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Allergies or something more?

Allergies can cause undesirable symptoms this time of year, but if things seem more serious, it may be time to see an ENT. Sponsored by EvergreenHealth.

While many people look forward to the sunshine, warmth, and blooming flowers of springtime, many also dread allergy season and the symptoms that come with it. These symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, sore throat, headache, and fatigue.

“Those things can happen year-round for some people too depending on what they’re allergic to,” said Dr. Jennifer Heydt, general otolaryngologist at EvergreenHealth. 

If the issue is truly allergies, most symptoms will respond to over-the-counter medications like antihistamines and nasal steroid spray. 

“Sometimes if you try treating with antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays and you find that you’re really not getting relief from some of these symptoms, there could be other things going on,” Dr. Heydt said.

Other issues could include a deviated septum or polyps. These can usually be corrected with prescription medications or minimally invasive procedures. 

Another concern could be chronic sinusitis, which is a chronic inflammation of the sinuses. It can cause facial pressure, pain, thick drainage, and congestion. 

If you have symptoms that don’t typically respond to over-the-counter medications, it may be time to see an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist. The clinician will often do an examination of the nose to make sure there’s nothing structurally abnormal, and the patient may then get a CT scan to check for chronic inflammation of the sinuses. 

Allergy symptoms may also overlap with COVID-19 symptoms, so it’s important to pay attention if symptoms get worse or you develop a fever. 

“Given the situation that we’re in, if you ever have a question, it’d be a good time to take a COVID test to make sure that it’s not,” Dr. Heydt said.

To learn more about EvergreenHealth Ear, Nose, and Throat Care, please visit the EvergreenHealth website.

Sponsored by EvergreenHealth. Segment Producer Joseph Suttner. Watch New Day Northwest 11 AM weekdays on KING 5 and streaming live on KING5.com. Contact New Day.

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