Have you ever noticed, when you cough or sneeze, most people’s first assumption is that you have a cold? If you are like most allergy sufferers, you’ve frequently had to explain that, no, a cold or flu is not the cause of your symptoms. What causes respiratory allergies in the first place?

Why Do Some People Have Nasal Allergies?

Our immune systems detect and protect us against invaders like bacteria and viruses. However, for reasons we do not understand, some people’s immune systems react to otherwise harmless triggers such as dander, dust and pollen. When this happens, your body goes into many of the same defensive actions that it would when you were suffering from a cold or bacterial infection. The symptoms that you suffer are part of your body’s defense.

What Are Some Common Respiratory Allergy Symptoms?

According to researchers, around 8.2 percent of adults in the US suffer from hay fever or other nasal allergies. If you suspect you have allergies, you can find out by getting an allergy test. You may have allergies if you suffer regularly from allergy symptoms.

Signs of respiratory allergies include:

  • sneezing
  • watery or itchy eyes
  • congestion
  • cough or sore throat
  • runny nose

What Should You Do if You Have Allergies?

If you and your doctor determine nasal allergies are causing your symptoms, you have several options for allergy treatment. Many people find they are able to control symptoms effectively with the use of allergy medicine. Modern antihistamines can block histamine production without making you feel sleepy or groggy like antihistamines from the past. There are a number of antihistamines available over the counter or with a prescription.

Other people find their allergy symptoms are best managed with nasal steroids. These steroids are available in the form of nasal sprays that apply the steroids directly to the affected sinus tissue.These are essentially a topical medication, they are less likely to cause side effects than other steroid medications.

Many other people find they prefer longer lasting treatment for their respiratory allergies. Over time, they may find allergy medicines do not work for them as well as they did in the past. In some cases, people prefer to seek out long lasting treatment so that they are not reliant on daily medication.

Allergy shots are an option for people who have frequent or severe nasal allergies. Administered over a sustained period of time, allergy shots can reduce your sensitivity to allergens and reduce your need for allergy medicine. In many cases, people are able to fully stop taking antihistamines.

If you often get a sinus infection during allergy season, you may also have issues with your sinuses. Some people have sinus blockages that can make allergy-related symptoms worse. Treatments like balloon sinuplasty can help open passages to give you relief.

Are seasonal allergies causing you grief? Our team at American Sinus Institute can help identify what causes your allergy reactions and create a plan of care to help you breathe better. Get in touch today and book an appointment.