When nose or sinus problems keep you from breathing properly, it can make you feel miserable. If you are suffering from a nasal, allergy or sinus condition, Baptist Health offers innovative treatment options that can provide relief and improve your quality of life.
Our ear, nose and throat specialists are experts in diagnosing and treating a variety of conditions including allergic rhinitis, loss of smell, nasal polyps and tumors, nosebleeds, nasal obstruction, snoring, sinusitis and more.
Is it allergies or sinus infection?
Allergies and sinus issues are often mistaken for one another, but treatments for each are different. Frequent sinus pain and pressure could indicate that your sinuses are obstructed, and over-the-counter nasal decongestants and antihistamines may not provide lasting relief. Finding out the underlying cause of your symptoms is an important first step to finding lasting relief.
Common sinusitis symptoms include:
- Pain around your eyes or forehead
- Headaches that worsen when you bend over
- Pressure that increases in cold or damp weather
- Fatigue or an inability to concentrate
- Loss of taste and smell
Common allergy symptoms include:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Scratchy or sore throat
- Coughing from a postnasal drip
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Sneezing and nasal congestion
- Ear or sinus pressure
What can you do to reduce your sinus or allergy symptoms?
Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is a common allergic disorder that causes your body’s immune system to overreact to certain substances. This overreaction can inflame your sinuses and nasal passages, and causes them to itch and swell. If you have occasional sinus and allergy symptoms, these effective steps can help you keep them in check:
- Keep pets out of the bedroom. Prevent pets from sleeping in your bed, as fabric often absorbs allergens. If that’s not an option, consider buying special, allergen-resistant bedding.
- Buy a HEPA filter. Set up a HEPA filter to trap tiny airborne pollutants, such as pollen, dust mites and pet dander.
- Control your humidity. Use a humidifier to keep the air in your home healthy. Be careful to strike a balance between air that is too humid, which attracts dust mites, and air that is not humid enough, which can irritate your sinuses.
- Keep your house as clean as possible. Wash bedding frequently, wipe down walls, shampoo rugs and dust often. Spray your garbage cans with insecticide and keep the lids covered.
- Eat raw honey. Consume local raw honey made from the same flowers in your neighborhood, which will strengthen your immunity to pollen allergies in your area.
- Check the pollen forecasts. Visit https://www.pollen.com/ for North Florida allergy reports. Keep car and house windows closed during peak times, when pollen is more likely to get trapped in fabric and carpet.
- Irrigate your nose. Use over-the-counter saline sprays to remove allergens and decrease your risk for sinus infections.
- Drink lots of fluids. Staying hydrated keeps the mucus in your sinuses functioning properly.
- Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently to prevent introducing an infection into your sinuses.
- Inhale steam. Moisten your sinus lining and remove excess mucus by inhaling steam for 10-15 minutes, three times per day.
When is it time to see a doctor?
If you or a loved one is suffering from a nose, sinus or allergy condition that occurs two or three times a year, and over-the-counter medications don’t provide relief, a Baptist ENT Specialist can help you understand the underlying cause and provide a personalized treatment plan. Our comprehensive sinus and allergy treatment options include allergy drops, balloon sinuplasty, inhalers, sinus surgery and more.
Why live with congestion and sinus pain? Baptist ENT Specialists have eight convenient locations and it’s easy to request an appointment online or simply call us at 904.202.3687.