January is the time when most of us get started on our plans for the new year, looking forward to the sweet-smelling flowers and bright green foliage of spring! Unfortunately with that beautiful time comes allergy season.
If you’re dealing with sinus problems, choosing the right ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor can make all the difference in the world. Here at Glatz Group, our sinus doctors can provide the care and services you need to get back to feeling your best.
Below, you can learn more about some of the most common causes of seasonal allergies.
Pollen! One of the Leading Causes of Allergies
Allergies may come in many forms, from hay fever in the summer and autumn to indoor dust, mold, and pet dander year-round. However, one of the leading causes of year-round allergies is pollen:
- Powdery Pest — Pollen is a fine, powdery substance produced by plants like trees and grass, and is usually yellow in color. It’s the stuff that sticks to your cars and causes the roadways to change color after a particularly heavy rainstorm.
- Achoo! Pollen’s Effects — Pollen is generally harmless unless you have an allergy to it. These allergies can result in sneezing, watery eyes, itchy eyes, coughing, sinus ear pressure, and runny noses.
- When To Get Help — In some severe cases of allergies, exposure to pollen can result in wheezing, headaches, post-nasal drip, and shortness of breath. Depending on your symptoms, some people seek help from a sinus doctor or an allergist.
Thankfully, there are a few simple steps that you can take to protect yourself from the sinus infections often caused by pollen.
Is the Problem Pollen or Another Allergen?
If your allergy symptoms and sinus problems last throughout the year, you may have an allergy to something indoors. Year-round allergies, especially those suffered primarily indoors, are most common with people who are allergic to mold spores, pet dander, dust, and even cockroaches.
On the other hand, if your allergies occur primarily outside, you may be allergic to various types of grasses, trees, weeds, flowers, or certain types of mold. The best way to determine the cause of your allergies is to get an allergy test performed by an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor (ENT), also called an otolaryngologist.
In order to conduct the test, your ENT doctor will perform either a skin test or an allergen-specific blood test. After the test, your doctor may prescribe an antihistamine, or in severe cases, a balloon sinuplasty, a type of sinus surgery.
Many allergies are passed down from family member to family member, making the process of narrowing down what you’re allergic to easier if it’s been previously diagnosed in a close family member.
Most Common Allergens During Each Season
Most springtime allergies are a result of various types of trees. In Northern America, these trees can include birch, cedar, alder, horse, chestnut, willow, and poplar.
The biggest contender for summertime allergies is actually grasses. In Northern America, these grasses include ryegrass, Timothy grass, and certain types of weeds. During the summer months, it’s also common for people to be allergic to hay, as it’s seasonally cut at this time. This gives summer seasonal allergies the nickname, “hay fever.”
Common plants that drop their pollen in the autumn months include nettles, mugworts, sorrels, fat hens, and plantains. The most common allergen in this season, however, is ragweed. Ragweed is an invasive plant that is hard to kill, and the symptoms of this allergy can be sometimes more severe than allergens in other seasons.
Outdoor allergies usually die down during the winter, as many flowering plants go dormant. However, the leaves falling from the tops of trees can harbor mold, which can trigger allergies. Most allergens in this season result from being indoors more often, including mold from poor ventilation or water damage, dust mites, and pet dander.
In order to combat these allergens, be sure to wash your clothes and bedsheets often, as well as rinse down you and your pets after being outside.
Sinus Doctors Here To Help You Deal With Seasonal Allergies
Your local sinus doctor and ENT specialists at Glatz Group can help you get relief from your sinus problems, regardless of the season. If you’re dealing with persistent symptoms, reach out to us today for a consultation and to start the process of taking control of your seasonal allergies.