If you sneeze every now and then, it usually isn’t anything to worry about. But if you can remember sneezing each time you’re around an animal or simply taking a walk in the park, it’s a good idea to see an allergy specialist. Even if you’re unable to pinpoint when your sneezing starts, constant sneezing is a common symptom of allergies.
At Southern ENT, our otolaryngologists specialize in problems with your ears, nose, and throat. These are the areas that start to bother you when you have allergy symptoms. While we deal with structural problems and complex issues that we can correct with surgery, many nasal issues like breathing difficulty and sneezing are due to allergies.
Did you know that allergies cause over half of the sinus problems we see in our patients? Because of the high prevalence of allergies that cause sneezing, nasal congestion, and other sinus problems, we offer allergy testing to provide you with answers and get to the root cause of your sneezing and other sinus symptoms.
An allergy is an immune response to something you breathe, touch, or eat. Allergens are generally harmless substances — like pollen — that your body perceives as an invader, triggering an immune response in an attempt to dispel the allergen. The result is what you know as common allergy symptoms, including sneezing.
Allergens can be anything from outdoor irritants like pollen, indoor allergens such as dust mites, and even proteins in foods.
Allergic reactions can cause a wide variety of symptoms, but sneezing is most commonly associated with outdoor allergies.
Sneezes travel at around 100 mph, and a single sneeze can send about 100,000 germs into the air. A sneeze helps force a foreign substance out of your body in the most effective manner.
Your own immune system attacks the particles, and the brain is put on alert that this substance must be removed. This triggers the release of chemicals that cause you to sneeze.
With a common cold, you may sneeze, have a runny nose, cough, and wheeze, but this should last only a couple of weeks. With an allergy, sneezing may be consistent, continuous, and occur on and off for long periods of time or until medication causes it to stop, and it may continue for more than five or even six weeks.
Allergy testing can help you get to the root of your symptoms and on the way to appropriate treatment. It’s important to avoid self-diagnosing your symptoms as allergies. Structural problems such as a deviated septum can cause sneezing and increase the risk of chronic sinusitis, a condition that shares some similar symptoms with allergies.
Most patients are unable to distinguish the difference between allergies and chronic sinusitis, making it crucial to see a specialist. The surgeons at Southern ENT specialize in correcting issues that cause or contribute to nasal congestion, sinusitis, and other nasal problems.
Left untreated, structural problems can cause complications, such as repeated infections, making it vital to know whether your symptoms are due to allergies or structural issues. If you’re suffering from chronic sneezing, schedule a consultation with one of our specialists by calling one of our seven southern Louisiana offices or requesting an appointment using our online form.