Ocean Otolaryngology Associates breaks down allergic rhinitis and associated ailments.
WALL TOWNSHIP/TOMS RIVER, NJ – Allergies can affect children and adults. If an individual has been diagnosed with allergic rhinitis, a physiological response to specific allergens such as pet dander or ragweed, the symptoms are simple – a runny nose (rhinitis), watery eyes and some periodic sneezing.
“Many individuals think that the best solution is to administer over-the-counter antihistamines, but this is not always the case,” said Dr. Bruce W. Peters of Ocean ENT. “The interrelated structures of the ears, nose and throat can cause certain medical problems that can trigger additional disorders, all with the possibility of serious consequences. Simple hay fever can lead to long-term problems in swallowing, sleeping, hearing and breathing.”
Ear infections: A common medical problem, especially in children, is ottis media or middle ear infection. “This condition is even more common in individuals suffering from allergic rhinitis (hay fever),” said Dr. Peters. “Allergic inflammation can cause swelling in the nose and around the opening of the Eustachian tube (which originates in the back of the nose and extends into the space behind the ear drum). The swelling has the potential to interfere with drainage of the middle ear, causing bacteria to clog the tube and cause an infection.”
Sore throats: Hay fever allergens may lead to the formation of too much mucus that can make the nose run or drip down to the back of the throat, leading to post-nasal drip. “This can lead to cough, sore throats and a husky voice,” said Dr. Peters.
Snoring: Chronic nasal obstruction is a frequent symptom of hay fever and year-round allergic rhinitis. “This allergic condition may have a debilitating effect on the nasal turbinates, the small, shelf-like bony structures covered by mucous membranes,” said Dr. Peters. “The turibinates protrude into the nasal airway and help to warm, humidify and cleanse air before it reaches the lungs. When exposed to allergens, the mucosa can become inflamed, and the blood vessels will swell and expand. This causes the turbinates to obstruct the flow of air through the nose. This can lead to headaches and sleep disorders such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.”
Sinusitis: Allergic rhinitis can cause enough inflammation to obstruct the openings to the sinuses. Consequently, a bacterial sinus infection occurs. This disease is similar for adults and children. “Runny nose and nasal congestion can be persistent in both cases,” said Dr. Peters. The infected sinus drains around the Eustachian tube, and therefore many children will also have a middle ear infection.”
Allergies may resolve over a short period and the administration of the proper over the counter antihistamines may alleviate the symptoms. However, if you or your child suffer from year-round allergic rhinitis, Ocean ENT encourages you to be seen by a specialist who will assist in preventing other ear, nose and throat problems from occurring.
Ocean ENT cares for many patients with allergies and allergy-related symptoms including chronic sinus disease. “If allergy testing and allergy immunotherapy are deemed appropriate, our team will help you consult with a board-certified allergist,” Dr. Peters added.
To learn more or schedule an appointment with Ocean ENT, call 732-281-0100. The Ocean ENT office is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm. For the most up-to date information, please follow Ocean ENT on Facebook.
About Ocean ENT
Ocean ENT (Ocean Otolaryngology Associates, P.A.) is a respected provider of ear, nose and throat care serving Monmouth and Ocean counties. Ocean ENT’s board-certified physicians have extensive training and clinical experience and pursue ongoing education
to stay abreast of the latest trends. A wide range of services, including treatment of sinus disease, thyroid disease, hoarseness, hearing loss, childhood ENT disorders and nasal breathing difficulty are provided at the practice’s Toms River and Manasquan offices. To learn more about Ocean ENT, visit https://oceanentnj.com or call 732-281-0100.