Nasal allergies are something that affect almost all of us, and everyone has suffered from an allergy at one time or another. Here in south and central Texas, we have an abundance of pollens, weeds, and fungi that can cause painful allergy symptoms. When these invaders are inhaled, our bodies react accordingly. Unfortunately, this “acting accordingly” can be extremely uncomfortable.
Histamines are released that begin to attack the foreign pollen invaders which, on their own, are virtually harmless. However, the histamines set off a series of allergic reactions such as inflammation and swelling because of dilated blood vessels. In order to combat these reactions, many of us take allergy medications containing an antihistamine. These aid in blocking some of the actions of the histamines. Antihistamines do not entirely stop an allergic reaction, but they can minimize some of the effects.
How to Tell the Difference Between a Sinus Infection Vs. Allergies
Both seasonal allergies and sinus infections can make you feel congested and miserable, and sometimes it’s difficult to tell them apart. In addition, allergies and sinus infections are linked; nasal blockage caused by allergies can increase risk of sinus infections. But while sinus infections result from blocked mucus becoming infected with bacteria, allergies are a result of your immune system reacting to a foreign substance, such as pollen, by releasing histamines.
Most Common Nasal Allergy Symptoms
Nasal allergies, scientifically known as allergic rhinitis, are very uncomfortable. It can lead to other side effects such as lack of sleep, internal ear pressure, sinus pressure, sinus headaches, and nausea.
The intense swelling and inflammation of tissues and vessels in the nasal cavity can cause immeasurable pain in the form of a sinus headache. Mucus and fluid buildup is one of the culprits of this pressure. The intense pressure felt behind the eyes, forehead, nose, and cheekbones is just one of the side effects of an allergic reaction.
A runny nose is a commonly seen nasal allergy symptom. The histamines set off a series of reactions, including inflammation, causing the lining of the nasal passages to begin to swell. With this swelling, additional fluid is pressed out of smaller blood vessels. The excess fluid and mucus is forced out of the nasal passages, causing a runny nose. If the excess fluid is running down the back of the nasal chamber and the throat, then it is known as postnasal drip.
A stuffy nose has the same reactions as a runny nose, except there is not excess dripping. The tissue lining becomes swollen due to enlarged and inflamed blood vessels. This swelling makes it virtually impossible to breathe through the nose, and it leads to painful pressure.
Sneezing is your body’s way of ridding itself of a foreign invader. It is a sudden, forceful burst of air that is expelled through the nose and mouth. When the throat and nose are being irritated, it will cause a sneeze. Because of the force of the sneeze, it is able to expel mucus containing foreign particles in an attempt to clear the nasal passages.
Nasal Allergy Treatment Options
There are options to help with decreasing allergic reactions, such as taking an antihistamine. However, antihistamines will never completely fix the issue. Many individuals choose to use immunotherapy as a form of allergy treatment by slowly getting one’s immune system used to the foreign invaders and allergens. Thus, it decreases the histamine reaction. These are accomplished through various forms, the most common being sublingual drops or allergy shots. If continuous nasal swelling has led to chronic sinusitis (sinus infections), then you may qualify for sinus surgery. South Texas Sinus Institute provides an array of nasal procedures that can get you breathing freely again.
For more information on South Texas Sinus Institute, our services, or our locations, fill out our online contact form or call 855-99SINUS.
South Texas Sinus Institute: We Solve Sinus Problems!