Allergy Doctor in Spartanburg & Greer, SC
Have you ever had a cold or allergy attack that wouldn’t go away? If so, there’s a good chance you actually had sinusitis. Experts estimate that 37 million people are afflicted with sinusitis each year, making it one of the most common health conditions in America.
Acute bacterial sinusitis is an infection of the sinus cavities caused by bacteria. It usually is preceded by a cold, allergy attack, or irritation by environmental pollutants. Unlike a cold, or allergy, bacterial sinusitis requires a physician’s diagnosis and treatment with an antibiotic to cure the infection and prevent future complications.
Normally, mucus collecting in the sinuses drains into the nasal passages. When you have a cold or allergy attack, your sinuses become inflamed and are unable to drain. This can lead to congestion and infection. Diagnosis of acute sinusitis usually is based on a physical examination and a discussion of your symptoms.
Nasal congestion (stuffy nose) occurs when nasal tissues and blood vessels become swollen with excess fluid, causing a "stuffy" feeling. Nasal congestion can be caused by a cold, influenza, allergies to dust, pollen or pet dander, or as a response to irritants such as tobacco smoke. Nasal congestion may or may not be accompanied by a runny nose as well.
Nasal congestion is just an annoyance for most older children and adults. But nasal congestion can be serious in infants, who might have a hard time nursing or breathing as a result.
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Nosebleeds are common. Most often they are a nuisance and not a true medical problem. But they can be both.
Among children and young adults, nosebleeds usually originate from the septum, just inside the nose. The septum separates your nasal chambers.
In middle-aged and older adults, nosebleeds can begin from the septum, but they may also begin deeper in the nose's interior. This latter origin of nosebleed is much less common. It may be caused by hardened arteries or high blood pressure. These nosebleeds begin spontaneously and are often difficult to stop. They require a specialist's help.
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Allergy is a disorder of the immune system often also referred to as atopy. Allergic reactions occur to normally harmless environmental substances known as allergens; these reactions are acquired, predictable, and rapid. Strictly, allergy is one of four forms of hypersensitivity and is called type I (or immediate) hypersensitivity. It is characterized by excessive activation of certain white blood cells called mast cells and basophils by a type of antibody known as IgE, resulting in an extreme inflammatory response. Common allergic reactions include eczema, hives, hay fever, asthma, food allergies, and reactions to the venom of stinging insects such as wasps and bees.
Mild allergies like hay fever are highly prevalent in the human population and cause symptoms such as allergic conjunctivitis, itchiness, and runny nose. Allergies can play a major role in conditions such as asthma. In some people, severe allergies to environmental or dietary allergens or to medication may result in life-threatening anaphylactic reactions and potentially death.
A variety of tests now exist to diagnose allergic conditions; these include testing the skin for responses to known allergens or analyzing the blood for the presence and levels of allergen-specific IgE. Treatments for allergies include allergen avoidance, use of anti-histamines, steroids or other oral medications, immunotherapy to desensitize the response to allergen, and targeted therapy.