If you live in Richmond, Virginia, you know it is spring when friends and family start to complain about itchy, watering eyes, sneezing, and scratchy throats. While seasonal allergies are often just accepted and handled here, there’s more to it for many people.
Here’s how allergies attack your body, and how they can interfere with other medical conditions such as asthma, sleep apnea, upper respiratory infections, and chronic sinus infection.
In a healthy body, the immune system monitors for foreign substances and reacts when something dangerous enters your system, such as for example the common cold virus. Sometimes, however, the body becomes sensitive to something that we might typically consider harmless, such as grass or pet dander.
When this sensitivity triggers a cascade of allergic activation, the body produces histamines and different inflammatory substances leading to symptoms such as a runny and or congested nose, itchy, red or watery eyes, post-nasal drainage, headache, sneezing, or cough.
The most common allergens we see in our practice include pollen, mold, pet dander, and dust mite. These allergies lead to uncomfortable, sometimes chronic symptoms such as frequent upper respiratory infections, ear infections, and sometimes recurrent sinusitis or bronchitis (typically driven by underlying asthma).
While allergies are uncomfortable in and of themselves, they can also cause problems with other health conditions. Because allergic reactions kick off the inflammatory process in the nose, sinus, and ears, they can exacerbate other conditions that cause inflammation in the body:
An ENT doctor can help you manage your allergies in several different ways, with many proactive/preventative approaches that will help you determine an accurate diagnosis and manage your allergy symptoms:
Don’t let chronic allergies upset the quality of your life or that of your loved ones.