Dealing with one bout of sinusitis is tough enough, but enduring repeated episodes can really make you feel miserable. 

Sinusitis is more than just a stuffy nose; the sinus pain and inflammation can trigger headaches, interfere with getting restorative sleep, and put a wrench in productivity. Many aspects of daily life suffer when you can’t breathe comfortably through your nose due to sinusitis. 

Here at Riviera Allergy Medical Center, Dr. Ulrike Ziegner helps patients find effective solutions when they’re dealing with allergies and other issues involving the immune system. When our team hears that a patient is having recurrent sinusitis, we may recommend allergy testing. 

Undiagnosed allergies such as hay fever can cause recurrent sinusitis.

Ongoing sinusitis linked to nasal allergies

In many cases, undiagnosed allergies are behind the ongoing nasal irritation and swelling in recurrent sinusitis. Additionally, the ongoing irritation can cause small, noncancerous growths called nasal polyps to develop in the tissues that line the sinuses and nasal passage. 

The link between hay fever and sinusitis

Allergic rhinitis, more commonly known as hay fever, is a respiratory allergy. If you have hay fever, your immune system overreacts to a trigger that you breathe in. The most common offenders that cause hay fever symptoms include:

  • Pollen
  • Dust mites
  • Mold
  • Pet dander
  • Insects

When you breathe in these tiny particles, the body triggers an immune response that involves releasing histamine, among other things. This immune reaction is responsible for symptoms such as:

  • Sinus inflammation
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sinus pain

Left undiagnosed and untreated, it’s easy to see how hay fever can cause recurrent and ongoing sinusitis.

Allergy testing

When you’re having recurrent bouts of sinusitis, it’s wise to talk with an allergy specialist. If sinusitis tends to strike during spring and summer season, you may have a pollen allergy. Patients who have year-round sinus issues may be dealing with a dust mite, mold or pet  allergies, for instance. 

Allergy testing can help determine if you have a nasal allergy, in which case allergy treatment is the best way to control your symptoms and reduce recurrent or chronic episodes of sinusitis. 

For most patients, allergy testing involves simple skin prick testing: A tiny amount of different allergens are pricked into your skin to observe for a reaction. 

Treating hay fever brings sinusitis relief

If you test positive for hay fever, you’re in good hands. Dr. Ziegner discusses treatment options to help rein in your sinus symptoms so you feel better and breathe easier. Immunotherapy can provide long-lasting relief from hay fever symptoms and put an end to allergy-related sinusitis.

Immunotherapy retrains the immune system so that over time, it gradually loses sensitivity to the allergens that are sparking the reaction. It’s shown to significantly reduce, and in many cases eliminate, allergy symptoms and the need for allergy medication.

In some cases, anatomical issues with the nose are responsible for bouts of sinusitis. 

For example, a severely deviated septum can cause mucus to build up and block the nasal passages, providing a fertile breeding ground for bacteria to flourish and cause sinusitis. 

A deviated septum is considered a significant risk factor for ongoing sinusitis issues. 

If your allergy tests are negative, Dr. Ziegner may refer you to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor, or otolaryngologist, for further investigation to check for issues such as a deviated septum. 

Don’t let recurrent or ongoing bouts of sinusitis diminish your quality of life. Start taking steps today to find answers and solutions. Contact us at Riviera Allergy Medical Center to request an appointment with Dr. Ziegner today.

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