Ahhh Choooo! Is it Allergies?

O'Rourke-18

Hampton Roads, Virginia is one of the top two regions of the country for Allergic Rhinitis.  Tucked between the ocean and the mountains with a temperate climate, allergens swirl through the area all year long.  Many people experience a flare of their allergy symptoms during one or more seasons, but some people have symptoms year-round.

The body’s immune system inappropriately responds to things in the environment like dust and pollen as if they were parasites, which is why it can be difficult to tell if you have a cold or allergies.  You may experience increased sinus congestion with runny nose, post-nasal drainage with sore throat and cough, headache, pressure in your ears, and even muffled hearing and dizziness due to trapped fluid behind your ear drums.  For these symptoms, an over-the-counter nasal steroid spray can help to decrease your sinus congestion and pressure.  You may experience symptoms of high histamine levels like itchy watery eyes, itchy ears, itchy nose, sneezing, and hives.  Over-the-counter antihistamines can help with these symptoms.

Prescription medication is available to suppress the part of the immune system responsible for causing allergic rhinitis, which can also help with related conditions like asthma and eczema.  There are also herbal supplements, such as stinging nettle, quercetin, and bromelain, which have been shown to decrease allergy symptoms by promoting a healthy immune system and decreasing inflammation.  Finally, immunotherapy can slowly decrease your response to certain allergens through controlled exposure.  You can get allergy shots or drops under your tongue.  You may even benefit from a natural form of immunotherapy by consuming local honey, since it contains local allergens.

If you’re suffering from allergy symptoms and want to explore your treatment options, I can help you!

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