Nasal Allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis, are irritations in the nose caused by allergens or substances you are allergic to. This allergic reaction causes swelling in the insides of your nose that causes you to sneeze a lot. Itchy throat, nose, and eyes are the main symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
Another similar condition is sinusitis or sinus infection. Although one is often mistaken for the other, they aren’t the same. While nasal allergies often give you a stuffy or congested nose, it does not mean that you already have a sinus infection, but it may lead to it if not addressed early. It’s also worth noting that sinus infections are usually caused by viruses that irritate the lining of the virus.
Nasal Allergies Vs Sinus Infections
Both nasal allergies and sinus infections may cause swelling in the nasal and sinus area, and almost always, give you the same symptoms. But while anti-allergy medications may relieve the symptoms of nasal allergies, they won’t work when you have a sinus infection. However, consuming recommended foods for sinus infections may help.
In terms of the duration of symptoms, unlike nasal allergies, sinus infections may present either acute or chronic symptoms. If you get a sinus infection when you have colds, the symptoms, often referred to as acute sinusitis, do not last long. These symptoms usually go away after your colds are managed. That’s why home remedies and good food usually help manage the symptoms.
However, with chronic sinusitis, the symptoms last longer. Chronic Sinusitis needs proper medical intervention, aside from home remedies and proper diet.
As for nasal allergy symptoms, they’re mostly seasonal and largely dependent on the cause of the allergic reaction. If you suffer from one, consider these tips to manage it better:
1. Identify Your Triggers
Understanding triggers is crucial for anyone with allergies. This helps to know what you need to steer clear from to avoid or minimize flare-ups. In nasal allergies, the most common triggers are the following:
These are grains from flowers and plants that make your nose very itchy every time you inhale them along with the air you breathe. If you notice you get more nasal allergies during springtime, this may be your trigger. If it is, you’ll need to know the months or times of the year when they’re most concentrated in the air, depending on your location.
Keep your windows shut and stay indoors as much as possible during these seasons. You can use humidifiers too, to purify the air that you breathe before the season starts. If there’s a need for you to go out during these times, you can always wear wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and face masks, to at least minimize your pollen exposure.
Dust And Dust Mites
Both usually accumulate in your carpets and bed linens. If you find yourself sneezing excessively when your beddings haven’t been changed in a while, you can suspect this as your trigger. If so, always clean and disinfect your home at least once a week. Use hot water and detergent to wash away dust or dust mites from your linens. Avoid using bedding materials that are prone to dust and dust mites. Lastly, store your bedding materials in dust mite-free containers or closets.
Animal dander is the bits of old skin and hair that your pet sheds off all the time. These particles are pollutants and allergens in the air. If you have pets at home, maintaining good grooming will help keep down animal dander.
However, it will also help to not allow them in your bedroom where you spend long hours when sleeping. This way, they won’t accumulate in the room and fill the air you breathe in such an enclosed space while you sleep. Some pet owners have clothing and other accessories for their pets, to minimize, if not altogether, avoid these allergens, which you might want to try too.
Shampoos, soaps, and detergents with harsh chemicals are common triggers too. You’ll find this out if get uncontrollable bouts of sneezing and other symptoms when you get a whiff of these substances. If you think this may be a trigger for you, switch to brands with gentler ingredients and see if it stops your allergies.
Beyond these, there are more triggers of allergic rhinitis that may be just around you. Smokes and fumes, perfumes and colognes, molds, and even humidity and cold temperatures. You need to know to find the means to minimize or avoid them.
2. Eat Healthy Foods
This is the oldest and smartest tip when it comes to health problems. Maintaining a healthy diet will always give your body a healthier immune system. Eating the right food will give your body the nutrients it needs to fight sicknesses.
Fruits like oranges and pineapples are good sources of Vitamin C, a natural antihistamine. Pumpkin seeds and avocado are said to be rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that fight inflammation. Also, avoid processed and high-sodium food items.
What’s more, a healthier diet may help in reducing the chances of your symptoms getting worse and leading to infections, which most people with nasal allergies are prone to.
3. Always Keep Your Allergy Kit Handy
Sometimes, triggers just come at you out of the blue, especially when you’re outdoors or in an unfamiliar place. That’s why it will be to your advantage if you can keep handy a first aid kit for your allergic rhinitis. It will be helpful if you have an antihistamine spray in your kit, as it can provide quick relief from nasal congestion. You may also include some eye drops to relieve itchy eyes that often accompany nasal allergy flare-ups. Anti-allergy medications would come in handy in your kit too.
4. Practice Good Hygiene
Aside from the tips above, there are changes you can do with your daily habits that may also help:
- Do not rub your nose when you feel the itch. You might spread more allergens if you do, and irritate your nose all the more.
- Wash your hands properly all the time, especially after cleaning your car, your house, or your garden. This will get rid of traces of dust particles and other allergens that you may have come in contact with during your chores.
- Take a bath after mowing your loan, or other outdoor activities that might lead to the accumulation of allergens in your hair and body.
These reminders to maintain good hygiene are often overlooked in cases of allergies. While they may seem simple, they’re good preventive measures that are easy to adapt.
Nasal allergies can be indeed irritating. What’s worse is they may even lead to sinus infections. But with these smart tips, you should be able to manage your flare-ups more effectively.
However, remember that if your allergies get worse, it’s best to seek immediate medical attention and not attempt to self-medicate, as serious cases of allergies may be life-threatening. That said, you should also know when it’s time to see your doctor. If you start to experience difficulty in breathing, treat it as an emergency and see your doctor right away.