What to do for severe nasal allergies
You know how allergy coughs are typically on the drier side? Coughs from colds (or the flu) tend to be on the wetter side (that «wetness» is actually mucus your body is trying to move out of your body, says Dr. Lee).
Coughs that come along with a freezing generally come along with stuffiness, along with postnasal drip (a.k.a., mucus running below the back of your throat), which can cause a sore throat or chest discomfort. A low-grade fever may also signal a freezing instead of allergies.
Colds aren’t as immediate as allergies. Instead, they tend to develop over the course of a few days, says Dr.
You can attempt a few diverse things to assist relieve a cough. Decongestants can work for, well, congestion. And ingredients love dextromethorphan (found in numerous multi-symptom products love Vicks NyQuil Freezing & Flu Nighttime Relief) can can assist ease the coughing itself. Just make certain you take any products as-directed.
It should be said, however, that a dry cough isn’t always allergies, just love a wet cough isn’t always a freezing. Allergies can plague your nose, for example, causing post-nasal drip (a wet cough), while mild colds might not leave you stuffed up enough to produce any phlegm.
Do I ever need to worry about a cough?
Something significant to remember: A cough—no matter its cause—shouldn’t be your norm.
Colds generally run their course within a couple of weeks, which means a cough associated with a freezing should go away in about three weeks time (though some can linger on for as endless as eight weeks), according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The length of an allergy-related cough will vary depending on how (if) you’re treating it.
But if you notice you’re still barking after two months of symptoms, see your doc.
You could either be dealing with an allergy you’re not aware of (this is where an allergy test could come into play) or potentially suffering from another issue such as asthma (especially if you notice shortness of breath with any of your symptoms), reflux, pneumonia, or bronchitis, says Dr. Bryson.
And if something (allergies or a pesky cold) is bothering you enough to disrupt your life, don’t put off getting it checked out. If nothing else, seeing a doc will give you peace of mind and maybe even speed up your recovery time.
Cassie ShortsleeveFreelance WriterCassie Shortsleeve is a skilled freelance author and editor with almost a decade of experience reporting on every things health, fitness, and travel.
Common symptoms of sinus infection include:
- Tenderness of the face (particularly under the eyes or at the bridge of the nose)
- Frontal headaches
- Discolored nasal discharge (greenish in color)
- Nasal stuffiness or congestion
- Pain in the teeth
- Postnasal drip
- Bad breath
Sinus infection (sinusitis) is often confused with rhinitis, a medical term used to describe the symptoms that accompany nasal inflammation and irritation.
Rhinitis only involves the nasal passages. It could be caused by a freezing or allergies.
Allergies can frolic an significant role in chronic (long-lasting) or seasonal rhinitis episodes. Nasal and sinus passages become swollen, congested, and inflamed in an attempt to flush out offending inhaled particles that trigger allergies. Pollen are seasonal allergens. Molds, dust mites and pet dander can cause symptoms year-round.
Asthma also has been linked to chronic sinus infections. Some people with a chronic nasal inflammation and irritation and/or asthma can develop a type of chronic sinusitis that is not caused by infection.
Appropriate treatment of sinus infection often improves asthma symptoms.
What Is Rhinitis?
The wordrhinitismeans “inflammation of the nose.” The nose produces fluid called mucus. This fluid is normally thin and clear. It helps to hold dust, debris and allergens out of the lungs. Mucus traps particles love dust and pollen, as well as bacteria and viruses.
Mucus generally drains below the back of your throat.
You’re not aware of this most of the time because it is a little quantity and is thin. When the nose becomes irritated, it may produce more mucus, which becomes thick and pale yellow. The mucus may start to flow from the front of the nose as well as the back. Substances in the mucus may irritate the back of the throat and cause coughing. Postnasal drip occurs when more mucus drains below the back of the throat.
What Causes Rhinitis?
Irritants or allergens (substances that provoke an allergic response) may cause rhinitis. The cells of your body react to these irritants or allergens by releasinghistamineand other chemicals. Rhinitis is often a temporary condition.
It clears up on its own after a few days for numerous people. In others, especially those with allergies, rhinitis can be a chronic problem. Chronic means it is almost always present or recurs often. Rhinitis can final for weeks to months with allergen exposure.
What Are the Treatments for Allergic Rhinitis?
The first and best option is to avoid contact with substances that trigger your nasal allergies (allergens).
When prevention is not enough, consider using over-the-counter or prescription medicines:
- Leukotriene receptor antagonists block the action of significant chemical messengers other than histamine that are involved in allergic reactions.
- Antihistamines are taken by mouth or as a nasal spray. They can relieve sneezing and itching in the nose and eyes. They also reduce a runny nose and, to a lesser extent, nasal stuffiness.
- Decongestants are taken by mouth or as a nasal spray or drops.
They assist shrink the lining of the nasal passages which relieves nasal stuffiness. These nose drops and sprays shouldbetaken short-term.
- Nasal corticosteroids are used in nasal spray form. They reduce inflammation in the nose and block allergic reactions. They are the most effective medicine type for allergic rhinitis because they can reduce every symptoms, including nasal congestion. Nasal corticosteroids own few side effects.
- Cromolyn sodium is a nasal spray that blocks the release of chemicals that cause allergy symptoms, including histamine and leukotrienes.
This medicine has few side effects, but you must take it four times a day.
Nasal allergy symptoms may vanish completely when the allergen is removed or after the allergy is treated. Talk to your pharmacist and health care provider about what is best for you.
Many people with allergies do not get finish relief from medications. They may be candidates for immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy is a long-term treatment that can assist prevent or reduce the severity of allergic reactions and change the course of allergic disease by modifying the body’s immune response to allergens.
Many allergens that trigger allergic rhinitis are airborne, so you can’t always avoid them. If your symptoms can’t be well-controlled by simply avoiding triggers, your allergist may recommend medications that reduce nasal congestion, sneezing, and an itchy and runny nose.
They are available in numerous forms — oral tablets, liquid medication, nasal sprays and eyedrops. Some medications may own side effects, so discuss these treatments with your allergist so they can assist you live the life you want.
Decongestants assist relieve the stuffiness and pressure caused by swollen nasal tissue. They do not contain antihistamines, so they do not cause antihistaminic side effects. They do not relieve other symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
Oral decongestants are available as prescription and nonprescription medications and are often found in combination with antihistamines or other medications. It is not unusual for patients using decongestants to experience insomnia if they take the medication in the afternoon or evening. If this occurs, a dose reduction may be needed. At times, men with prostate enlargement may encounter urinary problems while on decongestants. Patients using medications to manage emotional or behavioral problems should discuss this with their allergist before using decongestants.
Patients with high blood pressure or heart disease should check with their allergist before using. Pregnant patients should also check with their allergist before starting decongestants.
Nonprescription decongestant nasal sprays work within minutes and final for hours, but you should not use them for more than a few days at a time unless instructed by your allergist. Prolonged use can cause rhinitis medicamentosa, or rebound swelling of the nasal tissue. Stopping the use of the decongestant nasal spray will cure that swelling, provided that there is no underlying disorder.
Oral decongestants are found in numerous over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications, and may be the treatment of choice for nasal congestion.
They don’t cause rhinitis medicamentosa but need to be avoided by some patients with high blood pressure. If you own high blood pressure or heart problems, check with your allergist before using them.
Nonprescription saline nasal sprays will assist counteract symptoms such as dry nasal passages or thick nasal mucus. Unlike decongestant nasal sprays, a saline nasal spray can be used as often as it is needed. Sometimes an allergist may recommend washing (douching) the nasal passage. There are numerous OTC delivery systems for saline rinses, including neti pots and saline rinse bottles.
Nasal cromolyn blocks the body’s release of allergy-causing substances.
It does not work in every patients. The full dose is four times daily, and improvement of symptoms may take several weeks. Nasal cromolyn can assist prevent allergic nasal reactions if taken prior to an allergen exposure.
Nasal ipratropium bromide spray can assist reduce nasal drainage from allergic rhinitis or some forms of nonallergic rhinitis.
Immunotherapy may be recommended for people who don’t reply well to treatment with medications or who experience side effects from medications, who own allergen exposure that is unavoidable or who desire a more permanent solution to their allergies.
Immunotherapy can be extremely effective in controlling allergic symptoms, but it doesn’t assist the symptoms produced by nonallergic rhinitis.
Two types of immunotherapy are available: allergy shots and sublingual (under-the-tongue) tablets.
- Allergy shots: A treatment program, which can take three to five years, consists of injections of a diluted allergy extract, istered frequently in increasing doses until a maintenance dose is reached. Then the injection schedule is changed so that the same dose is given with longer intervals between injections.
Immunotherapy helps the body build resistance to the effects of the allergen, reduces the intensity of symptoms caused by allergen exposure and sometimes can actually make skin test reactions vanish. As resistance develops over several months, symptoms should improve.
- Sublingual tablets: This type of immunotherapy was approved by the Food and Drug istration in 2014. Starting several months before allergy season begins, patients dissolve a tablet under the tongue daily. Treatment can continue for as endless as three years. Only a few allergens (certain grass and ragweed pollens and home dust mite) can be treated now with this method, but it is a promising therapy for the future.
Intranasal corticosteroids are the single most effective drug class for treating allergic rhinitis.
They can significantly reduce nasal congestion as well as sneezing, itching and a runny nose.
Ask your allergist about whether these medications are appropriate and safe for you. These sprays are designed to avoid the side effects that may happen from steroids that are taken by mouth or injection. Take care not to spray the medication against the middle portion of the nose (the nasal septum). The most common side effects are local irritation and nasal bleeding. Some older preparations own been shown to own some effect on children’s growth; data about some newer steroids don’t indicate an effect on growth.
Antihistamines are commonly used to treat allergic rhinitis.
These medications counter the effects of histamine, the irritating chemical released within your body when an allergic reaction takes put. Although other chemicals are involved, histamine is primarily responsible for causing the symptoms. Antihistamines are found in eyedrops, nasal sprays and, most commonly, oral tablets and syrup.
Antihistamines assist to relieve nasal allergy symptoms such as:
- Eye itching, burning, tearing and redness
- Sneezing and an itchy, runny nose
- Itchy skin, hives and eczema
There are dozens of antihistamines; some are available over the counter, while others require a prescription.
Patients reply to them in a wide variety of ways.
Generally, the newer (second-generation) products work well and produce only minor side effects.
Some people discover that an antihistamine becomes less effective as the allergy season worsens or as their allergies change over time. If you discover that an antihistamine is becoming less effective, tell your allergist, who may recommend a diverse type or strength of antihistamine. If you own excessive nasal dryness or thick nasal mucus, consult an allergist before taking antihistamines. Contact your allergist for advice if an antihistamine causes drowsiness or other side effects.
Proper use: Short-acting antihistamines can be taken every four to six hours, while timed-release antihistamines are taken every 12 to 24 hours. The short-acting antihistamines are often most helpful if taken 30 minutes before an anticipated exposure to an allergen (such as at a picnic during ragweed season).
Timed-release antihistamines are better suited to long-term use for those who need daily medications. Proper use of these drugs is just as significant as their selection. The most effective way to use them is before symptoms develop. A dose taken early can eliminate the need for numerous later doses to reduce established symptoms. Numerous times a patient will tell that he or she “took one, and it didn’t work.” If the patient had taken the antihistamine regularly for three to four days to build up blood levels of the medication, it might own been effective.
Side effects: Older (first-generation) antihistamines may cause drowsiness or performance impairment, which can lead to accidents and personal injury.
Even when these medications are taken only at bedtime, they can still cause considerable impairment the following day, even in people who do not feel drowsy. For this reason, it is significant that you do not drive a car or work with dangerous machinery when you take a potentially sedating antihistamine. Some of the newer antihistamines do not cause drowsiness.
A frequent side effect is excessive dryness of the mouth, nose and eyes. Less common side effects include restlessness, nervousness, overexcitability, insomnia, dizziness, headaches, euphoria, fainting, visual disturbances, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal distress, constipation, diarrhea, increased or decreased urination, urinary retention, high or low blood pressure, nightmares (especially in children), sore throat, unusual bleeding or bruising, chest tightness or palpitations.
Men with prostate enlargement may encounter urinary problems while on antihistamines. Consult your allergist if these reactions occur.
- Some antihistamines appear to be safe to take during pregnancy, but there own not been enough studies to determine the absolute safety of antihistamines in pregnancy. Again, consult your allergist or your obstetrician if you must take antihistamines.
- Follow your allergist’s instructions.
- Alcohol and tranquilizers increase the sedation side effects of antihistamines.
- Know how the medication affects you before working with heavy machinery, driving or doing other performance-intensive tasks; some products can slow your reaction time.
- Keep these medications out of the reach of children.
- While antihistamines own been taken safely by millions of people in the final 50 years, don’t take antihistamines before telling your allergist if you are allergic to, or intolerant of, any medicine; are pregnant or intend to become pregnant while using this medication; are breast-feeding; own glaucoma or an enlarged prostate; or are ill.
- Do not use more than one antihistamine at a time, unless prescribed.
- Never take anyone else’s medication.
Leukatriene pathway inhibitors
Leukotriene pathway inhibitors (montelukast, zafirlukast and zileuton) block the action of leukotriene, a substance in the body that can cause symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
These drugs are also used to treat asthma.
Eye allergy preparations and eyedrops
Eye allergy preparations may be helpful when the eyes are affected by the same allergens that trigger rhinitis, causing redness, swelling, watery eyes and itching. OTC eyedrops and oral medications are commonly used for short-term relief of some eye allergy symptoms. They may not relieve every symptoms, though, and prolonged use of some of these drops may actually cause your condition to worsen.
Prescription eyedrops and oral medications also are used to treat eye allergies.
Prescription eyedrops provide both short- and long-term targeted relief of eye allergy symptoms, and can be used to manage them.
Check with your allergist or pharmacist if you are unsure about a specific drug or formula.
Treatments that are not recommended for allergic rhinitis
- Antibiotics: Effective for the treatment of bacterial infections, antibiotics do not affect the course of uncomplicated common colds (a viral infection) and are of no benefit for noninfectious rhinitis, including allergic rhinitis.
- Nasal surgery: Surgery is not a treatment for allergic rhinitis, but it may assist if patients own nasal polyps or chronic sinusitis that is not responsive to antibiotics or nasal steroid sprays.
Rhinitis (Nasal Allergies)
What Are the Symptoms of Rhinitis?
Rhinitis symptoms include:
- Runny nose
- Itching in the nose and eyes
- Stuffy nose (congestion)
- Mucus (phlegm) in the throat (postnasal drip)
Is It Allergies or a Cold?
Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between allergies and the common freezing.
There are more than a hundred strains of freezing viruses. Each tends to become widespread at certain times of the year, which is why you may error a freezing for a seasonal allergy. Allergies happen at the same time every year and final as endless as the allergen is in the air (usually 2-3 weeks per allergen). Allergies cause itching of the nose and eyes along with other nasal symptoms. Colds final about one week and own less itching of the nose and eyes.
What Are the Types of Rhinitis?
There are several types of rhinitis:
- Non-allergic rhinitis is not caused by allergens.
Smoke, chemicals or other irritating environmental conditions may provoke non-allergic rhinitis. Hormonal changes, physical defects of the nose (like a deviated septum) and the overuse of nose sprays may also cause it. Sometimes medications cause it. Often, the cause of this type of rhinitis is not well understood. But it is common in patients with non-allergic asthma. The symptoms are similar to allergy symptoms.
- Allergic rhinitis is caused by allergies to substances called allergens.
- Seasonal allergic rhinitis is sometimes called “hay fever.” But, people with seasonal allergic rhinitis do not own to own a fever and do not own to be exposed to hay to develop this condition. It is an allergic reaction to pollen from trees, grasses and weeds. This type of rhinitis occurs mainly in the spring and drop, when pollen from trees, grasses and weeds are in the air.
- Perennial allergic rhinitis is caused by allergens that are present every year endless.
The primary causes of this type of rhinitis are allergies to dust mites, mold, animal dander and cockroach debris.
- Infectious rhinitis is possibly the most common type of rhinitis.
It is also known as the common freezing or upper respiratory infection (URI). Colds happen when a freezing virus settles into the mucous membranes of the nose and sinus cavities and causes an infection.
How is sinus infection diagnosed?
Diagnosis depends on symptoms and requires an examination of the throat, nose and sinuses.
Your allergist will glance for:
- Discolored (greenish) nasal discharge
- Swelling of the nasal tissues
- Tenderness of the face
- Bad Breath
If your sinus infection lasts longer than eight weeks, or if standard antibiotic treatment is not working, a sinus CT scan may assist your allergist diagnose the problem. Your allergist may examine your nose or sinus openings. The exam uses a endless, thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera and a light at one finish that is inserted through the nose. It is not painful. Your allergist may give you a light anesthetic nasal spray to make you more comfortable.
Mucus cultures: If your sinus infection is chronic or has not improved after several rounds of antibiotics, a mucus culture may assist to determine what is causing the infection.
Most mucus samples are taken from the nose. However, it is sometimes necessary to get mucus (or pus) directly from the sinuses.
Knowing what helpful of bacteria is causing the infection can lead to more effective antibiotic therapy. A fungus could also cause your sinus infection. Confirming the presence of fungus is significant. Fungal sinus infection needs to be treated with antifungal agents, rather than antibiotics. In addition, some forms of fungal sinus infection – allergic fungal sinus infection, for example – do not reply to antifungal agents and often require the use of oral steroids.
Your allergist may consider ordering a sinus CT.
This test can assist to define the extent of the infection. Your allergist may also send you to a specialist in allergy and immunology. The specialist will check for underlying factors such as allergies, asthma, structural defects, or a weakness of the immune system.
Biopsies: A harm of more serious types of fungal sinus infection is that the fungus could penetrate into nearby bone. Only a bone biopsy can determine if this has happened. Biopsies involving sinus tissue are taken with flexible instruments inserted through the nose.
Biopsies of the sinus tissue are also used to test for immotile cilia syndrome, a rare disorder that can cause people to suffer from recurrent infections, including chronic sinus infection, bronchitis and pneumonia.
The first approach in managing seasonal or perennial forms of hay fever should be to avoid the allergens that trigger symptoms.
- Wear a pollen mask (such as a NIOSH-rated 95 filter mask) when mowing the lawn, raking leaves or gardening, and take appropriate medication beforehand.
- Stay indoors as much as possible when pollen counts are at their peak, generally during the midmorning and early evening (this may vary according to plant pollen), and when wind is blowing pollens around.
- Avoid using window fans that can draw pollens and molds into the house.
- Don’t hang clothing outdoors to dry; pollen may cling to towels and sheets.
- Wear glasses or sunglasses when outdoors to minimize the quantity of pollen getting into your eyes.
- Try not to rub your eyes; doing so will irritate them and could make your symptoms worse.
- To limit exposure to mold, hold the humidity in your home low (between 30 and 50 percent) and clean your bathrooms, kitchen and basement regularly.
Use a dehumidifier, especially in the basement and in other damp, humid places, and empty and clean it often. If mold is visible, clean it with mild detergent and a 5 percent bleach solution as directed by an allergist.
- Keep windows closed, and use air conditioning in your car and home. Make certain to hold your air conditioning unit clean.
- Reduce exposure to dust mites, especially in the bedroom. Use “mite-proof” covers for pillows, comforters and duvets, and mattresses and box springs.
Wash your bedding frequently, using boiling water (at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Clean floors with a damp rag or mop, rather than dry-dusting or sweeping.
Exposure to pets
- If you are allergic to a household pet, hold the animal out of your home as much as possible. If the pet must be inside, hold it out of the bedroom so you are not exposed to animal allergens while you sleep.
- Wash your hands immediately after petting any animals; wash your clothes after visiting friends with pets.
- Close the air ducts to your bedroom if you own forced-air or central heating or cooling.
Replace carpeting with hardwood, tile or linoleum, every of which are easier to hold dander-free.
How Can I Prevent Allergic Rhinitis?
The first and best option is to avoid contact with allergens. Other prevention tips are:
Medical Review October 2015.
What is an allergy blood test?
Allergies are a common and chronic condition that involves the body’s immune system.
Normally, your immune system works to fight off viruses, bacteria, and other infectious agents. When you own an allergy, your immune system treats a harmless substance, love dust or pollen, as a threat. To fight this perceived threat, your immune system makes antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE).
Substances that cause an allergic reaction are called allergens. Besides dust and pollen, other common allergens include animal dander, foods, including nuts and shellfish, and certain medicines, such as penicillin.
Allergy symptoms can range from sneezing and a stuffy nose to a life-threatening complication called anaphylactic shock. Allergy blood tests measure the quantity of IgE antibodies in the blood. A little quantity of IgE antibodies is normal. A larger quantity of IgE may mean you own an allergy.
Other names: IgE allergy test, Quantitative IgE, Immunoglobulin E, Entire IgE, Specific IgE
No matter why it’s happening, a cough is always annoying—it’s noisy, it’s uncomfortable, and it never fails to garner unwanted attention.
But what’s really behind that cough? Can allergies cause coughing—or do you just own an annoying cold?
Well, turns out, there are some beautiful distinct differences between allergy coughs and freezing coughs…
Just curious: Why do we cough, anyway?
«The purpose of a cough is to assist us,» says Monica Lee, MD, an otolaryngologist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. It’s your body’s way of trying to expel something it perceives as a threat in the airway, she says.
Those perceived threats can be a bunch of diverse things: a piece of food stuck in your throat, pollen, air pollution, or swelling or drainage from additional mucus in your throat. Every those things irritate the sensory fibers in your airway, which then stimulate a cough.
As for what exactly happens in your body during a cough? It’s helpful of complicated, says Dr. Lee.
Basically, your vocal chords shut briefly to generate pressure in the lungs. Once enough pressure is built up, your vocal chords open back up, and air flows quickly through your voice box, which generates that coughing sound. Kinda cool, huh?
So…can allergies cause coughing? Give it to me straight.
In short, yes.
Generally, allergies create dry coughs (it’s a direct reaction to something you’re sensitive or allergic to in the airways). If that’s the case, you’ll likely own other symptoms (think: itchy, watery eyes; a runny nose; an itchy throat; and sneezing, says Dr. Lee). Headaches and wheezing often come with allergies, too, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
Timing’s also a factor. If you’re allergic to pollen (or your BFF’s new adorable kitten), for example, you’ll likely notice symptoms (including your cough) almost immediately, or within an hour of being exposed.
And those symptoms could final for hours after you’ve been exposed—even after the allergen isn’t nearby anymore.
Coughs related to allergies are also dependent on patterns, so doctors always attempt to glance at the large picture. Tell you get a cough every single March. That could be a sign you’re actually suffering from allergies, instead of the common freezing. «You need to glance at everything that’s going on,» says Paul Bryson, MD, an otolaryngologist at the Cleveland Clinic.
Your best defense for a cough from allergies?
Antihistamines love Allegra, Claritin, and Zyrtec, which are every available over-the-counter. Other options include steroid nasal sprays and immunotherapy shots, which can work to regulate your body’s response to allergens, instead of just relieving the symptoms.