Sinus Infection and Hay Fever
Sinus infection often develops if hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is not promptly
Allergic Rhinitis, commonly known as Hay Fever is a form of nasal allergy. It is characterized
with several symptoms such as a copious sneezing, puffy, watery, itchy eyes, stuffy nose and abnormal mucus
production with some degree of sinus headache.
Allergic rhinitis is caused by the body's allergic reaction to both indoor and outdoor airborne
irritants such as dust, pollens, dust mites and pet dander. Usually, hay fever only lasts for a short period if the
allergens are removed from the person's living environment.
In such cases, no medication is needed as the person will recover very quickly on his own.
Around 25% of Americans suffer from this condition annually, particularly during hay fever seasons.
Causes Of Hay Fever
During a process called sensitization, our body's immune system erroneously identifies harmless
airborne substances such as dust or pollen as something harmful. The body then starts to produce allergy-causing
antibodies targeted at this substance.
In the future, when we are exposed to the same substance, these antibodies then signal our
immune system to release chemicals known as histamines into our bloodstream. These histamines are the direct cause
leading to hay fever symptoms.
Hay Fever Symptoms
Allergic rhinitis symptoms appear almost immediately when the body is exposed to allergens.
These are caused by an allergic reaction within the body. Fortunately, hay fever only causes mild, though
irritating symptoms which are not life-threatening in any way. These are:
Watery, itchy, puffy eyes
Abnormal mucus production
Runny, stuffy and blocked nose
Coughing caused by mucus draining down the throat
Hay Fever Treatment
There are several types of medication for the treatment of allergic rhinitis:
1. Nasal decongestants
There are two types of decongestants, namely, oral
and topical decongestants. These work by reducing blood flow to nasal tissues which then produces less mucus which
causes stuffy nose.
Topical decongestants work faster. It must be noted that topical decongestants cannot be used
for more than 5 days as it can cause rebound congestion.
Sudafed, which contains pseudoephedrine, is a commonly prescribed oral decongestant.
We know that histamines are chemicals released by the body causing allergy symptoms. So, antihistamines, as the
name implies, work by preventing the histamines produced naturally to cause allergic reactions.
The older generation of antihistamines can cause a person taking them to become drowsy and
reduces his ability to drive or to operate machinery.
Today, the newer drugs have a non-sedating effect, which allow the person to continue with his
daily routine without any physical impairment.
Telfast® and Allegra® are the brands containing non-sedating antihistamines named
3. Nasal Steroid Sprays
Steroid nasal sprays work by reducing inflammation
to promote drainage in the sinuses. It is slow acting and you will see results within a week of use.
However, they are the most effective medicine today to combat nasal allergies. Steroid nasal
sprays include brand names such as Flonase®, Nasacort AQ®, Rhinocort AQ® and Nasonex®.
Sinus infection and allergic rhinitis
It has been said that sinus infection or sinusitis is an allergic condition. However, in most
cases, allergic rhinitis, the common cold and viral influenza always precedes a sinus infection.
In other words, sinus infection occurs only when a person suffering from the above illnesses
have not been sufficiently treated leading to a complete recovery.
One of the key sinus infection symptoms is a persistent nasal congestion. Nasal congestion and a
stuffy nose is a common symptom for both sinus infection and allergic rhinitis.
A stuffy, blocked nose prevents proper ventilation of the sinuses which is crucial in
maintaining good nasal health. Blocked sinuses provide an ideal breeding ground for bacterial and viruses to
proliferate. This leads to a bacterial sinus infection.
It must be emphasized that a mild sinus infection should be eliminated as early as possible.
This is because a prolonged sinus infection can cause cilia on the nasal mucosa, which works to clear mucus
naturally from the paranasal sinuses to become dysfunctional.
The sinuses then become perennially blocked and chronic sinusitis develops.
Chronic sinusitis is a condition which causes millions of Americans untold suffering with its
painful and often debilitating symptoms. Some people will never recover from chronic sinusitis even with today’s
medical advancement. It is imperative to treat a suspected sinus infection without delay!
The most effective home remedy for sinus infection and hay fever is to practice nasal irrigation
on a daily basis. This simple procedure flushes out allergens and irritants from the sinuses and nasal passages
before they have a chance to cause an allergic reaction within the body.
As a preventive measure, irrigate your sinuses frequently if you find yourself in the company of
people who are suffering from a common cold or viral influenza.
Nasal irrigation prevents an overload of bacteria
and viruses within the nasal cavities by flushing them out before they can multiply to a level that our immune
system is unable to cope. Adopt nasal irrigation today, so that you will not need to visit a doctor for sinus
infection and hay fever ever again!