Do you notice your allergies get worse when seasons change? When the weather gets colder, many people begin to experience throbbing headaches, runny noses, and sneezing. If these symptoms are accompanied by ears that feel swollen, similar to the pain you feel when flying on an airplane, you may be experiencing a sinus headache.
Your sinuses are air-filled chambers in your forehead, behind your cheekbones and around your eyes. Allergies, or infections, can cause inflammation in the mucous membrane (the thin layer of tissue lining your sinuses) which prevents your sinuses from draining properly. This inflammation, often called sinusitis, can cause painful headaches and flu-like symptoms.
Sometimes, sinus headaches are nothing more than an allergic reaction. Pollen is the most common allergen; of the 67 million people who suffer from allergies, 54 million people are allergic to pollen. Pollen is the fine powder that comes from the stamen, or the fertilizing organ, of flowering plants. During spring, summer, and fall, pollen counts are at their highest levels. Pollen is very fine, which means it’s very easy to inhale and can be carried in the air over large distances.
The best way to combat pollen allergies is with planning and preparation. You can visit an allergist to figure out which types of pollen you’re allergic to, and also research the area where you live and work to determine pollen counts and any other allergens that may be present.
Acute sinusitis is unpleasant, but typically subsides in about eight weeks. If a sinus headaches persists or goes untreated, your symptoms may be the result of a condition called non-allergic rhinitis, a chronic nasal condition. This chronic sinusitis can last for months, and may be caused by nasal polyps, certain chronic diseases, or a deviated septum.
If you suffer from fall allergies or sinusitis, Marvel Clinic can help! We can provide intensive antibiotic therapy, or may recommend an antihistamine, decongestant, steroid, saline spray, salt water irrigation, or a mucous thinning agent. For more serious cases, we also offer balloon sinuplasty treatments as well as turbinate reduction.
For more information on fall allergies or to schedule a consultation, give us a call at (931) 455-2005.