Hay fever is an allergy that causes cold-like symptoms. Unlike a cold, however, hay fever is not caused by a virus—it is caused by an allergic response to allergens found either indoors or outside. Examples of things that can lead to this include pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and a whole list of other commonly found irritants. The signs and symptoms of hay fever tend to start immediately after exposure to a specific allergy-causing substance, or “allergen,” including:
- Runny nose and nasal congestion
- Watery or itchy eyes
- Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
- Sinus pressure and facial pain
- Swollen, blue-colored skin under the eyes
- Decreased sense of smell or taste
With non-severe hay fever symptoms, over-the-counter medications have been found to help. If you are finding the symptoms unbearable, you might want to go get prescription medications. A lot of people get the best relief from a combination of medications.
Learn more about allergy evaluation and treatment at Westwood.
When you have a runny nose, you will find mucus either coming out of your nose or dripping down the back of your throat. The latter is called post-nasal drip. This is typically triggered by cold, flu, allergies, or sinusitis. The drip can cause more than an annoying—it can cause irritation due to constantly feeling the need to cough or clear your throat. The liquid also contains inflammatory substances, which can be especially bothersome at night. In fact, postnasal drip is the most common cause of chronic cough, and you could be left with many sleepless nights and even a hoarse voice. Don’t drive yourself crazy—you can do something about it!
Chronic sinusitis is a common condition wherein the area around nasal passages, or sinuses, become swollen. This can last for eight weeks or more, despite store-bought and other usual treatment attempts. Chronic sinusitis and acute sinusitis have similar signs and symptoms, however, acute sinusitis is a temporary infection and is often associated with a cold. You must have at least two of the following signs and symptoms for a diagnosis of chronic sinusitis to be made:
- Drainage of a thick, yellow or greenish discharge from the nose or down the back of the throat
- Nasal obstruction or congestion, causing difficulty breathing through your nose
- Pain, tenderness and swelling around your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead
- Reduced sense of smell and taste
The goal of treating chronic sinusitis is to reduce sinus inflammation, keep nasal passages draining, eliminate the underlying cause, and reduce the number of future flare-ups.
Learn more about procedures available for severe chronic sinusitis at Westwood.