergic reaction to environmental factors, or if you’ve just been hit with that other dreaded seasonal enemy — the common cold? Read a bit about the different causes of nasal congestion, allergies and colds, and at how you can make your fall season pass in peace.

What are Infections?

Infections are more common than people realize. In fact, your average child comes down with the common cold up to six times throughout the course of the year. This occurs when the nose absorbs a virus and causes the body to unleash histamines to deal with the problem. These chemicals swell up the sinus cavities, produce a lot of mucus and clog everything up.

While infected, your immune system is less resistant to bacteria and the infection can grow worse. Such infections can be accompanied by fever and chills and can progress to worse conditions like bronchitis and pneumonia. Typically, however, over the counter antihistamines and decongestants can deal with the symptoms of the common cold while it runs its course.

Dealing with Sinusitis

Sinusitis is a specific type of infection that arises from the nasal cavities being blocked. It goes hand-in-hand with the common cold, the flu and other kinds of respiratory illnesses. Like any other infection, it often just runs its course. But for those with severe chronic issues, treatments such as balloon sinuplasty, where a balloon catheter is used to open up the passages to allow for mucus drainage, can be applied.

Allergies and Your Body

Allergies are that irritant that everyone dreads. These occur when the body has an abnormal and exaggerated immune response to substances which are harmless to other people. In the fall season, pollen from ragweed and mold spores are the most common allergens. An allergic reaction occurs when exposure to trigger substances causes the body to treat those substances as though they were infections, releasing histamines and causing the classic symptoms of stuffiness, runny nose, watery and itchy eyes and the like.

Treating an Allergy

Treatment of allergic responses is accomplished in many of the same ways as other infections — using over the counter medications that reduce the body’s response. In some cases, the symptoms may be severe and chronic enough that prescription medications or a course of allergy shots could be indicated to reduce and control symptoms.

A qualified ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor is the best option for those who suffer from severe allergic reactions. The doctor can pin down the exact cause of your problem and prescribe a course of action to treat the issues. If you are in the Atlanta region and heed help with your allergies, we can help. Get in touch with us for more information or to schedule an appointment and get free of your symptoms today.

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