If you are plagued by uncomfortable sinus symptoms like
congestion, runny nose, sinus pressure or pain, you know that getting relief is
essential. But first, you need to determine what’s causing your symptoms.
Often, people mistake allergy symptoms for a cold, and then complain of a cold that lasts for weeks. When they actually have seasonal allergies to plant pollen or other, generally airborne allergens. This might feel much like a sinus infection due to a virus or bacteria, but there are a few key differences when you have allergic rhinitis.
See also: 5 Ways to Manage Your Seasonal Allergies Naturally
Is it Viral or is it
The common symptoms that you may have with either a
viral-induced sinus infection or allergic rhinitis include sinus pressure and
congestion and a runny nose, but when you are experiencing an allergic reaction,
you may also have itchy watering eyes, which almost never occur with a sinus
infection caused by a virus. Another way to identify sinus infection is if you
are producing thick green nasal discharge.
Allergy symptoms are triggered by exposure to the allergens
to which you are sensitive, so they can occur year-round, if you are reacting
to pet dander, dust mites or air pollution, or seasonally if you have pollen,
mold and fungi allergies. Paying attention to the timing of your symptoms will
give you a clue as to their origin, but we can pinpoint your allergies with allergy testing.
Knowing exactly what you are allergic to will help you
manage symptoms by avoiding allergens, where possible, or taking the
and Sinus Symptoms
Children are more susceptible to viruses, because they haven’t yet acquired immunities and have usually less than satisfactory personal hygiene habits. While it may seem like your little ones are constantly sniffling, don’t assume it’s just a cold. Untreated allergic sinus symptoms can escalate into dangerous breathing issues in children whose smaller airways can more easily become congested.
Our pediatric allergy doctors can determine if your child’s symptoms are due to an allergic reaction or something else and then recommend treatments that will be effective, personalized to your child’s needs. Treatments that we may propose include:
- Avoidance of the allergen, which can be relatively easy in some cases (if they are allergic to horses or camels), but nearly impossible in others, such as dust mite, fungal or air pollutant allergies
- Medication, including over the counter (OTC) or prescription antihistamines and corticosteroids
- Immunotherapy or desensitization therapies
You don’t have to resign yourself (or your children) to the
sneezing and sniffling, sinus pressure and congestion of sinus issues caused by
allergies, help is available! Contact us today at 602-242-4592 or book
an appointment online to find out how we can help.
For those unlucky Arizonans, seasonal allergies are the pits. The pollens that bring sneezing, itchy and swollen eyes, and all around misery can really put a cramp in our desert lifestyle. Many allergy sufferers will at some point wind up at doctors office for a skin prick test (SPT) to determine which pollens and allergens they are allergic to. The results of this test can help you avoid your particular triggers, whether it’s staying indoors during prime grass season or taking allergy medicine before you leave the house. The skin prick test itself is straightforward type of allergy testing, but knowing what to expect can help ease anxieties if the idea of getting this test puts you on pins and needles.
Allergy Testing – What to Expect
The first part of your appointment should be familiar. The nurse will take your height, weight and blood pressure. You’ll settle into a room and wait for the doctor. The allergist will come in and ask you questions regarding your symptoms and how you are feeling and will look in your eyes, nose and throat. He’ll also listen to your heart and lungs. This is the time to discuss how your current allergy medications are working for you and what you hope to gain from the appointment. The visit may lead to new medications or even allergy shots if your symptoms to certain pollens are severe.
After the allergy doctor talks with you, the nurse will give you some privacy so that you can strip down to your waist. You’ll put on a gown without a back and lie down on a table. When the nurse comes in, she’ll have with her all of the allergens that they will be testing.
“For seasonal allergies, you can expect us to test your body on about 50 to 60 different types of allergens, mostly grasses, weeds, trees and a few molds.”
The nurse will quickly mark your back in rows with a sharpie or dry erase marker to create a map of sorts. The allergens are all sterile and are administered using a lancet, which barely breaks the skin. It is done very quickly and is usually over in about a minute. You may experience mild discomfort or even a ticklish sensation during the process. A control, which is always histamine, will also be applied. Everyone has histamine in their body, but it can affect them differently. Certain people don’t react to histamine right away, and this means that the test may be difficult to diagnose.
You will be left for about 25 minutes while the allergens do their work and your body reacts. Once the allotted time is past, she will come back in with a chart and will check the results on your back and mark them down. Once finished, she’ll create a printout for you to keep that shows your results, and the doctor will come back in to talk to you. Your allergist will discuss your reactions to the various allergens, such as the size of the wheal and flare, which are the bumps and redness that your back will develop. He will also explain what the numbers mean for you and what treatments might be necessary going forward.
Having knowledge of what pollens and desert allergens affect your body will give you the power to ease your symptoms, whether it’s through avoidance or treatment. Allergy skin prick testing is complete and straightforward with hardly any discomfort to speak of.
Set up an appointment today for our skin allergy testing to find out what your triggers are so that you can put yourself back in the driver’s seat this summer.