Dr. Larian: Allergies are very common in the
nose area. Our environment has a lot of material in it that people can become sensitive to
and that really is an allergy – an overreaction to something in our environment.
When you overreact to something, in the environment, what happens to your nose is that it can swell
up and produce secretions, the mucous that ends up in the nose, just like when you have
a cold; that’s a reaction to a virus. People with allergies will constantly have
this problem when they have a runny nose, swelling and difficulty breathing and mucous
dripping down in the back of their throat. The problem that arise from allergies besides
the nuisance of these sensations is the fact that the sinuses, which are cavities in our
nose next to our nose that have tiny openings into our nose, can get blocked too, from the
swelling. The opening to the sinuses is very small and
narrow and ant swelling in the nose can obstruct that opening and cause the mucous that’s in
the sinus to collect and get infected. When a patient comes to the office with sinus
problems or allergy problems, the first thing that we do is to get them a history, to see
how extensive is their problem, how long have they been having it, or if we can figure out
just by talking to them what’s leading to the problem.
Once we figure out these isolated issues then we move on to doing an exam. Then we try to
come up with a treatment protocol to treat the allergies and then the sinuses themselves.
Allergies are treated mostly by conservative measures first: air filters mattress and pillow
covers, getting the rooms, the house cleaner in terms of the allergy problems. Then moving
up to nasal irrigation and nasal washes and then down to medications, nose sprays and
pills. And then if those don’t work, we can get imaging
like CAT scans and then move on to surgery if the need arises. This process usually takes
months and months and months. Once you’ve convinced yourself that you’ve
done everything medically, to clear out the sinuses, to control the allergy, if those
fail, then sinus surgery is what’s left to do.