Austin-based allergist William Howland MD helps patients by determining whether they are suffering from allergies, colds or sinus infections. The symptoms of allergies and infections are similar, which can be confusing to patients before they consult with William Howland MD.
For instance, a patient with a clear runny nose, a stuffy nose and watery eyes could be suffering from either from allergies or an infection, William Howland MD explains. However, if a patient has colored mucus, a fever, muscle aches, a sore throat or swollen glands, then those symptoms would indicate to William Howland MD that he or she has an infection.
William Howland MD walks patients through the determination process. Allergies are reactions to otherwise harmless substances that affect people who are sensitive to them, William Howland MD explains. People with allergies tend to have a genetic predisposition toward them, adds William Howland MD. He also notes that patients who have allergies may have symptoms involving the gastrointestinal tract, the respiratory tract, the skin or the whole body.
Respiratory allergies are often seasonal due to Ragweed in the fall, Mountain Cedar pollen in the winter or Oak pollen in the spring, points out William Howland MD. Or, they could be caused by exposure to common allergens such as cats, dust or even mold. These same symptoms can manifest themselves at the beginning of a cold. Allergist William Howland MD can help determine what is causing those symptoms and prescribe antihistamine and or decongestant medications.
Colds, however, are caused by viruses – and there are more than 300 viruses that can attack the respiratory tract, according to William Howland MD. Children tend to get more colds than adults with the average being between 4-12 colds per year. Adults on the other hand only average between 2-6 colds a year, William Howland MD states.
The difference between cold symptoms and allergy symptoms are slight, but systemic symptoms tend to accompany the nasal and eye symptoms with a cold. Body aches, coughing, hoarseness, or feeling run down are symptoms of a cold, with fevers occurring with approximately 20% of colds, notes William Howland MD. Other symptoms of a cold are a sore throat or swollen glands. William Howland MD also associates colored mucus from a patient’s chest, nose or throat with cold symptoms.
A native of Austin, Texas, William Howland MD has been voted one of the best doctors in Austin by the magazine Austin Monthly. In addition to his busy private practice, Allergy and Asthma Center of Austin (www.nosneezes.com), William Howland MD conducts research in the field of allergies and asthma, seeking to find new medications to ease symptoms. William Howland MD works with patients who suffer from asthma and hives and allergic reactions to insect bites, drugs and foods. Dr. William Howland MD sees patients as young as four years old and has a special interest in Cedar Fever, a wintertime allergy that affects Texans. His research has been widely published and he hosts a regular televised segment on KVUE news about allergies.