Every state has allergens that cause people to feel the impact of seasonal allergies. However, these states are ranked as the worst states to live in for allergy sufferers based on pollen levels, amount of the population on allergy medications and the number of ENT doctors in the area. Mississippi didn’t make it on this list but the climate here is similar to Louisiana. Our offices in Biloxi and Ocean Springs are only a short drive away from the border and less than two hours from New Orleans. For allergy related questions, contact the Sinuplasty Center of Excellence. Our physicians have board certifications in otolaryngology, allergy and immunology.
Louisiana is home to a number of trees that pollinate, including red cedar, willow, bayberry, birch, oak and ash.
2. The Carolinas
Allergy sufferers need to gear up for fall and spring allergy season because both North Carolina and South Carolina have higher levels of tree and grass pollen.
Though spring allergy season in Michigan isn’t bad, fall brings an increase of weeds and pollen.
Spring allergy season is worse than fall allergy season in Tennessee due to mold spores, weed and grass pollens.
Georgia makes the list of “worst states to live in for allergy sufferers” because of the slippery elm and brome. In addition to those allergens, the lack of rain in the past year has intensified seasonal allergies.
Nasal allergies occur when allergens in the air affect the nasal passages. They can be caused by a range of allergens, including pollen, animal dander, mold, feathers and more.
So, how can you win the battle against the runny nose, itchy eyes and nasal congestion?
Here are a few ways to treat nasal allergies:
Find the underlying cause of your allergy symptoms
Nasal allergy symptoms can be intensified by asthma and eczema. Treating those conditions first will relieve the symptoms of nasal allergies.
Try a home remedy to relieve congestion
If congestion is your main symptom, making a home nasal spray can help a lot. You can also purchase saline nasal sprays over-the-counter at any drug store.
Visit an ENT doctor for medications
Medications such as antihistamines and decongestants can be prescribed by an ENT doctor to manage nasal allergies.
Allergy shots aren’t used often. Usually, immunotherapy is only a solution for people who have tried to control nasal allergies through medications.
Approximately 37 million people struggle with sinusitis at some point in their lives. If you experience the facial pressure and pain associated with sinusitis, there are a few home remedies to relieve the discomfort.
Sinuses get dried out in cold weather, so steam is most effective to treat sinusitis symptoms during the winter months. Buying a vaporizer and even taking a hot shower can break up some of your congestion and relieve the symptoms.
Staying well hydrated is important to your health for many reasons, including keeping your sinusitis symptoms under control. Drinking a lot of water helps sinuses stay open, allowing for them to drain easily.
3. Salt Water Nasal Rinses
Buying a salt water nasal rinse kit or mixing your recipe at home can help rinse out your sinuses. Mix about 16 ounces of warm distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water with 1 teaspoon of salt. Use a syringe to flush your nasal cavities and clean out debris.
4. Avoid Household Irritants
All households contain items that can cause irritations. Because they contain fumes that irritate sinuses, avoiding cigarette smoke, harsh cleaning products and hairspray is beneficial.
What If Sinusitis Symptoms Get Worse?
These simple home remedies can help with minor sinusitis problems. However, if sinusitis pressure and symptoms continue to worsen, it’s important to see your physician for treatment. Some treatment options from your ENT include:
If none of these home remedies work, contact Dr. Ray Weiss in Biloxi, Mississippi for a balloon sinuplasty consultation.
Swimmer’s ear, also known as external otitis, is a bacterial infection of the outer ear canal. It’s typically caused by excessive water exposure from various activities, such as swimming, diving, surfing and other water sports.
Symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear
Doctors usually separate swimmer’s ear in to mild, moderate and advanced stages.
Mild swimmer’s ear symptoms include:
- Itching in your ear canal
- Clear, odorless drainage
- Some redness in ear
Moderate swimmer’s ear symptoms include:
- Pus and more drainage
- Trouble hearing
- Swelling of the ear canal
- Pain in ear
Severe swimmer’s ear symptoms include:
- Swelling in the ear and lymph nodes
- Redness in the ear
- Blocked ear canal
Treating Swimmer’s Ear
ConsultTthe Sinuplasty Center of Excellence for information on treating swimmer’s ear.
Pediatric sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when a child’s breathing becomes blocked as they sleep. Though people of any age can experience obstructive sleep apnea, it most commonly occurs in children ages two to six.
How is Obstructive Sleep Apnea Different in Children?
Adults can suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. However, there are some differences between how sleep apnea presents itself in adults versus children, including:
- Children usually only have partially blocked airways, which means they will not typically completely stop breathing.
- Children with sleep apnea wake up less often throughout the night than adults with sleep apnea.
- Children with obstructive sleep apnea can have a shorter attention span than children who don’t have the disorder.
What Causes Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
There are many causes for pediatric obstructive sleep apnea. The most common is enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Having enlarged tonsils and adenoids may not cause breathing issues during the day, but because muscle tone is decreased during sleep, the airway becomes smaller, making the flow of air more difficult.
Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The following are the most common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea:
- Mouth Breathing
- Bed Wetting
- Restlessness During Sleep
- Frequent Infections in Ear and Throat
Properly treating pediatric obstructive sleep apnea depends largely on its cause.
Consult Doctor Ray Weiss to diagnose and treat the sleep disorder.
A recent poll of parents found that over 80% say they are concerned that misuse of personal audio technology is damaging the hearing of children. Hearing loss can result from too much exposure to sound from any source that is above 85 decibels. Many new technologies such as stereo systems, handheld listening devices and even televisions can produce sound well above the level to be able to cause damage.
What is Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss can be either a sudden or a gradual decrease in your ability to hear. Depending on the cause it can either be mild or severe and temporary or permanent. Many individuals who have hearing loss may not even realize it because it happens gradually over time.
How Do I know if I’m Experiencing Hearing Loss
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms you should contact a doctor. Common symptoms may include:
- Feeling as if your ear is plugged, similar to having water in your ear.
- Difficulty listening to things in your environment such as individuals speaking, a radio or television.
- If you notice that you tend to listen to the television or a stereo at a higher volume then you previously used to.
If these symptoms are left unchecked they can lead to more severe symptoms and conditions such as:
- Ringing of the ears, known as Tinnitus
- Any uncomfortable feelings from irritation to severe pain
- Symptoms of Vertigo (feelings as if your surroundings are spinning)
How to Prevent Hearing Loss
Follow these basic steps to avoid and damage to your ears:
- Avoid loud noises in your environment such as motorcycles, loud music, or industrial machines.
- When you cannot avoid loud noises in your environment, make sure to wear hearing protection.
- Lower the volume of what you listen to.
- Limit the amount of time that you spend listening to music or television.
- Wear headphones that go completely around or deep inside the ear in order to limit outside noise. By limiting outside sounds it will reduce the need to increase the volume of what you are listening to.
Everybody has dealt with the pain and discomfort caused by ear infections. Though ear infections are harmless a majority of the time, it’s important to have all the facts to properly diagnose and treat ear infections.
More often than not, ear infections affect the middle ear where the eusthachian tubes connect to the back of your nose to your ears. During an ear infection, these small tubes become blocked, causing a build-up in the middle of the ear.
What are the Symptoms of Ear Infections?
Some people may not have obvious symptoms when an ear infection occurs. However, the most common ear infection symptoms include:
- Ear Pain
- Muffled Hearing
- Ear Pressure
Treating Ear Infections
It’s vital to treat ear infections as soon as possible. If left untreated, it can lead to a more severe ear infection, permanent hearing loss and problems with speech development in children. Treatment options for ear infections include:
- Antibiotics (Most common treatment option)
- Pain medications
- Prescription ear drops
If you suspect you may have an ear infection, consult your physician.
If you deal with constant runny noses and congestion, you may have more than the common cold.
Nasal polyps are benign tumors that grow in your nasal passages. If the polyps grow large enough, they can cause blockages in your airways. They are often a side effect of another health condition like allergies or an infection. Though nasal polyps are possible in everyone, they most commonly form in people with:
- Allergic rhinitis
- Sinusitis (Chronic sinus infections)
- Cystic fibrosis
Symptoms of Nasal Polyps
Nasal polyps are often ignored due to the fact that the symptoms are similar to the common cold. Symptoms often include:
- Sinus pressure
- Runny nose
- Decreased sensitivity to taste and smell
- Chronic sinus headaches
- Chronic nasal congestion
Can Nasal Polyps Be Treated?
Yes, nasal polyps can be treated with several different options, including nasal sprays, oral medications, nasal polyp surgery and antibiotics. Though these treatment options may decrease the effects of nasal polyps, polyps usually come back.
For more information about nasal polyps, consult your physician.
Swallowing is so simple to a majority of people. However, an estimated 15 million people in the United States suffer from Dysphagia, or trouble swallowing.
What are the Kinds of Dysphagia?
There are two kinds of Dysphagia:
Esophageal Dysphagia – Esophageal dysphagia is caused by the esophagus, the tube that connects the throat to the stomach, being damaged. Common symptoms of esophageal dysphagia include:
Lack of interest in food
Pain in the chest after swallowing
Excessive coughing in the middle of the night
Nausea after swallowing
Oropharyngeal Dysphagia - Oropharyngeal dysphagia is caused by an abnormality affecting the throat or mouth. Symptoms of oropharyngeal dysphagia include:
Taking a long time to chew food
Getting food stuck in the throat often
Lack of interest in food
Difficulty breathing while eating
Frequent coughing while eating
Treatment Options for Dysphagia
Treatment options for dysphagia depend greatly on the type of dysphagia you are suffering from and what is causing the dysphagia. Common treatment options for dysphagia include:
Exercises for swallowing muscles. These often include retraining muscles to work together to help you swallow.
Changing your diet. Your doctor may give you specific foods you are able to eat that make swallowing easier.
Medicines. If your dysphagia is related to GERD or heartburn, your doctor may prescribe medication to help prevent stomach acid from entering the esophagus.
If you believe you may have dysphagia, consult an ENT.
Everyone has gotten a headache at some point in their lives. However, do you know what kind of headache you’ve had? It’s important to get the proper diagnosis for sinus headaches so you can properly treat the problem.
Symptoms of a Sinus Headache
Sinus headaches are caused by a blockage of normal sinus drainage. The obstruction causes mucus to build up and get trapped in your sinuses. Some of the symptoms of a sinus headache are:
Pain and pressure in the front of your face
Pain and pressure behind your eyes
Sore throat due to mucus build up
These symptoms are often intensified by damp, cold weather if it’s a sinus headache.
Effective Treatments for Sinus Headaches
The most important thing to keep in mind when looking to treat sinus headaches is to figure out what is causing it. Is it caused by allergies? Congestion?
Treatment options can include:
Try a Nasal Spray – Nasal sprays can reduce swelling and relieve sinus congestion for sinus headaches that are caused by infection or allergies.
Antibiotics – If the sinus infection is caused by infection, antibiotics can treat the problem.
Sinus Surgery – There are sinus surgery options to open the blockage, therefore reducing the amount of sinus headaches.
If you think you suffer from sinus headaches, consult your ENT.