Allergies (Sinusitis & Bronchitis)
The inflammation of the sinus cavities or bronchial tubes has multiple causes. Dr. Ward will help you get to the bottom of your health issue but the most common cause of sinusitis and bronchitis is allergies.
Allergies can manifest themselves at different times of year. March marks the beginning of spring allergy season. Though it may still seem a little cold in March, allergens are beginning to circulate and many people start to experience symptoms. Spring symptoms can last into the summer but the typical summer allergies are commonly known as “hay-fever” as they are triggered by grasses and weeds. In the fall, mold and ragweed are the typical culprits.
In the winter, many allergens are dormant but it is common that allergies are mistaken for colds. Dander, dust mites and year round plant life like pine trees may continue to irritate the allergy sufferer.
A visit to Dr. Ward will help you identify your specific condition but there are many things you can do on your own to help yourself or a loved one feel better. The following tips help many people control their symptoms:
Allergy tip #1: Shower at Night
To keep pollen under control, wash your hair and shower at night before you go to bed. This keeps pollen from accumulating in your hair and from transferring to your pillow case where it can cause irritation every time you lay down.
Allergy tip #2: Wash Bedding Weekly
To suppress the transfer of pollen, wash your bedding every week in hot water. A hot water wash will help remove the pollen from bedding where irritants may dwell.
Allergy Tip #3: Wear a Mask
When cleaning, dusting, or vacuuming, wear a mask and gloves to limit exposure to dust particles.
Allergy Tip #4: Carpet & Rug Cleaning
Make sure to clean the carpet by vacuuming at least twice a week and limiting the use of throw rugs. If you do have rugs, make sure they are washable and wash them weekly.
Allergy Tip #5: Keep Indoor Air Clean
Keep the indoor air clean by closing windows to reduce pollen entering the home and frequently changing filters in air conditioning units during springtime.
Allergy Tip #6: Prepare an Allergy Kit
Preparing for allergy season can help alleviate symptoms. An allergy kit is a great way to prepare to battle the pollen. Here are a few items to consider in your kit: Eye Drops, decongestants, nasal sprays, antihistamines, skin creams and lotions.
Allergy Tip #7: Over the Counter Decongestants
If stuffiness and congestion are your biggest problems, make sure to keep decongestants handy. Nasal tissues usually swell during an allergic reaction, and decongestants can help. These can come in the form of a pill or nasal spray and may include an antihistamine. Note: If you have conditions like high blood pressure, glaucoma, or thyroid disease, you should talk with me before taking decongestants.
Allergy Tip #8: Over the Counter Nasal Decongestants
Nasal spray decongestants can be helpful but shouldn’t be used for more than three days straight. Other nasal sprays may also help allergy symptoms like a nasal saline spray if your nose starts feeling dry. If you don’t experience relief, we may need to proscribe a stronger decongestant.
Allergy Tip #9: Over the Counter Antihistamines
Antihistamine pills can give you quick and powerful relief for allergy symptoms, including runny nose, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes. They work by blocking a substance called histamine, which your immune system makes in response to allergens. Again if you don’t get relief we may need to proscribe a stronger antihistamine.
Allergy Tip #10: Skin Creams and Lotions
For allergic skin reactions, keep small tubes of moisturizer and hydrocortisone cream handy. Moisturizers can soothe the dry, itchy feeling, and hydrocortisone cream eases inflammation.
Allergy Tip #11: Travel Tip
If you travel, pack a dust proof, zippered pillow cover. You’ll have a way to fend off allergy triggers whenever you spend the night away from home.
When these tips don’t help or when you feel miserable, give Dr. Ward a call for an appointment.