As the spring allergy season looms, allergy sufferers are facing the burden of combating respiratory problems brought about by this seasonal discomfort. Although most allergies come in different forms, the most common causes of allergies are particles in the air. In the United States, early springtime hay fever is usually caused by pollens of trees like maple, oak, beech, cottonwood, alder, sycamore, hickory and walnut.

Allergens and Your Body
The substance to which your immune system reacts to is called an “allergen”. You can be allergic to pollen, dust, weeds, feathers, animal dander or even food. When the allergen enters your body, the immune system produces special antibodies called histamine that cause an allergic reaction. Histamine is produced in vast amounts inside the body that immediately results to various allergic reactions like blood vessel dilation, tissue destruction, or inflammation. Allergens can be present everywhere. Commonly in the air, they can also be present in the household and can be found outdoors like mold spores in dead leaves and farm areas. These allergens are not seasonal and can aggravate one’s condition all year round.

Nasal Allergies
Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever is the most common allergic disease which includes symptoms like sneezing; itchy, watery eyes; stuffy or runny nose; and fatigue. Almost all symptoms of nasal allergies are a lot like cold symptoms, but they usually last longer. In addition, dark circles under the eyes (allergic shiners) or post nasal drip may also accompany allergic rhinitis.

Controlling Your Nasal Allergies
Symptom control is important to better manage your nasal allergies. This can be done by minimizing your exposure to identified allergens that cause havoc to your immune system. Keep your windows and doors closed during high pollen count periods. Wear a pollen mask when outdoors if necessary. Clean your surroundings and get rid of mold spores. Rinse your nasal passages with saline solutions to relieve stuffy nose.

Medications for Nasal Allergy Relief
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, the most appropriate person to evaluate your allergy problems is an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) or ENT. The ENT doctor can also examine your sinuses to determine if infection or structural abnormality (deviated septum; polyps) is contributing to the symptoms. When nasal allergies strike, patients typically take over the counter (OTC) antihistamines and OTC decongestants before consulting a physician. Although these OTC medications control some of the symptoms, they are proven to be less effective than prescribed medications, as stated by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Beat Nasal Allergies with Medicated Irrigation
Nasal irrigation has been a known ancient fix to relieve nasal congestion. It is even used as a form of hygiene. Today, perennial and allergic rhinitis sufferers have found relief in medicated nasal irrigation. This method cleanses out airborne particles and other allergens that are trapped in the nasal passages and sinus cavity. By simply using natural saline solution with a custom molded nasal irrigator bottle, patients reap the benefits of a smooth and safe nasal washing procedure. Medicated nasal irrigation prevents the buildup of excess mucus and safely drains impacted sinuses.

Prepare yourself this spring by managing your nasal allergies to the fullest. Ask your doctor about medicated nasal irrigation and learn more about it through your nearest sinus pharmacy.

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