What is Allergy ?
Known as Hay fever, or Allergic Rhinitis , is caused by an allergy to tree, grass or weed pollen or to mold spores. The name “hay fever” is used to describe allergic rhinitis because hay (or grass pollen) was the first allergen identified as a cause of allergy symptoms, and patients often feel feverish. If severe and untreated, hay fever may trigger asthma or lead to other serious conditions, such as sinusitis and otitis media (inner ear infections). hay fever can be a seasonal or year-round health problem.
Common rhinitis signs and symptoms include :
- Runny or stuffy nose; sneezing
- Watery Eyes
- Pressure in the nose and cheeks
- Itchy nose, eyes, and roof of mouth
- Ear blockage
- Dark circles or puffiness under the eyes.
Nasal Polyps & Allergies
- What Are Nasal Polyps?
Nasal polyps are tissue structures shaped like grapes that hang in the nasal passages. They are usually connected to the lining of the sinuses. Polyps are swollen tissues that originate in inflamed sinuses. In other words, the mucus membranes (lining tissues) of the airways are affected by inflammation. This airway inflammation can involve only one part of the airways or the entire length of the airways. It may be present in only the sinuses and nose or the airways to the lungs as well (asthma). Nasal polyps are not cancerous (i.e., they are benign).
- Who Gets Nasal Polyps?
Nasal polyps rarely occur in children. If nasal polyps are found in a child, a condition such as cystic fibrosis may be present. Even in adults, nasal polyps are much less common than other types of sinus problems such as seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever) or perennial (year-round) allergic rhinitis.
We don’t know what causes nasal polyps. People with nasal polyps can have an allergy, although it doesn’t seem to be an important cause. Polyps can affect a number of family members but this is rare; in most cases, nasal polyps are not hereditary.
- What Are The Symptoms?
The symptoms you might notice if nasal polyps are present are a feeling of blockage and fullness in the nose and a loss in your sense of smell. You may also experience nasal discharge and sneezing, but these are often less of a problem.
- What Is The Treatment For Nasal Polyps?
Symptoms can be relieved by shrinking the inflamed nasal and sinus tissues with the use of Prednisone ® tablets for a few weeks. The usual dose is about 30 mg (six tablets) per day. If this does not provide a satisfactory result, polypectomy (surgical removal of the polyps) by an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat surgeon) can provide relief for a while. Long-term use of steroid nasal sprays (such as Beconase ® , Nasacort ® , Rhinalar ® , and Vancenase ® can sometimes reduce the size of polyps and reduce the risk of recurrence after treatment with Prednisone ® or surgery. Your physician may prescribe higher doses of steroid nasal sprays if you have nasal polyps other than with other conditions such as hay fever.
If sinus disease (sinusitis) is also present, treatment with antibiotics and Prednisone ® may be prescribed. In addition, vasoconstrictor nose sprays (decongestants) can be bought over the counter in pharmacies and can be used for short periods (five to seven days) to relieve nasal congestion. Sometimes a nose spray with just saline can help clean out the nose prior to use of other sprays.
It has been shown that people with nasal polyps and asthma may experience intolerance to aspirin and aspirin-containing products, which can result in severe asthma flares. Therefore, these medications must be avoided. Of course, if there is coexisting cough, wheeze, or breathlessness, the asthma must also be treated.