What are seasonal allergies?
Allergies can be perennial or seasonal. Perennial allergies are present all year such as animal dander, dust mite, cockroach, and in Austin mold. Seasonal come and go in certain seasons such as Cedar in January, grasses in the summer, and ragweed in the fall.
True food allergies
People get confused about food sensitivity and food allergy. Patients may get an upset stomach from milk products because they lack an enzyme to digest the milk sugar. They may also have intestinal reactivity to gluten. These reactions are not allergic. Food allergy is an IgE mediated allergy and typically produces systemic reactions such as a rash, asthma, nasal congestion, and can cause anaphylactic reactions. Food allergy and seasonal allergies do have some cross reaction.
common allergy symptoms
There are two phases of allergic reactions. The acute phase happens in minutes and involves the following symptoms:
- Watery, itchy eyes
- Runny nose
- Post nasal drip
The delayed phase of allergy produces sinus and nasal congestion, sinus pressure, nasal blockage, snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, and sinus infections.
How do I know if it is a cold or allergies?
Colds and allergies can feel similar. Both have an abrupt onset of congestion, a runny nose, postnasal drip, and sinus pressure. Colds happen following exposure to someone that was sick and rapidly resolve within about 7 days. Colds are also less seasonal. Allergy typically has no known exposure to someone with similar symptoms, tends to be seasonal and noticed when counts are high, and lasts throughout the season with symptoms for weeks or months.
What are Common allergens?
Common allergens include the following:
- Dust mites
- Animal Danders
There is a cross-reactivity between foods and trees because they carry the same allergens. For example, if you have tree allergy and also eat fruit from trees, the fruit consumption increases the allergic symptoms. The same is true for nuts worsening tree allergy.
What is Cedar Allergies?
Cedar allergy is like any other allergy to a Tree. The difference in Central Texas is that the amount of Cedar pollen is so prolific that it can’t reasonably be avoided. Even mild cedar allergy can make patients miserable during the peak season.
It is critical to receive a comprehensive evaluation by a board certified ENT doctor along with your allergy testing to avoid missing a diagnosis that would make your allergy therapy ineffective. A deviated septum, chronic sinus infection, nasal polyps, nasal tumors, and other issues can all produce allergy-like symptoms and they must be treated along with your allergies.
Schedule a Consultation
In our office, you have the confidence that Dr. Slaughter is right there in the office for follow-up, questions, allergy treatment changes, and safety. If you are interested in learning more about your allergy testing and treatment option, contact our Austin office at 512.601.0303 to schedule a consultation today.