Allergy

What Is Hay Fever?

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Texas is one of the leading allergy capitals in the US, and this time of year is especially problematic for many people. The ragweed is in full bloom, and it is a common trigger for a disorder commonly known as hay fever. What exactly is hay fever? Let’s take a closer look.

What Is Hay Fever?

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is a common allergic disorder characterized by excessive immune system responses to pollen and other substances. There are two types of hay fever: seasonal and perennial. Many people who suffer from seasonal hay fever experience symptoms during the fall when ragweed is in full bloom. Others suffer in the spring as the result of tree pollens or during the summer because of weed and grass pollens. People who suffer from perennial, or year-round, hay fever are usually allergic to indoor allergens like animal danger or dust mites.

What Causes Hay Fever?

The symptoms of hay fever occur as the result of an abnormal immune response. Inhaled pollen and other allergens are usually harmless, but some peoples’ immune systems seem them as dangerous substances. This triggers your body to release substances like histamine that cause inflammation in your sinuses, nasal passages and eye lids. The abnormal immune response is also to blame for other symptoms like sneezing.

How Is Hay Fever Treated?

The treatment for hay fever varies depending on the frequency and severity of your allergic attacks. Common treatment options include avoiding allergy triggers, saline sprays, nasal irrigation and over-the-counter allergy medications.

In cases of severe allergies, your doctor may recommend immunotherapy. This process helps lower your response to allergens. Your doctor may prescribe other medications as necessary.

Treatment for Hay Fever in Brownsville

At Sinus & Snoring Centers of Texas, we offer a complete range of allergy services, including treatment for hay fever in Brownsville. If you are tired of suffering through your allergies, contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 956-504-5360.

Signs of Allergies in Children and What To Do About Them

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, allergies are becoming increasingly prevalent among children. Cases of allergies are steadily rising, so it’s important for parents to recognize the signs of allergies in children. Allergies may be present at birth or develop at any time, and if you or your partner suffers from allergies, your children are more likely to as well.

If you think that you child may be suffering from allergies, here are a few signs to watch out for.

signs of allergies in children

“allergies” flickr photo by jfl1066 https://flickr.com/photos/65047661@N00/4603767590 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Signs of Allergies in Children

If your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms, he or she may be suffering from allergies. While some of these symptoms are similar to the symptoms of a cold or the flu, pay attention to how long they last. Symptoms that don’t clear up on their own within about a week are likely caused by allergies.

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Wheezing or shallow breathing
  • Runny nose with clear discharge
  • Rashes or hives

Pay close attention to when the symptoms occur, and take note of possible triggers. If your child starts sneezing while outdoors, for example, make a note of exactly where they were and what they were doing. Also make note if symptoms seem to flare up around pets or other known possible allergens.

The most possible airborne allergens affecting children include:

  • Dust mites
  • Mold
  • Pets

What to Do If You Think Your Child Has Allergies

If you think your child may be suffering from allergies, visit an allergy specialist. At Sinus and Snoring Centers of Texas, we perform comprehensive allergy testing to determine your child’s triggers. From there, we formulate a plan to help ease your child’s symptoms. Allergies can’t be cured, but avoiding the symptoms is possible.

To schedule an appointment or to learn more about the signs of allergies in children, please contact Sinus and Snoring Centers of Texas today by calling 956-504-5360.

Is it Allergies or a Sinus Infection? Here's How to Tell!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Dealing with headaches, coughing, sneezing and sinus drainage? If so, determining the cause isn’t easy. You could be suffering from allergies, or it could be a sinus infection. Because other ailments have similar symptoms, it may even be difficult for your doctor to determine which one you’re dealing with. Of course, relief is dependent on the proper treatment. Here is some advice to help you determine whether it’s allergies or a sinus infection.

Allergies or a Sinus Infection?Allergy or Sinus Infection

If you’ve experienced a sudden onset of nasal and sinus symptoms, without a recent spike in exposure to allergens, you are likely dealing with a viral or bacterial sinus infection. Symptoms lasting three to five days before resolving on their own are usually caused by a viral infection. You may want to take medicine to manage your symptoms, but the virus itself will clear on its own.

Symptoms lasting longer than seven days are likely caused by a bacterial sinus infection. Patients suffering from a bacterial sinus infection benefit from antibiotic therapy.

If the start of your symptoms coincides with a spike in known allergens – such a ragweed, tree pollen, etc. – and persists for weeks, allergies are probably the culprit. You may notice that your symptoms wax and wane as allergy counts vary from day to day. You may notice, for example, that you feel better on a rainy day because there is less pollen in the air.

Symptoms that last for months on end but do not coincide with allergy seasons may be caused by a chronic sinus infection. Unfortunately, this type of infection will not clear on its own, even with antibiotic therapy. However, balloon sinuplasty is a simple, in-office procedure that resolves chronic sinus infections.

Allergy and Sinus Infection Treatment

The treatment protocol varies depending upon whether you are dealing with allergies or a sinus infection. At Sinus and Snoring Centers of Texas, we perform thorough evaluations to determine the underlying causes of our patients’ discomfort. Once we know what’s causing your problem, we will recommend a treatment protocol that will provide the relief you need. To schedule a consultation, please call 956-504-5360.

What You Need to Know About Ragweed Allergies

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

If you find yourself reaching for the tissue box more often at this time of year, you are far from alone. For more than 36 million Americans, falls means sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and the other unpleasant symptoms associated with seasonal allergic rhinitis, more commonly known as hay fever.

Ragweed is the third and final phase of the annual pollination process, and it is the number one cause of hay fever symptoms in the United States.

Hay Fever

What Is Ragweed?

Ragweed is a flowering yellow weed that’s a member of the Aster family. It flourishes even in soils that can’t support other vegetation and during dry, hot weather. When dry, hot weather continues through late summer, pollen dispersal is extremely high. Because of the high temperatures and relatively low humidity in Texas, ragweed flourishes in the Houston area.

In Texas, ragweed pollination lasts for six to eight weeks from mid-August through November. The peak, however, usually falls in mid-September. During the fall, ragweed produces an astonishing 100 million tons of pollen every single year. It’s no wonder so many people suffer from hay fever!

Preventing Hay Fever

The best way to avoid hay fever is to minimize your exposure to ragweed pollen. Avoid the outdoors between 5 and 10 AM, and don’t go outside on hot, dry, windy days. If you need to go out, it’s best to do so in the late afternoon or following a heavy rain.

After coming in from outdoors, shower and change your clothes immediately. Keep your windows closed at all times, and use your air conditioner to keep your home cool. Make sure your filter is clean.

Hay Fever Relief

If you’re suffering from hay fever, antihistamines, decongestants and steroid nose sprays may provide the relief you need. For help with hay fever in Brownsville and other Brownsville allergy services call Sinus & Snoring Centers of Texas today at 956-504-5360.

Recognizing the Signs of Anaphylactic Shock

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Anaphylactic shock, also known as anaphylaxis, is a life-threatening allergic reaction beginning in the immune system. The body releases an antibody known as Immunoglobulin E to fight off an allergen that is potentially dangerous. In some cases, this antibody can trigger extreme reactions in the body.

When this happens, anaphylactic shock can occur. To avoid a devastating outcome, it is crucial to understand the signs of anaphylactic shock and know how to treat an individual who is suffering from anaphylaxis.

Signs of Anaphylactic Shock

According to Mayo Clinic, the signs of anaphylactic shock include:

  • Skin reactions, such as hives, pale or flushed skin, or itching
  • The sensation of a lump in the throat
  • A feeing of warmth
  • Airway construction caused by a swollen tongue or throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Weak, rapid pulse
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

What Causes Anaphylaxis?

There are several common allergens that can trigger anaphylactic shock in some people, including:

  • Pollen
  • Nuts
  • Dairy
  • Shellfish
  • Seeds
  • Insect stings
  • Medications

In some situations, exercise can also trigger anaphylactic shock when then activity occurs following exposure to an allergen.

How to Treat Anaphylactic Shock Signs of Anaphylactic Shock

If you or someone you know is experiencing anaphylaxis, seek immediately medical attention. Individuals who suffer from known serious allergies should always carry epinephrine, most often in the form of an EpiPen. When someone is in anaphylactic shock, the EpiPen is used to inject epinephrine through the outer thigh into the muscle.

When administered promptly, it can reverse anaphylactic shock and ensure that the heart continues to beat. However, it is still necessary to seek immediate medical attention after the medication is administered.

It is possible to develop a life-threatening allergy at any time in your life, so it’s important to recognize the signs of anaphylactic shock and understand what to do in an emergency. If you suffer from even mild allergies, comprehensive allergy testing is recommended. Making yourself aware of your allergies can help you avoid a potentially deadly situation.

For help dealing with your allergies, contact Sinus & Snoring Centers of Texas today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Khetarpal.

Dealing with Spring Allergies

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Spring has sprung, and if you’re one of the millions of allergy sufferers, you’re probably dealing with swollen, itchy eyes, a runny nose and maybe a sore throat. An allergy to pollen is one of the most common allergies, and for many people, it can be debilitating.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to manage your spring allergies. Keep these tips for dealing with spring allergies in mind to ease your suffering.

How to Manage Spring Allergies

Dealing with Spring Allergies

Need help dealing with spring allergies? Contact us today!

Limit Your Time Outdoors

During the spring, trees release billions of pollen grains into the air. When you inhale them, they can trigger an allergic reaction. Staying inside as much as possible limits your exposure. It’s especially wise to avoid time in the outdoors on windy days and during the early morning hours as pollen counts are highest at these times.

When you are outdoors, we recommend wearing sunglasses or glasses to keep pollen out of your eyes. If you need to mow the lawn or work in the garden, wear a filter mask. When you head back indoors, take a shower, wash your hair and change your clothes right away to avoid spreading pollen throughout your home.

Allergy-Proof Your Home

Making a few simple changes around your house could help you breathe easier during peak allergy season. Keep your windows and doors closed, and cool your home using an air conditioner rather than a fan to avoid drawing pollen inside your home.

Remove your shoes at the door, and ask all guests to do the same. Vacuum your floors regularly using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. Don’t dry your sheets or clothes outside because line-dried items collect pollen.

Seek Allergy Treatment

If you regularly suffer from allergies that impact your overall quality of life, seek help from an allergy specialist. Numerous allergy services are available and could help you live a life free from the symptoms of allergies. Check out our Sinus Symptom Checker to assess the severity of your symptoms.

For allergy treatment in Brownsville, contact Sinus & Snoring Centers of Texas today by calling 956-504-5360. Don’t let allergies control your life; let us develop an allergy treatment plan that will put you back in control!

Things You Need to Know about Allergy Shots

Friday, February 26th, 2016

If you’re one of the countless people who suffers from pollen allergies, you may be dreading the arrival of spring, and you might be considering allergy shots to make the season a bit more tolerable.

For many people, allergy shots are extremely effective, but there are a few things you need to know. Keep reading to learn what to expect when undergoing immunotherapy for your allergies.

Beginning ImmunotherapyWhat You Need to Know About Allergy Shots

When you first begin immunotherapy, you will be given injections at the lowest dose and gradually work up to the highest does. In the beginning, you will need shots once or even twice per week. In time, doses will be spread further apart.

Before Your Injection

You should always take an antihistamine at least 30 minutes before your appointment. Doing so will help with any symptoms that you may experience as the result of the shot. If you noticed any unusual symptoms following your last injection, let you doctor or nurse know prior to the administration of your next dose in case adjustments need to be made. Also, let someone know if you’re taking any new medications.

Don’t engage in exercise or strenuous physical activity before your shot. Increased blood flow and heart rate could cause the shot to circulate through your system faster than it should. You should also avoid exercise for at least two hours after receiving an allergy injection.

After Your Appointment

Prepare to stay in your doctor’s waiting room for 20 to 30 minutes following your injection. This is required to ensure your safety in the event of an allergic reaction. If you experience any usual symptoms during this time or after you leave, it is important to let your doctor or a nurse know right away.

It can take several months for the effects of immunotherapy to become apparent. The entire course of treatment usually lasts three to five years, and most patients do not notice allergy relief until they have been receiving injections for at least three to six months.

To learn more about allergy shots and how immunotherapy can help you enjoy a life free from the symptoms of allergies, please call Sinus & Snoring Centers of Texas today at 956-504-5360.

Causes of Fall Allergies

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

Fall has officially arrived, and for many people, the changing of seasons has caused sniffling and sneezing from allergies. Though fall allergy triggers are different from the triggers that are prevalent during the spring and summer, they can cause just as many symptoms. Fortunately, it is possible to determine your exact allergy triggers and find ways to manage – or even eliminate – your symptoms.

Fall 2015

For many people who suffer from allergy symptoms during the fall, the culprit is ragweed. This weed typically releases pollen from August through October, and the pollen can travel on the wind for hundreds of miles. If you are allergic to spring plants, there is a good chance that you have ragweed allergies as well. In fact, roughly 75% of people who have spring allergies are also allergic to ragweed.

Mold is another common trigger in the fall. In addition to growing in damp places in your home, such as bathrooms or the basement, mold spores also grow in wet places outdoors. Piles of soggy leaves are ideal hosts. Kids may also suffer from mold-related allergies during the fall months as mold is common in schools.

Last but not least, dust mites can also cause sneezing, coughing and runny noses. Though they are most common during the humid summer months, dust mites can also be stirred while tackling your fall cleaning projects or if you need to turn on your heating system.

Allergy Symptoms and Diagnosis

Sometimes, it can be difficult to differentiate between allergies and a cold. There are some of the most common symptoms of allergies:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny Nose
  • Coughing
  • Itchy or Watery Eyes
  • Itchy Nose
  • Dark Circles Under the Eyes

At Sinus & Snoring Centers of Texas, we have a couple methods for diagnosing allergies. Most often, we will perform a skin test to see which allergens cause a reaction. Blood tests may also be used, but in general, the skin test is more accurate.

Treating Fall Allergies

There a number of ways to treat allergies and manage your symptoms. We may recommend nasal steroids or non-sedating antihistamines. For those who suffer from severe allergies, immunotherapy is an extremely effective treatment option.

You can also do several things to reduce your exposure to common allergens. Keeping your home clean is extremely important. Vacuum regularly using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to remove dust mites from your floors and furniture. You should also wash all bedding in hot water or bleach at least every 10 days. Keep damp areas, like bathrooms and basements, well-ventilated to reduce mold growth. Keep windows and doors closed as often as possible to help keep outdoor allergens out.

Allergy Treatment in Brownsville

A trip to the drugstore will provide you with an overwhelming number of options for treating your allergies. Some work, and others don’t. For true relief from your symptoms, visit Sinus & Snoring Centers of Texas for allergy treatment in Brownsville. We will work tirelessly to determine your exact allergy triggers and recommend a course of treatment that will allow you to live free from your symptoms.

To learn more or to schedule your appointment with Dr. Khetarpal, please call 956-504-5360 today.

Choosing the Right Over-the-Counter Allergy Medication

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

After two years of drought conditions, recent rains in Texas are causing an increased amount of pollen and mold. For many of our patients, the increase in pollen and mold means an increase in allergy symptoms. Before you run to the drug store to pick up over-the-counter allergy medicine, take a few minutes to educate yourself so you buy the product that best suits your needs.

Keep in mind that over-the-counter medication should not be used as an alternative to seeking medical attention, especially if you are experiencing sever symptoms.

Over-the-Counter Allergy MedicationAllergy Treatment | Allergy Testing | Allergy Shots | Allergy Drops | Brownsville TX | Edinburg TX | Rio Grande Valley

As soon as you set foot in the allergy remedy aisle at your local drug store, you’ll be greeted with a barrage of products all promising to make your symptoms a thing of the past.

With so many options, how do you know which one to choose?

For starters, safety must always be a top concern. Over-the-counter allergy medications are generally safe, but some carry more risks than others. In general, watch out for products with “D”. The “D” indicates that the product contains pseudoephedrine. For some people, it can cause increased blood pressure. You could also experience rebound congestion when you stop taking medication that contains pseudoephedrine. These products are best suited to young adults, and they should only be taken when symptoms are at their absolute worst.

Other prescription antihistamines that do not carry the “D” indicator, including former prescriptions like Claritin, Allegra and Zyrtec are safer and generally cause fewer side effects

If you’re struggling to deal with congestion, over-the-counter mucus thinners like Mucinex may provide some relief. Nasal decongestion sprays, including Dristan and Afrin, are also available, but they should be used sparingly and only to treat severe congestion as there is a possibility of becoming addicted.

Saline rinses are an excellent choice for allergy sufferers. Using a preservative-free saline rinse each day flushes up to 30% of the pollen out of your nasal passages, which can greatly decrease your allergy symptoms.

When OTC Medicine Isn’t Enough

Unfortunately, over-the-counter medications are not right for everyone, and they do not cure or treat chronic sinus infections. If your sinuses are infected, an over-the-counter medicine may temporarily mask your symptoms, but it will not eliminate the underlying problem. In fact, treating only the symptoms with OTC medicine could allow the infection to get worse.

If you suffer from chronic sinusitis or severe allergies, we can help you get to the root of your problem and provide you with the solutions you need to live symptom free. At the Sinus & Snoring Centers of Texas, we are here to perform tests to accurately diagnose your problem and provide the treatments that are best suited to your needs. Give us a call today at 956-686-6880 or 956-504-5360 to schedule your consultation.