Did you know that the number Americans who have allergies is estimated to be over 50 million? Chances are, you or someone you love lives with allergies. There’s also a very good chance that the same person is also living with chronic pain and their allergies are making that pain worse. This month, our pain doctors in Bedford TX (locations also in Benbrook and Lewisville) wanted to share some basic information about the allergy and chronic pain connection. Read on to learn more.
Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
Seasonal allergies are categorized by a specific physical response to different types of pollen in the air. Each season and climate have its own unique pollen type and count that can each wreak havoc on a person’s immune system, which works hard to defend against a perceived threat. The symptoms that most commonly indicate seasonal allergies include the following:
- Sinus pressure
- Runny nose
- Congestion/stuffy nose
- Watery, red eyes
- Itchy/sore throat
The Connection Between Allergies and Chronic Pain
Depending on the type and location of a patient’s chronic pain, it’s fairly common for seasonal allergies to aggravate chronic pain symptoms. The primary reason for this is that seasonal allergies can cause an inflammatory response. This inflammation is especially challenging for patients who experience joint pain.
Untreated seasonal allergies can cause increased muscle tension or aches as well as fatigue. Excessive coughing and sneezing can lead to aches and pains in the neck, shoulders, chest and back. Allergy symptoms that interrupt sleep create another challenge, making conditions like fibromyalgia and chronic migraines much worse.
If any of this sounds like we are describing your life, we currently have Bedford doctors accepting new patients (locations also in Benbrook and Lewisville). Give us a call to schedule a consultation today!
Tips & Tools to Manage Allergies
Proactive allergy management is key to minimizing the effect they have on chronic pain. The following are a few tips and tools to help you with this at home:
- com has an interactive map of nation-wide pollen activity to advise you on your day-to-day and/or travel symptom management.
- Wash your bedding weekly and avoid hanging it (as well as other laundry) outside to dry.
- Eliminate opportunities for pollen to sneak into your house by keeping windows and doors shut as often as possible.
- Use a high-quality air filter specifically made for allergies and replace filters as recommended.
- Use an air purifier
- See an allergist for help targeting your specific type of seasonal allergies.
Ways Your Pain Specialist Can Help
If you are already seeing a pain specialist, there’s a good chance you are already receiving specific treatments that target the impact seasonal allergies have on your chronic pain. However, if seasonal allergies are a new development or you haven’t already told your doctor about your allergies, be sure to inform him or her as soon as possible. Treatments that your pain specialist may use to help include the following:
- Extra physical therapy sessions specifically for the areas where pain is increasing
- Prescribe NSAIDs or other helpful medications
- Offer additional comprehensive pain management that target joints, neck and/or back
Each patient’s pain is unique, therefore the approach to each patient’s pain will be unique. Your doctor will provide a thorough assessment of your condition and consider all contributing factors before proceeding with a treatment plan.
Pain is actually a wide spectrum of disorders including acute pain and chronic pain and sometimes a combination of both. The physicians at CPI have special training in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of all different types of pain. CPI offers a scope of services depending on your specific set of needs as a patient. Call us today to schedule an evaluation with a one of our specialists.