Seasonal Allergy Q&A on The Morning Blend
Dr. Madan Kandula went on The Morning Blend to answer questions about seasonal allergies from Facebook.
And welcome back. This is our continuing series Sleep Well, Breathe Well with ADVENT. If you suffer from allergies, you probably fall into one of two categories: the sneezy, itchy, watery eyes type, or the group where you're stuffed up and congested all the time. Well, either way, there is hope for long-term relief. We asked you last Friday on Facebook to send in your questions about seasonal allergies. And today ADVENT CEO, Dr. Madan Kandula is here with answers. Good morning, doctor. Happy Monday.
Dr. Kandula (00:38):
Good morning. Good morning. Good to see you.
Good to see you too. Let's start with, fundamentally, I think I've had allergies for what seems like a million years, but I still wonder what causes them. And I think a lot of people wonder that.
Dr. Kandula (00:53):
Basically, it's really your body is bringing things in that are identified as enemies, that shouldn't be identified that way. Whether it's pollen or dust or animal dander, things that are common, they shouldn't be annoying to your body, but your body's sort of says, "Hey, somebody's allergy issues, this is trouble, we should shut these things down." So it causes folks' noses to get stuffed up itchy, sneezy, runny, all the things that you mentioned before. It's using your immune system and your defense mechanisms against something that it shouldn't.
I always think of it sort of like an overreaction, like our body sort of overreacting to it. Okay. Here's another question that we got on Facebook related to seasonal allergies. Somebody asked they have a lot of itchiness in the nose and eyes, which is typical of allergies. They feel like it seems worse wearing a mask. And they're wondering, is that just their perception? And what are the issues that might make wearing a mask more difficult with allergies?
Dr. Kandula (01:52):
Yeah, and it's hard to say for sure, but I'd say very, very specifically we're all paying more attention to our nose, our throats, you know, with masks on. And, and so one part of this may just be the fact that your attention is drawn to these areas. The other part of that fact is if you had a mask on and your nose is not working properly, then that mask is extra problematic. And so if somebody's nose is a little itchy, a little runny, and you don't have a mask on—no big deal. All of a sudden you throw a mask on and it could be very, very troublesome. You know, on the other hand, I'd say you know, because you're bringing stuff to your face, it's possible that you're getting exposed to the things that you otherwise wouldn't. And I would say the final thing is many of us have, have changed sort of our pattern of life and how much you're inside, outside all those things. And so all those things can factor in, but I'd say it's probably all the above you know, could be factoring in.
Makes sense. I used to suffer from chronic sinus infections, and I always wondered if my allergies were sort of like the precursor to it. Well, one of the questions we got on Facebook was related to that and just simply, are sinuses and allergies interrelated?
Dr. Kandula (03:03):
They can be. Yeah, certainly. So if somebody has an issue with their nose or their sinuses, it's one of two things: either the anatomy is too tight, things are too shut down, or the lining is irritated. Allergies are an instance where the lining is irritated if so somebody's anatomy is already tight, already struggling a little bit, and then we all of a sudden swing some allergies up against them, that little bit of irritation and inflammation can take the anatomy that was tight and shut it down. And so if somebody's suffering with chronic sinus issues, either headaches or chronic sinus infections or repetitive sinus infections, it's that those openings out of the sinuses aren't working properly. And so it can kind of be the perfect storm, narrow anatomies mixed in with that irritation and inflammation can shut things down to take things off course. And so the end of the day, I think a lot of folks sort of suffer in a lot of folks just suffer in silence and, and unfortunately ignorance, as far as gosh, all these things are going on. What do I, what can I do about it? And there are things you can do.
On Facebook. One of our viewers asked about antihistamines and I think this is typical, doctor. I bet, by the time people get to your office, they talk about all the different over-the-counter meds that they take. Antihistamines are one of the most common. And so this question on Facebook was, are there other treatment options besides always taking antihistamines for seasonal allergies?
Dr. Kandula (04:21):
There certainly are. I mean, antihistamines are fine. They're over the counter these days, they used to not to be. And so a lot of folks just go to the pharmacy, I'll look at those thousands of medications, scratch their head and take something and hope it's going to work. And I'd say, if it helps, that's a good sign, but likely almost assuredly. There's a root cause solution that's available, whether it's, you know, allergy testing and allergy shots or drops, that's an easy enough thing to do. We do have office-based procedures that exist these days to really shut down that allergy inflammation for folks who are suffering from that. And we're literally talking about a very, very simple, just a few minute office-based procedure to really create a lifetime of change. And there are other procedures we can do to get, get somebody's nose open and functioning. So I think it's just a matter of how bothersome these issues are. If medications are not what somebody is looking for or not providing the solution that they want, getting to the root cause about what's going on and providing a root cause solution is everything that we're about.
We ran out of time, but I want to give you just a quick second to answer this last question, because this one came in also about medication, and they're just wondering, are there long-term effects of using things like nasal sprays and antihistamines and those types of medications long-term
Dr. Kandula (05:31):
It really depends. I mean, some of them are fine and simple and they're fairly benign meaning you can use them for the long haul. Others can sometimes lose effectiveness over time, and yet others, especially certain nasal sprays are dangerous to use in the long haul. So I think a lot of folks there, you know, they don't know what to do and they go over the counter and they'll grab something and if it works, that's great. But unfortunately, we find that a lot of folks will grab things and use things in a prolonged manner that are actually harmful. And so it's, it's really trying to be very, very mindful about what you're putting into your body and making sure when you're trying to reach for help, that you're looking and getting something that's actually working for you and can work for you for the long haul.
So good to do a consultation if you've been suffering for a long time. Thank you so much, Dr. Kandula.
Dr. Kandula (06:15):
Thank you. Thank you very much.
Absolutely. And I want to make sure that people know that they can go to your website because making an appointment's so quick, if you go to ADVENTknows.com, insurances are accepted and no referral is required. ADVENT has locations in Wauwatosa, Mequon, Oconomowoc, Oak Creek and Pleasant Prairie.