I am a 45-year-old woman with hypothyroidism. For the past three years, I have had congestion. I’ve been to two allergists who ran tests for allergies to plants and trees. They both wanted to start me on allergy shots, which I feel are a last resort. Are there other kinds of tests that can be run?
It is interesting that uncontrolled hypothyroidism itself can cause nasal congestion. So the first test could be thyroid function testing. You are correct in asking about other possible causes of your nasal congestion.
The regular use of over-the-counter nasal sprays, nasal polyps, sinusitis, and structural defects in the nasal anatomy are a few other causes of nasal congestion. These can be excluded by taking a good medical history, a physical exam and, on occasion, sinus X rays or sinus cat scans.
Allergy shots are most helpful when nasal symptoms are definitely allergic in origin, the allergen is identified, and the symptoms are well correlated with the identified allergen (i.e. positive skin test for grass pollen and nasal symptoms worsen in late spring).
Allergy shots are often delayed until adequate environmental changes have been tried, such as removing an animal from the home when it is certain to be worsening symptoms. Good luck to you.