Runny Nose? Watch Out for these 2 Irritants
Written By: Emma Squillace
With kids nearly done with school, and our summer almost in full swing, it’s a good time to think about some household cleaning for a lot of us. What does cleaning house have to do with ear, nose, and throat health conditions? More than you may think. There are certain elements that not only aggravate allergies, but can also cause sinusitis. 2 of the most irritating for ear, nose, and throat conditions are dust and mold. We’ll give you the details on dust and mold, what symptoms they cause, and potential treatment options.
Dust is inevitable, and for some people it’s nothing more than a minor annoyance. But for many people, dust is an allergen that causes symptoms to flare up. The primary reason dust causes problems is because of dust mites, which are tiny bugs that tend to be found in dust. The Asthma & Allergy Foundation estimates that approximately 20 million people in the US have dust mite allergies. Technically, those people are allergic to the waste that dust mites excrete. It contains a protein that is an allergy trigger.
The really tricky part about dust is that it’s harder to get rid of than you may think. Even wiping surfaces carefully and often, may not rid your house of the problem-causing dust mites. If you find you have a chronic runny nose and sneezing, dust allergies may be to blame. There are a range of treatment options we can offer in this case.
There’s a type of sinusitis called fungal sinusitis, and it is caused by mold. Mold-related sinus problems are more common than many people realize. Mold loves a dark and damp environment, so if mold enters the sinus cavity, it can thrive. Cleaning mold from your house is a good preventive measure. If you do come down with sinusitis, remember that antibiotics can clear up bacterial infections, but cannot work on fungus. So in the case of mold causing sinusitis, an expert ear, nose, and throat physician (ENT) will need to recommend the best treatment for you.
What symptoms can dust and mold cause?
If you have a dust mite allergy, your symptoms may mimic those of a cold. But keep in mind: if you’ve got a ‘cold’ for more than 2 weeks, it probably is not actually a cold at all. If you’ve had weeks of itchy eyes, a sore throat, or sneezing, it may be time to see an allergy doctor. We can help you figure out where your symptoms are coming from. Additionally, mold can cause a form of sinusitis. People with sinusitis may have trouble breathing, fatigue, headaches, pain around the eyes and cheeks, nasal discharge and fever. Untreated sinusitis can, in rare cases, lead to serious medical complications. If we believe you have bacterial sinusitis, we may treat this with an antibiotic. Otherwise, we will recommend an appropriate treatment and offer nonsurgical and surgical options.
If dust and mold are inevitable, is there any way to treat the problems that can come from them?
Yes! The reality is that you probably cannot avoid dust or mold altogether. So if you’re one of the people who is particularly sensitive to these irritants, you may need medical treatment to counteract your symptoms. Many people experience nasal irritation, runny eyes, sneezing, itching, and even stomach pain, as a result of allergies or conditions caused by dust and mold.
At West Medical we offer treatment options from immunotherapy to balloon sinuplasty. If you have ear, nose, or throat symptoms that are lasting longer than a typical cold, give us a call. Our expert team can evaluate you for allergies, sinusitis, sleep apnea, and other ENT conditions. You can reach our experts at (855) 690-0565.