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Allergy and Sinus Disease

Nose Allergy, Colds and Sinus - Kevin Kavanagh Ear Nose and ThroatMany illnesses which are thought by the patient to be a simple condition may actually be a sign of a more serious illness or lead to serious problems if not treated appropriately.  A medical evaluation is needed to make sure the patient has a simple upper respiratory tract infection and not suffering from acute sinusitis, a condition that if left untreated can lead to intracranial (within the skull) complications.  Patients presenting with edema of facial structures or erythema (redness) over the perinasal (next to the nose) sinuses should be evaluated for hospitalization and intravenous medications.

Search PubMed for Allergic Rhinitis   Search PubMed for Nasal Allergies

Many of the medications listed on this web site may have over-the-counter generic counterparts which are less expensive and may be equally effective. Please consult a pharmacist regarding generic substitutions.

Before You Go To The Doctor

Before a patient visits a doctor, there are several things that he/she needs to do to prepare for the visit.  The patient should be told what to expect and what to bring to the office at the time they schedule the visit.  

First, patients should bring a list of all their medications, dosages and when they are supposed to take them.  Even better, they should bring the medications with them.  Remember, medications are not just prescription drugs but also eye drops, ointments and medications bought over-the-counter.  Some eye drops can contain beta-blockers and can cause serious reactions during allergy testing and many over-the-counter medications were prescription drugs just a few years ago.  Antihistamine usage can also cause false positive results in an allergy test.  It is not uncommon after a negative allergy test for patients to remember a single over-the-counter cold pill that they took which upon closer examination contained an antihistamine. 

In addition, patients should know their prescription and over-the-counter drug allergies.  This is very important.  Many medications may cross-react and lead to dangerous complications if used together. 

Next, patients should be knowledgeable about their other medical problems.  Many allergy and sinus medications are contraindicated in certain medical conditions.  For example: Decongestants may worsen hypertension pressure and may cause severe reactions in diabetics. Antihistamines may cause urinary retention in patients with prostatic hypertrophy.

Patients should bring all X-rays and results of all recent laboratory tests to the office.  If they have had recent sinus X-rays, blood tests or allergy tests bring the results and X-rays to the office.  This information will be needed in evaluating and treating their case.  If the doctor has to get this information after the patient visit, it may delay the beginning of treatment and may be an added expense. 

Download Sinus & Allergy Booklet Zyrtec (cetirizine)  is now over-the-counter !!!!





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