Common Symptoms and Causes of Nasal Allergies in Seattle and What You Can Do to Treat Them
With spring officially kicking off on March 20th, just about everyone in Seattle is excited to finally get away from the icy chill of winter. However, not everyone is so thrilled about the freshly cut grass and pollen that comes along with it.
Allergic rhinitis, more commonly referred to as nasal allergy or hay fever, is a very common condition that is estimated to affect about 50 million Americans. For those suffering from nasal allergies, the spring can feel more like a congested and runny-nosed torture.
Nasal Allergy Symptoms
Nasal allergy symptoms can cause discomfort that lasts all day and can go on for weeks at a time. Men and women suffering from nasal allergies often find it difficult to be outside for extended periods of time especially during the spring, summer and early fall. Nasal allergies are often associated with three major symptoms:
- Stuffy/Runny Nose
- Sinus Pressure or Nasal Congestion
While it may often feel like a common cold, a bowl of chicken noodle soup and a warm blanket won’t quite do the trick to treat your nasal allergy symptoms. First, you have to know what is causing your symptoms.
What Causes Nasal Allergies?
Nasal allergies are the result of your immune system unable to react properly with a given external trigger. Determining that trigger is the first step to treating your nasal allergies.
Outdoor Causes of Nasal Allergies
Nasal allergies are especially common in the spring due to the increased number of airborne particles. As flowers are blooming and everyone is out mowing their lawns, pollen easily travels around in the dry spring air. Pollen is one of the most common triggers for people suffering from nasal allergies. This is why many people’s symptoms often worsen outdoors on a sunny spring day.
Indoor Nasal Allergy Causes
Your nasal allergies can also be the result of something inside your home. Dust mites, mold spores and pet dander are commonly tied with nasal allergies and can cause problems year-round.
Treating Your Nasal Allergies in Seattle
If you are unsure of what is specifically causing your nasal allergies, a board-certified physician can perform a series of exposure tests to determine a trigger. Once you know what the cause is, there are a few things that you can do to help treat it.
Avoidance is one of the easier solutions, but it is not always the most reasonable. If you are allergic to grass or pollen, this would mean having to sit indoors while everyone else is out enjoying the spring weather. And if the problem is your cat or dog, avoidance isn’t really an option – at least not if you like your pet.
There are also several allergy medications available. Some people benefit well from brand-name allergy medications, but the effects are often short term and do not completely stop symptoms. Many times you’ll still be sniffling and sneezing with allergy medications – only a little bit less often.
For a more long-term solution to nasal allergies in Seattle, you may consider talking with your board-certified physician about allergy shots or sublingual tongue drops. These forms of allergy treatment, known as immunotherapy, work to gradually desensitize you to the cause of your allergies over time.
An Answer to Your Allergies at Northwest Face & Body
As we prepare to take on the spring, make sure to stop and smell the roses. If you end up with a runny nose or uncontrollable sneezing, give our office a call to find out how you can finally enjoy the spring the way it’s meant to be.