Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, and general nasal congestion are often mistaken for seasonal allergies. "Don't give your nasal congestion a free pass," urges Dr. Rotskoff. "The list of congestion triggers is extensive and breathing can be impaired any time of the year. You don't have to muddle through with the assumption that your allergies will pass with the seasons."
Nasal congestion is the flagship of hay fever and allergic rhinitis. However, non-allergic rhinitis, structural nasal issues, and even infection also cause nasal passage inflammation. "Allergies are so common that most people just accept their exhausting and aggravating breathing problems. My role is to help patients uncover the exact causes so they can choose the course of treatment that is most effective and brings the most relief," says Dr. Rotskoff.
Rhinitis is nasal inflammation, plain and simple. But the causes of nasal inflammation can be more complex and difficult to isolate, particular when more than one are at play.
Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis) – typical seasonal allergies including trees, grass, ragweed, weeds, as well as non-seasonal triggers like mold and dust mites
Non-Allergic Rhinitis – less natural triggers such as tobacco smoke, perfume, alcohol, and spicy food
Nasal Structure and Anatomic Issues – a deviated septum, nasal polyps, and enlarged adenoids, particularly in children, all impair proper nasal breathing
Nasal Infections – sinus infections, bacterial infections, and even the common cold can be confused for hay fever
The commonality of symptoms for each of these conditions leads to a great deal of patient confusion and can significantly delay the urgency with which patients seek medical care. "Infections must be medically treated, no question," reminds Dr. Rotskoff, "but there's also a lot we can do to bring relief when nasal congestion is caused by the environment."
Through a series of simple in-office tests and a thorough discussion about your breathing history, Dr. Rotskoff can help you prevent nasal congestion before it strikes. "You have to know your nose," he says, "learning the aggravators to avoid, or how to stay ahead of them when avoidance is impossible, really helps. When you know your allergic triggers you're also better equipped to identify the difference between environmental causes and infection."
Visit www.clarityallergycenter.com or call 773-877-3500 to create a nasal congestion plan with Dr. Rotskoff. The Clarity Allergy Center offices in Chicago and Arlington Heights are conveniently accessed from Lincolnwood, IL, Skokie, IL, Park Ridge, IL, Morton Grove, IL, and Niles, IL, Mount Prospect, IL, Palatine, IL, Elk Grove, IL, Buffalo Grove, IL, Bartlett, IL, Lake Zurich, IL, Schaumburg, IL, and Elgin, IL.