Seasonal allergies go by different names, such as allergic rhinitis or hay fever, and they can lead to problems like sinusitis. By any name, these conditions cause symptoms that make you truly miserable for long periods of time. Pardeep Rihal, MD, at West Houston Allergy & Asthma, which has offices in Katy, Richmond, and Houston, Texas, has years of experience accurately identifying your allergens and providing effective, individualized care so you can get back to enjoying life. To schedule an appointment, call one of the locations or use the online booking feature.
All types of allergies develop when your immune system mistakenly identifies a harmless substance as something that’s dangerous to your health. Every time you encounter that allergen, your immune system releases histamines, which in turn cause allergy symptoms.
If you have seasonal allergies, your allergens are grass, tree, and weed pollen. Since different plants release pollen at specific times of the year, you’ll have symptoms during certain seasons. Tree pollen causes spring allergies, grass pollen is the biggest allergen in late spring and summer, and ragweed pollen takes over in late summer and fall.
Mold is another seasonal allergen that tends to release spores from midsummer to early fall. In some climates, however, mold grows all year, causing year-round allergies.
Seasonal allergies cause one or more of these symptoms:
Some patients with seasonal allergies develop itchy skin or swelling around their eyes.
Sinusitis occurs when at least one of your sinuses becomes inflamed. Each sinus contains membranes that produce mucus, then the mucus drains into your nasal passages through a small opening. Inflamed membranes block the opening, trapping mucus inside the sinus. That’s when an infection can develop.
Sinusitis is most often caused by a viral infection, usually when viruses from the common cold or flu get into your sinuses. However, allergies are also a top cause of sinusitis.
Allergic sinusitis may develop due to pollen, but it’s also caused by exposure to airborne allergens such as dust, mold, and animal dander.
If you have sinusitis, you experience symptoms such as:
Your ability to smell may also be affected by chronic sinusitis.
If your sinusitis is caused by allergies, then treating your allergies also improves your sinusitis. When sinusitis is caused by a virus, or a bacterial infection develops, you need medications to relieve your symptoms. Should your sinusitis turn into a chronic condition, additional in-office procedures are available that clear the sinuses and produce long-lasting results.
Before treating your allergies, you’ll have a skin test to determine your exact allergens. Then Dr. Rihal develops an individualized treatment that includes a plan to avoid your allergens and medications to relieve symptoms. Some patients are good candidates for immunotherapy, which desensitizes your immune system and prevents allergic reactions.
If you suffer from symptoms like a congested or runny nose and sneezing, call West Houston Allergy & Asthma or schedule an appointment online.