MedHelp Urgent Care have covered the mechanism, types, signs and symptoms of allergies in our Allergies 101 series but it’s now time to deal with one of the biggest allergy-related complaint and problem: nasal congestion (also known as allergic rhinitis or ‘hay fever’).
Ranging from a mild annoyance to severe problem, nasal congestion is a condition most closely related to airborne allergies. If there’s something in the air that you are allergic to, nasal congestion will be one of your body’s first reaction to it as the nasal airway and tissues in the sinuses are the first contact point for the allergen. When the body’s immune system starts the attack on the allergen, the sinuses become irritated and inflamed- alongside any other allergic reactions. Nasal congestion is often accompanied by itchy, watery eyes.
The best way to protect your self from nasal congestion and allergic reactions is to avoid exposure to the particular allergens. However, the biggest culprit in nasal congestion caused by airborne allergies is pollen and it’s not an easy substance to avoid. In every season except winter, trees, grasses and plants produce and spread a lot of pollen in the air which can wreak havoc on those allergic to it. Ragweed in particular accounts for a large number of allergic reactions and nasal congestions.
While you can not possible cleanse the outdoors of pollen, you can protect yourself better by clearing your house and indoor environments of any airborne allergens (such as dust mite, feathers or dander) that could cause nasal congestion.
Nasal congestion is a classic sign of airborne allergy but you can also get it from another allergy type such as a particular food, pet or drug allergy. Fortunately, avoiding a particular food type or cats is easier than avoiding pollen when you go outside!
Avoiding the allergens can go a long way in preventing nasal congestion and other allergic reactions, but if your nasal congestion is severe and persisting, you should visit us at MedHelp and see a doctor for your condition. Possible treatments include over-the-counter or prescribed drugs, nasal sprays, eye drops and immunotherapy (where a series of injections are administered to you over a long period of time to make you resistant to certain allergens).
As always, our team of doctors and trained medical staff at the MedHelp Urgent Care can provide you with the treatment and advice you need to protect yourself from nasal congestion and other allergic reactions.