What are the allergies in san antonio today

The Nasal sinuses are hollow cavities found within the skull and located behind the eyes, the nose and the cheek bones. The primary function of these sinuses is to warm, moisten and filter the air passing through the nasal cavity. The sinuses also frolic a role in our ability to vocalize certain sounds.Sinusitis is an infection of the sinuses, and is most common in the winter months.

Sinusitis may final for months or even years (if inadequately treated), and sinusitis is often misdiagnosed as nasal allergies. This is especially true for young children who are often thought to be suffering with allergies during a sinus infection because their nasal drainage is observed to be “mostly clear” or because they own only nasal congestion. Nasal drainage, when present during sinusitis, can be either colored or clear. The precise diagnosis of true nasal allergy can only be made by documenting the presence of allergic antibodies (IgE); either by skin testing or blood testing (RAST). Sinusitis can produce symptoms in the nose, eyes, throat, middle ear and even the lungs.

Sinusitis may cause extremely noticeable symptoms such as facial pain, headache, thick nasal drainage or “post-nasal drip” (which may result in a productive cough). Conversely, sinusitis may cause only mild symptoms such as throat clearing, nasal congestion (with or without drainage), a non-productive “dry” cough, toothache (upper teeth), ear pain, balance problems, fatigue, or even concentration difficulties.

Sinusitis is also a extremely common trigger of asthma symptoms in asthmatics.

What are the allergies in san antonio today

Only very rarely does a sinus infections cause a fever.

There are two types of sinusitis: acute and chronic. Acute sinusitis is typically caused by a bacterial infection. It often develops as a tardy complication following a viral respiratory infection (“the common cold”). Sinusitis should be suspected whenever nasal symptoms final for more than 2 weeks. Acute sinusitis generally causes more prominent or noticeable symptoms than chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitisis also generally caused by bacterial infections however; this diagnosis requires that nasal symptoms be present for more than 6 weeks.

What are the allergies in san antonio today

When laboratory cultures are performed on chronically infected sinuses, multiple strains of bacteria are often found to co-exist. Each bacterial strain has its own unique antibiotic sensitivity profile and a single course of antibiotics will frequently fail to kill all the strains present in a chronically infected sinus.

Although viral “colds” are the most common preceding cause of acute sinusitis, people who suffer with nasal allergies (allergic rhinitis) or environmental irritant sensitivity (non-allergic rhinitis) are also at risk for developing frequent sinusitis.

These nasal problems cause swelling of the mucous membranes lining the sinuses. If the little opening of a normally hollow sinus cavity becomes blocked, mucous accumulation can happen. The inability to clear mucous from the sinuses allows for bacterial growth, which then leads to further mucous membrane inflammation and prolonged sinus obstruction.

Most patients with recurring sinusitis own more than one problem that predisposes them to infection. Addressing all potentially relevant factors is key to successfully breaking this pattern. Persons with sinus problems should avoid environmental irritants such as tobacco smoke, and any other triggers which own been noted in the past to worsen their nasal symptoms.

Environmental irritant sensitivity (Non-Allergic Rhinitis) causes symptoms that are almost identical to those of true allergy (Allergic Rhinitis). Among persons suffering from allergic rhinitis, about 70% also suffer from non-allergic rhinitis. Unfortunately, some of the medications commonly used to treat Allergic Rhinitis (i.e. Claritin / Allegra / Zyrtec), own no significant effect on controlling the symptoms of Non-Allergic Rhinitis.

Treatment of nasal inflammation with the appropriate medication(s) can often control nasal obstruction, thereby reducing the risk for developing recurrent infections. Making the correct diagnosis concerning the cause of the nasal symptoms is the most significant factor in choosing the medication(s), which will most likely be effective for each individual.

What are the allergies in san antonio today

In addition to causing nasal inflammation as an irritant (non-allergic rhinitis), tobacco smoke exposure also adversely affects nasal cilia. Cilia are microscopic hair-like projections from the surface of the cells lining the respiratory system (mucous membranes).

What are the allergies in san antonio today

Cilia beat in a coordinated fashion to move mucous and bacteria below and out of the sinuses and up and out of the lungs toward the back of the throat where they are normally swallowed. Smoke exposure causes the cilia to beat in an uncoordinated manner decreasing the normal clearance of mucous and bacterial. This is why children of smokers own a higher incidence of ear infections and why smokers own more bronchitis and sinusitis episodes than non-smokers. (See www.AlamoAsthma.com for “scientific studies” concerning tobacco smoke)

Some people (both adults and children) who suffer from recurrent sinusitis own poor immunity to a bacterial organism that cause the majority of sinus infections: Streptococcus pneumonia. If there are low levels of protective antibodies (IgG) to these organisms in the blood, a person may get the same type of bacterial infection over and over again.

Frequent nasal and ear infections happen even among normal healthy children under the age of two. Under normal circumstances, each new infection triggers the immune system into creating a endless lasting protective IgG antibody response and over time, the frequency of these childhood infections normally decreases.

What are the allergies in san antonio today

We own noted that persons with poor immunity to these organisms often never seem to “out-grow” their frequent infection period. Children who own failed to develop protective antibody levels following their infancy immunizations with the pneumococcal (7 strain) vaccine are especially at risk for frequent infections. These immune system problems are easily diagnosed by blood testing and if present, are generally correctable by istering the appropriate booster vaccination(s). After age 2, if needed, children (and adults) can be immunized with a vaccine called “Pneumovax” containing 23 diverse varieties of Streptococcus pneumonia.

Finally, structural problems inside the nose that narrow the air passages such as polyps, a deviated nasal septum (the bone and cartilage structure that separates the left and correct sides of the nose), or enlarged adenoids may also contribute to the risk for recurrent sinusitis.

Surgery is sometimes needed to correct these issues. Even if symptoms seem to be coming from the sinuses, the sinuses are not always infected. To make a correct diagnosis, a physician will need to take a history and act out a physical examination. The physician may also order testing to assist determine the factors contributing to recurrent infection. These tests may include: allergy testing, immune system testing, or a CAT scan (which shows extremely precise images of the sinus cavities). In addition, it may be necessary to collect samples of the nasal secretions for evaluation or culture.


Sinus infections generally require treatment with a combination of therapies.

Antibiotics may be given for 2 or more weeks and frequently more than one course of antibiotics may be required. Medications to reduce nasal blockage or control allergies may also be prescribed. These medicines may include: decongestants, mucus-thinning medicines, oral steroids, antihistamines, and/or topical nasal steroid sprays. For persons with year-round allergies or irritant sensitivity (non-allergic rhinitis), long-term daily anti-inflammatory treatment is often necessary to reduce the risk for recurrent infections. At times, effective treatment of “true” nasal allergies (allergic rhinitis) may require immunotherapy (also called "allergy shots").

Allergy shots are typically recommended only when available medications fail to adequately control allergic symptoms. Allergy shots do not improve symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis. In addition, the use of a saline sinus rinse solution, especially during an athletic sinus infection or after an allergen / irritant exposure, may also assist to improve nasal symptoms. Occasionally, a sinusitis may be due to a fungal infection. If your physician suspects this, treatment with the anti-fungal medication Amphotericin B may be added to the saline sinus rinse.

In cases of persistently obstructed sinus passages due to structural or anatomic problems, evaluation by an Otorhinolaryngologist (ENT), a medical specialist trained in the surgical correction of ear-nose-and throat problems, may be required.


Shaw joined Allergy & ENT Associates in September 2005. He is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology and the American Board of Internal Medicine, and specializes in both pediatric and adult asthma, allergy, and immunology. Dr. Shaw received his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, and then went on to obtain his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio. Subsequently, he completed three years of residency in internal medicine at Rush-Presbyterian-St.

Luke’s Medical Middle in Chicago, Illinois, where he received three Outstanding Teacher awards. He then completed his fellowship in allergy and immunology in the combined Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center/Cook County Hospital training program. Prior to joining Allergy & Asthma Associates, he practiced allergy/immunology in Dallas, Texas, for two years.

Dr. Shaw’s areas of special expertise include the diagnosis and treatment of infants, children, and adults with asthma, sensitivity to allergens, chronic sinusitis, urticaria, and the delivery of allergen immunotherapy.

His general philosophy in medicine is tailoring treatments to minimize the impact of both disease and therapy on the lifestyles of his patients and their families so they can lead normal lives. Dr. Shaw is a member of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. He and his wife own three children.

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(ARA) As most allergy sufferers will tell you, allergy symptoms can always be bothersome, turning any time of year into sneezing season.

A runny nose, itchy eyes and scratchy throat can arise as the days get shorter and the leaves start to change.

The drop can be especially hard for people who are sensitive to mold and ragweed pollen.But these seasonal elements aren t the only triggers that can make symptoms worse this time of year. There are also a few lesser known triggers.Here are four things you might not know about drop allergies, courtesy of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology:

* Hay Fever? — Hay fever, a term from a bygone era, actually has nothing to do with hay. Instead, it s a general term used to describe the symptoms of tardy summer allergies.

What are the allergies in san antonio today

Ragweed is a common cause of hay fever, which is also known as allergic rhinitis. The plant generally begins to pollenate in mid-August and may continue to be a problem until a hard freeze, depending on where you live. See an allergist for prescription medications to control symptoms or to see if allergy shots may be your best option.

* Lingering Warm Weather While most people enjoy Indian summer, unseasonably warm temperatures can make rhinitis symptoms final longer. Mold spores can also be released when humidity is high, or the weather is dry and windy. Be certain to start taking medications before your symptoms start.

Track your allergy symptoms with MyNasalAllergyJournal.org and visit with your allergist to discover relief.

* Pesky Leaves — Some folks might discover it hard to hold up with raking leaves throughout the autumn.

What are the allergies in san antonio today

But for allergy sufferers, raking presents its own problem. It can stir agitating pollen and mold into the air, causing allergy and asthma symptoms. Those with allergies should wear an NIOSH rated N95mask when raking leaves, mowing the lawn and gardening.

* School Allergens — It s not only seasonal pollen and mold that triggers allergies this time of year. Kids are often exposed to classroom irritants and allergy triggers.These can include chalk dust and classroom pets. Students with food allergies may also be exposed to allergens in the lunch room.Kids with exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) may experience attacks during recess or gym class.

Assist your kid understand what can trigger their allergies and asthma, and how they can avoid symptoms. Be certain to notify teachers and the school nurse of any emergency medications, such as quick relief inhalers and epinephrine.

What are the allergies in san antonio today

No matter the season, it s significant for those who ponder they may be suffering from allergies or asthma to see a board-certified allergist. An allergist can assist you develop a treatment plan, which caninclude both medication and avoidance techniques.

Having your allergies properly identified and treated will assist you and your family enjoy the season. To discover an allergist and study more about allergies and asthma, visit www.AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org.