Common Summer ENT and Allergy Problems

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Common Summer ENT and Allergy Problems That May Occur This Season

Summertime in Colorado can be the perfect time to go out and enjoy the great outdoors. Or for some, it may be the best time to avoid it completely. Many people are looking for adventure and relief from the heat. With Summertime upon us, there are some common and not so common ENT issues that occur during this season that might try and ruin the fun.

Swimmer’s Ear also called Otitis Externa

What is swimmer’s ear?

Swimmer’s ear is an infection in the outer ear canal. It runs from the eardrum to the outside of your ear. The condition is frequently caused by water that remains in your ear after swimming. It creates a moist and humid environment that contributes to bacterial or fungal growth.

Putting other objects such as fingers or cotton swabs in your ears can also lead to swimmer’s ear by damaging the thin layer of skin lining the ear canal.

Prompt treatment can help prevent complications or more serious infections.

The symptoms of Swimmer’s ear:

  • Ear pain
  • Itching of the ear canal
  • Redness inside the ear
  • Mild discomfort
  • Drainage of clear or smelly fluid
  • Increasing pain
  • Feeling fluid or fullness inside the ear
  • Severe pain radiating to face, neck, or head
  • Decreased or muffled hearing
  • Swelling in the lymph nodes in the neck
  • Fever

Asthma

Asthma is a chronic condition, but not everyone has symptoms all the time. Some people with asthma can go for several weeks or months without any symptoms. Others may have symptoms every day.

The primary symptom of asthma is wheezing. This is frequently accompanied by a cough and tightness in the chest or the inability to take a full breath.

These symptoms are frequently caused by environmental triggers. Common triggers include inhaling strong scents, cigarette smoke, exercise, and changes in the weather. Many people who suffer from asthma have allergies that trigger their symptoms.

Summertime Allergies

Summer isn’t usually considered an allergy season like spring or fall, but it is the time of year that grass blooms. Grass pollen is high in the summer.

The weeds that can cause summer allergies in Colorado include Ragweed, Cockleweed, Russian Thistle, Sagebrush, Tumbleweed, and Pigweed.

The grasses that can cause summer allergies are Bermuda, Blue, Orchard, Sweet Bernal, Timothy, and Red Top.

Smog and summer air pollution can also make your symptoms worse.

Bees, wasps, hornets, and fire ants can cause allergic reactions when they sting. Insect bites or stings usually cause mild symptoms but can sometimes lead to a severe allergic reaction. If your throat feels like it is swelling shut, your tongue swells, or you feel dizzy or nauseated get medical help right away.

Mold loves damp warm areas including the basement and bathrooms. The spores can get into the air creating an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive. Dust mites also peak in the summer. They thrive in warm and humid climates.

Contact Dermatitis is a common Summer ENT and Allergy Problem

Many people suffer from contact dermatitis or skin allergies. Patients usually experience a rash after contact with something they are allergic to. The rash can develop hours to even days after it is exposed. The rash is typically itchy, red, and inflamed.

Contact dermatitis is usually improved with prescription steroid creams or ointments. Severe cases may require oral steroids.

The best treatment for Contact Dermatitis is allergy testing to find out what your triggers are. Allergens that may cause contact dermatitis include ingredients in cosmetics, jewelry, personal care products, household cleaning products, materials.  Please keep in mind that contact allergies may develop over time so while they may not have caused a reaction earlier in life, they may now cause a problem.

Eye Allergies or Allergic Conjunctivitis

Allergies happen when your immune system overreacts to a harmless trigger in the environment. Eye allergies occur when they come into contact with an allergen and produce an inflammatory response. This can include itching, redness, burning, watery discharge, swelling, or crusty substance on the eyes when you wake up.

Tonsillectomies

These procedures are common in the summertime while kids are out of school. Children have the chance to recover without missing any school.  Tonsillectomies are sometimes indicated in kids with obstructive sleep apnea, snoring, frequent sore throats, strep throat, and tonsil stones.

Surgery to remove the tonsils and adenoids can be done as an outpatient procedure. If you are interested in evaluating your child for the removal of their tonsils, please give us a call or book an appointment before school starts back up.

Sinus Problems or Sinusitis

What is sinusitis?

Sinusitis involves irritants or infections in the nose that can cause swelling in the nasal cavities. This leads to pressure and pain, congestion, and nasal drainage.

Common symptoms include:

  • Pain or pressure over sinuses
  • Discolored drainage or mucus
  • Nasal congestion
  • Cough
  • Phlegm in throat
  • Postnasal drip

Treatments for Sinusitis include:

  • Saline spray or irrigation
  • Decongestants
  • Antihistamines
  • Antibiotics
  • Steroids
  • Balloon Sinuplasty / Balloon Sinus dilation
  • Surgery

If you experience common summer ENT and allergy problems during the summer or year-round, remember that our physicians are here to help. See one of our Board Certified Ear Nose and Throat Specialists today.