How To Tell Seasonal Nasal Allergies From The Common Cold
- Symptoms happen during pollen season
- Had the same symptoms during the same month last year
- Hay fever symptoms last 6-8 weeks for each pollen. .
- Allergies: itchy eyes and nose. Not seen with colds.
- Colds: fever and/or sore throat. Not seen with allergies
- Both: runny nose and watery eyes. Can also have a cough with both, but less common with allergies.
Causes Of Nasal Congestion
Congestion is when your nose becomes stuffed up and inflamed. Minor illnesses are the most common causes of nasal congestion. For instance, a cold, the flu, and sinus infections can all cause stuffy noses. Illness-related congestion usually improves within one week.
If it lasts longer than one week, its often a symptom of an underlying health issue. Some explanations for long-term nasal congestion may be:
Nasal congestion may also occur during pregnancy, usually during the end of the first trimester. Hormonal fluctuations and increased blood supply that occur during pregnancy may cause this nasal congestion.
These changes may affect the nasal membranes, causing them to become inflamed, dry, or to bleed.
How To Treat Allergic Rhinitis
Medications are usually prescribed to treat allergic rhinitis. Antihistamines help stop your body from making histamine, reducing symptoms. Decongestants reduce congestion, but its not recommended to use them longer than three days. Corticosteroid nasal sprays help control inflammation. Eye drops and saline nasal sprays can help relieve eye allergies.
Always check with your doctor about allergy medications. Find out if any allergy medications will not interfere with any other medicine you may take.
Speak to your doctor if your symptoms:
- are severe and dont respond to any method of home treatment
- prevent you from enjoying daily life
You may want to consider allergen immunotherapy. Immunotherapy will decrease your response to allergens over time. There are two forms of immunotherapy:
- allergy shots
- under-the-tongue allergy tablets
Alternative remedies may be helpful. These include acupuncture, herbal remedies and probiotics. Always talk to a healthcare professional before using alternative therapies. These remedies are not FDA-approved for allergic rhinitis or evaluated for efficacy.
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Sinus Infection Vs Covid
Some sinus infection and COVID-19 symptoms may overlap. Both illnesses can cause a fever, headaches, nasal congestion, fatigue or a sore throat. Symptoms unique to COVID-19 include body aches, nausea, shortness of breath and vomiting. Learn the difference;between the cold, flu and COVID-19 based on your symptoms. ;;
How Is Hay Fever Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will examine you, ask about your symptoms and evaluate you for other conditions, such as a cold or asthma. To measure your antibodies to specific allergens, your provider may take a blood sample and send it to a lab for testing. This blood test is called an immunoglobulin E test. It can detect all types of allergies, including food allergies.
Your provider may recommend a skin prick test to determine what allergens are causing your symptoms.
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Is It Allergies Or A Cold
Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between allergies and the common cold. There are more than a hundred strains of cold viruses. Each tends to become widespread at certain times of the year, which is why you may mistake a cold for a seasonal allergy. Allergies occur at the same time every year and last as long as the allergen is in the air . Allergies cause itching of the nose and eyes along with other nasal symptoms. Colds last about one week and have less itching of the nose and eyes.
Alternative And Complementary Medicine
Due to concerns over possible side effects, more people with allergies are looking at ways to address hay fever symptoms naturally. However, it is important to remember that any medication can have side effects, even if its considered natural. Aside from home remedies, options can also include alternative and complimentary medicine. The downside to these treatments can be that theres little supporting evidence to prove that theyre safe or effective. The correct dosing may also be difficult to determine or achieve.
According to the
Although these alternative treatments are derived from plants and other natural substances, they can possibly interact with medications, as well as cause reactions. Try these with caution, and ask your doctor before use.
Unfortunately, allergic rhinitis itself cant be prevented. Treatment and management are keys to achieving a good quality of life with allergies. Some complications that can arise from hay fever include:
- inability to sleep from symptoms keeping you up at night
- development or worsening of asthma symptoms
- frequent ear infections
- absences from school or work because of reduced productivity
- frequent headaches
Complications can also arise from antihistamine side effects. Most commonly, drowsiness can occur. Other side effects include headache, anxiety, and insomnia. In rare cases, antihistamines can cause gastrointestinal, urinary, and circulatory effects.
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Allergic Rhinitis Treatments: Over
Do you have mild allergic rhinitis — or symptoms that only strike for a few weeks a year? Then over-the-counter medicines may be enough. .
OTC treatments for allergic rhinitis include:
Steroid nasal sprays. These drugs work by reducing the swelling in the nasal passages. Doctors recommend this as your first choice for treatment because of effectiveness and simplicity of use. Many are available by prescription, and some — including budesonide , fluticasone propionate and triamcinolone acetonide — are available over the counter.
Antihistamines. These drugs work by blocking histamine, a chemical that causes many allergy symptoms. They help relieve itching and sneezing. Examples include cetirizine , fexofenadine , and Â;. The antihistamines chlorpheniramine and diphenhydramine are known to cause drowsiness. If your main problem is sneezing and itching, your doctor may recommend one of these, possibly also with other treatments, too.
. Though antihistamines can control many allergy symptoms, they donât relieve congestion. Thatâs where decongestants can come in. Some you take by mouth, and others are nasal sprays. Â;They reduce swelling in the nasal passages, opening them up.
Don’t use nasal spray decongestants like naphazoline , oxymetazolineÂ;, or phenylephrine for more than three days at a time. If you use them for too long, they can make your symptoms worse. Doctors call that a rebound effect.
Find Relief From Chronic Cough With Ent Experts
You, and those around you, dont have to suffer from a chronic cough forever. Advanced ENTs experts specialize in nose, sinus, and allergy issues, so we can identify the problem and develop an effective treatment plan quickly. Meet with our experts now to find a lasting solution to your chronic coughing.
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What Is A Chronic Cough
When a cough lasts longer than eight weeks, this is typically known as chronic cough. Chronic coughing is often a symptom or side effect of other issues such as allergies, asthma, acid reflux or sinus problems. This ongoing cough can be consistent for months, or even years, if untreated. Treatments will depend on the underlying cause of the cough, so it is important to see an expert who can accurately determine the source of your chronic cough symptoms.
Dont Just Tough It Out If You Cant Find Relief From Your Allergy Symptoms
No one wants to be miserable. Bad allergies can ruin your quality of life and affect your overall health if symptoms turn into a sinus or upper respiratory infection. The good thing is you have options.
If youve never talked with a doctor about your allergies before, start by making a primary care appointment. Whether you choose a video visit or in-person appointment, your primary care doctor will listen to your symptoms, answer any questions you have and work with you to create a tailored treatment plan including connecting you with specialists like an allergist or an otolaryngologist if needed.
Your doctor can also help make sure if symptoms are related to allergies or COVID-19, a cold or something else.
Have you already been diagnosed with seasonal allergies? Make an appointment with an allergist. If youre struggling to get relief this season or your allergy symptoms feel like theyre getting worse, you can see an allergist without a referral. Allergists specialize in treating severe allergies.
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Types Of Sinus & Allergy
Acute cough: An acute cough typically last up to about three weeks. This cough may be dry or produce mucous, but it is usually caused by cold, flu or infection of some kind.
Subacute cough: Subacute coughs often last between three to eight weeks. A subacute cough can heal on its own, but patients may want to see a doctor depending on the severity of symptoms.
Chronic cough: This cough lasts longer than eight weeks, and is often caused by smoking, post-nasal drip, reflux or asthma. This cough can involve multiple factors and can be tougher to diagnose.
Hay Fever Management And Treatment
Avoid triggers by making changes to your home and to your behavior.
- Keep windows closed during high pollen periods; use air conditioning in your home and car.
- Wear glasses or sunglasses when outdoors to keep pollen out of your eyes.
- Use mite-proof bedding covers to limit exposure to dust mites and a dehumidifier to control mold. .
- Wash your hands after petting any animal, and have a nonallergic person help with pet grooming, preferably in a well-ventilated area or outside.
What people dont realize is most of the over-the-counter medicines are designed for milder allergies. For the people who have more moderate to severe allergy problems, its very rare that over the counter medicines are enough.
Allergist James Sublett, MD
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What Are The Symptoms Of Allergic Rhinitis
Hay fever symptoms can appear throughout the year. Outdoor allergies are worse in the spring, summer and early fall. In warm weather, weeds and flowers bloom, and pollen counts are higher. Indoor allergies, such as those that result from pet dander and dust mites, can get worse in winter because people spend more time indoors.
Symptoms of hay fever include:
- Nasal stuffiness , sneezing and runny nose.
- Itchy nose, throat and eyes.
- Headaches, sinus pain and dark circles under the eyes.
- Increased mucus in the nose and throat.
- Fatigue and malaise .
- Sore throat from mucus dripping down the throat .
- Wheezing, coughing and trouble breathing.
What Is The New Medication And How Would It Be Used
Current treatment includes a combination of therapies that target symptoms. These include medical and surgical treatments, such as antibiotics, short-term oral corticosteroids, steroid nasal sprays, sinus irrigation, and endoscopic sinus surgery. However, many people continue to experience symptoms despite treatment.
Earlier this year, the FDA approved dupilumab to treat chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps that is not adequately controlled with standard treatment. It is intended to be used together with the other established treatments.
Dupilumab is a human-derived monoclonal antibody, a type of drug that enlists the bodys immune system to help it do its job. It specifically inhibits IL-4 and IL-13 cytokines, chemicals involved in the inflammatory allergic response that leads to symptoms. It is given by injection, under the skin, every other week. It can be administered in a doctors office or self-administered at home.
Dupilumab is not a cure for chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps. However, it is an exciting advancement in the treatment of a chronic condition that significantly impacts physical and emotional health.
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Can Allergic Rhinitis Be Prevented Or Avoided
Allergic rhinitis cannot be prevented. You can help your symptoms by avoiding the things that cause your symptoms, including:
- Keeping windows closed. This is especially important during high-pollen seasons.
- Washing your hands after petting animals.
- Using dust- and mite-proof bedding and mattress covers.
- Wearing glasses outside to protect your eyes.
- Showering before bed to wash off allergens from hair and skin.
You can also avoid things that can make your symptoms worse, such as:
- Aerosol sprays.
- Wood smoke.
Nasal Allergy Symptoms You Shouldnt Ignore
If you have nasal allergies, you may be used to sneezing and congestion that last the entire day. But you donât have to just put up with it. Whether youâre allergic to dust mites, tree pollen, or animal dander, you can find relief for your nasal allergy symptoms.
âSome people suffer with seasonal allergies for years before they learn that there are effective treatments,â says James Sublett, MD, chief of pediatric allergy at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky. But there are good reasons why you shouldnât wait to treat allergies.
âIf allergy symptoms arenât treated early, they can actually get worse over time,â Sublett says.
Here are five allergy symptoms you shouldnât ignore and what you can do about them.
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To Truly Get Rid Of Post
Post-nasal drip is one of those health issues that can be filed under livable, but completely annoying. After all, regularly swallowing, clearing your throat, and even gagging on mucus in the back of your throat isnt exactly the stuff dreams are made of.
Youve probably dealt with post-nasal drip in varying degrees your whole life. But even though you can probably ID the symptoms as soon as it ramps up, you may have some questions about what, exactly, is going on in your throat. Below, doctors dish on everything you should know, including how to stop post-nasal drip ASAP.
Nasal Allergy Symptom 3: Sneezing
If youâve ever had a bout of uncontrollable sneezing, you know what a nuisance it can be. Some people have such severe sneezing episodes that they interfere with their daily life. But sneezing doesnât have to be that serious to seek relief.
If you canât avoid the allergen thatâs causing the sneezing, or if doing so doesnât help, try an over-the-counter antihistamine. Be sure to read and follow the directions on the label for any over-the-counter medicine. If that doesnât help, your doctor may prescribe a nasal steroid spray.
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What Is The Outlook For People Who Have Hay Fever
Hay fever can make you feel miserable, but it doesnt cause serious health problems. Most people with hay fever manage symptoms with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medication.
People with airborne allergies have a higher risk of ear infections and sinus infections. Because hay fever can make it tough to get a good nights sleep, you may feel tired during the day. If you have asthma, hay fever can make your asthma symptoms worse.
What Are Other Options For The Treatment Of Rhinitis And Post
Treatment can also be directed toward specific causes of rhinitis and post-nasal drip as outlined below.
Treatment of infection
The most common nasal infection is a viral infection known as “the common cold.” The virus causes swelling of the nasal membranes and production of thick clear mucus. Symptoms usually last several days. If “a cold” goes on for many days and is associated with yellow or green drainage, a secondary bacterial infection is suspected. Very few patients with a common cold from a virus will go on to have acute bacterial rhinosinusitis from sinus blockage and impaired sinus function. Sinus blockage can lead to acute sinusitis or chronic sinusitis , which can be characterized by nasal congestion, thick mucus, and facial or dental pain. From 4 to 12 weeks, the symptoms are classified as subacute sinusitis or recurrent acute sinusitis.
Symptomatic treatment often involves pain relief, decongestants, mucous thinning medications, saline rinses, and antihistamine therapy.
For rhinitis that is a result of acid reflux disease, antacids can help to neutralize acid contents, whereas other medications such as cimetidine , famotidine , omeprazole , esomeprazole can decrease stomach acid production. Non-pharmacological treatments include avoiding late evening meals and snacks and eliminating alcohol and caffeine. Elevating the head of the bed may help decrease reflux during sleep.
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Symptoms Of Allergic Rhinitis
Your symptoms can vary, depending on the severity of your allergies. Symptoms can include:
- Itching .
- Runny nose.
- Pressure in the nose and cheeks.
- Ear fullness and popping.
- Watery, red, or swollen eyes.
- Dark circles under your eyes.
- Trouble smelling.
Allergic rhinitis can last several weeks, longer than a cold or the flu. It does not cause fever. The nasal discharge from hay fever is thin, watery, and clear. Nasal discharge from a cold or the flu tends to be thicker. Itching is common with hay fever but not with a cold or the flu. Sneezing occurs more with hay fever. You may even have severe sneeze attacks.
How Allergy And Sinus Issues Cause Coughing
Any irritation inside the nose can cause drainage, which can cause coughing. Some of the most common reasons for drainage are allergies, sinusitis or infection, and a deviated septum. Other sinus problems such as enlarged turbinates can also cause excess mucous or postnasal drainage, leading to chronic cough. Often, chronic coughing is caused by a combination of these factors which can make the diagnosis difficult. This is why most people with a chronic cough have gone for long periods of time and seen other doctors without finding a solution.
An expert ENT doctor will be able to find the root cause of the drainage, helping you determine which treatment will be the most effective to alleviate your cough. A CT scan of the sinuses and an allergy test will identify the source of the drainage, allowing a precise treatment plan to be developed.
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