The Memphis area is
filled with allergy sufferers. The 4 distinct seasons and high humidity
certainly contribute to high pollen counts and a high number of allergy
Allergic Rhinitis(AR), often referred to by the general public as
"sinus" or "allergies", is a condition of the upper airway
resulting from sensitivity to a variety of possible allergens. Seasonal
AR occurs due to pollen in the air from trees and grasses mostly. March
and October are the peak months in this area. However, fall allergy
season often starts in mid August with "ragweed season".
Perennial AR is year round and is often due to dust mites, mold or pets.
The typical symptoms of AR include nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy, watery
eyes (also known as allergic conjunctivitis), sneezing and coughing.
Appropriate initial treatment is an oral antihistamine. Both short acting
and long acting anti-histamines are available. Loratidine (claritin) and
certizine (zyrtec) are examples of once a day medicines that are now over the
counter. If symptoms are not well controlled by these agents then a visit
to your physician may result in prescriptions. These may include nasal
steroids, singulair, or prescription eye drops. Prolonged allergy
symptoms followed by a sudden worsening may signal the onset of a sinus infection
that may require antibiotics to treat.
While it is unknown how young allergies can start, it is not common in infants,
but can be seen in some toddlers.
This page was authored by Dr. Grant Newman