Posts for tag: Allergies
Should you turn to an otolaryngologist to treat your allergy symptoms?
Summertime can be glorious…for people who don’t have allergies; however, allergies can flare up this time of year, making that fun vacation or time outdoors miserable. If you find yourself hiding inside most of the year, this could signify that your allergies are uncontrolled and interfering with your life. Is it time to see an otolaryngologist for relief?
When Should I See An ENT Doctor?
If you find that your allergy symptoms are minor and controlled through over-the-counter remedies and home care, then you may not need to book an appointment with your ENT doctor immediately; however, you should turn to an ENT doctor if,
- You are dealing with chronic sinusitis or nasal congestion
- Your symptoms are severe
- Over-the-counter medications, lifestyle changes and home care aren’t enough
- Your symptoms last three months or more
- Your allergies are interfering with sleep, work or your quality of life
How Does an ENT Specialist Treat Allergies?
If you deal with seasonal or mild allergies, you may find them only a minor nuisance, and it might not be worth scheduling an appointment with a doctor; however, if you find yourself battling allergies for several months a year and they aren’t responding to at-home care these are signs that it might be time to sit down with an ENT doctor to discuss other treatment options.
How Does an ENT Treat Allergies?
If you aren’t sure what is causing your allergy symptoms, allergy testing will provide the best insight. Once allergy testing is performed, we’ll know exactly what you’re allergic to so we can map out a treatment plan. Treatment options range depending on the severity and type of allergies you’re dealing with. Allergy treatment plans often include,
- Lifestyle changes such as keeping windows and doors closed, using a HEPA air filter in the bedroom and other modifications to reduce your exposure to the allergen
- Oral medications such as antihistamines and decongestants
- Steroids or saline nasal sprays
- Immunotherapy (allergy shots) for more severe and unresponsive symptoms
If you are dealing with allergy symptoms that are driving you mad with itchy, watery eyes, nasal congestion and fatigue, an ENT doctor may be the right specialist to turn to for relief.
You may have allergies that show up in the spring when plants are flowering and grass is growing. You’ve grown used to the itchy, allergies watery eyes and sneezing. But now, you have allergies in winter too, when you’re indoors because of bad weather. Your ENT specialists want you to know that allergies aren’t just seasonal. They can affect you all year long.
Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, is common during the spring and summer months and is caused by an allergic response to tree or grass pollen and various other flowering plants. But allergies aren’t confined to just spring and summer. When you are indoors during the fall and winter, you can experience allergies to pet dander, dust mites, mold and many other indoor irritants. You can also be allergic to certain foods and not even realize it.
Your first step in dealing with allergies is to learn what you are allergic to. Your ENT doctors can test you for food allergies and a variety of both indoor and outdoor allergens. Once you’ve found out what you are allergic to, your doctors may prescribe:
Allergy shots—typically given once a week with either a single injection or multiple injections depending on how many things you are allergic to.
Sublingual drop therapy—a convenient option for people on the go, or those who don’t want injections; your doctors mix up a custom treatment solution which you can take at home and use daily, as a drop under your tongue.
There are also some remedies you can try at home to get relief from allergy symptoms, such as:
- Irrigating your nasal passages with a saline solution
- Over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants
- Using allergy-proof pillowcases and linens
- Using allergy or HEPA filters in your house, especially in the bedroom
- Vacuuming your carpets regularly
- Keeping your pets off of furniture and out of your bedroom
If you have irritating allergies, you already know they can affect your life. They can keep you from doing the things you like, and worst of all, they may not be just seasonal. But now there’s help just a phone call away from your ENT specialists. Call today and get some relief from your allergies!
Do you find that certain times of the year it’s difficult to go outdoors without developing watery itchy eyes or sneezing your head off? Does coming in contact with your friends’ pets leave you dealing with red itchy welts on your skin and a runny nose? If you said “yes” to these questions, you could very well be dealing with allergies.
While there isn’t a cure for allergies, there are many ways to treat this issue. If you aren’t finding relief through over-the-counter antihistamines, nasal sprays, and other allergy medications, it’s time to turn to an otolaryngologist for help. It’s important that you don’t just ignore your allergy symptoms, as they can often get worse if left untreated.
First and foremost, it’s important to figure out what is causing your allergy symptoms to flare-up. Everything from pollen, mold dust, dust mites, dander, and mildew could be causing your symptoms. The sooner you and your ENT doctor are able to get to the root of your flare-ups the easier it will be to treat your allergies.
While an otolaryngologist may choose to prescribe medication to help you better manage your symptoms, there are also a variety of lifestyle modifications you can incorporate into your daily routine to reduce flare-ups.
For starters, it’s important to reduce how often you come in contact with the offending allergen. This may require you to close your windows during the day, vacuum the carpets and furniture a few times a week, bathe your trusty pet regularly, use an air purifier with a HEPA filter in your bedroom, or place a protective covering over your mattress.
Even though some people may find relief from commercial allergy products, those dealing with persistent or moderate-to-severe allergies may require a more specific and stronger medication. There are a variety of prescription nasal sprays, eye drops, and other antihistamines that can reduce congestion, eye redness and itching, and other allergy complaints. Of course, if these lifestyle changes and medications aren’t enough to get your symptoms under control then your allergy specialist may discuss the pros and cons of getting allergy shots.
Don’t let allergies get the better of you. There are ways to get your allergies under control so they don’t control you. Don’t fight your allergy alone; turn to an ENT specialist for help.
Do you feel tired most of the time? An allergy may be to blame. Although sneezing and watery eyes are among the most well-known allergy symptoms, they're by no means the only indication that you may have an allergy. Understanding common symptoms and causes can help you determine if your problems are be caused by allergies.
What causes allergies?
Your body perceives allergens as dangerous substances, even if they're as seemingly harmless as pollen or dust. Your immune system leaps into protective mode and releases antibodies designed to protect you from the effects of the allergen. Unfortunately, the release of the antibodies triggers sneezing and other allergy symptoms.
In many cases, people assume that their symptoms can't be caused by allergies because they've never been allergic to anything in the past. Allergies can develop at any point in your life and tend to occur only after repeated exposure to an allergen.
Allergies are often triggered by:
- Fungal Spores
- Dust or Dust Mites
- Animal Dander
- Animal Dander
- Certain Foods
What are common symptoms of allergies?
If you have allergies, you may notice one or more of these symptoms:
- Runny Nose
- Red, Itchy or Watery Eyes
- Chest Tightness
- Dark Circles Under Your Eyes
How Can I Tell If It's Allergies?
If you've never had allergies before, it's easy to confuse allergy symptoms with cold symptoms. Unlike allergies, colds clear up in about 10 days. If your symptoms linger and don't improve, you may actually be suffering from allergies. Pay attention to when symptoms occur. Are they worse after you've spent the day outdoors or during the spring or fall? You may have seasonal allergies. If you're allergic to dust and mold, you may experience more intense symptoms during the winter when you spend more time indoors.
Dark circles under your eyes may not be caused by lack of sleep, but by allergies. Exposure to allergens can cause the blood vessels under your eyes to swell, which makes the area look darker than usual. Keeping a journal of your symptoms and when they appear can help you determine if you have allergies.
It's not always easy to tell if your symptoms are caused by allergies. A visit to your ear, nose and throat doctor can help you narrow down the cause of your symptoms and obtain appropriate treatment if you do happen to have allergies.
Breathing problems can quickly turn into a scary situation. However, your ear, nose and throat specialist can help you get to the bottom of your breathing problems to help you find relief and avoid further complications. Diagnosis and treatment of these issues depend on pinpointing the underlying cause of the problems and developing an effective treatment plan.
Do I have a breathing problem?
Breathing issues can stem from various sources which often cause similar symptoms. You may have a breathing problem if you experience one or more of the following:
- labored breathing
- shortness of breath
- discomfort while breathing
- flaring nostrils
- gray/pale complexion
If you think you have a breathing difficulty, you should see your ear, nose and throat doctor as soon as possible for a diagnosis. If your breathing difficulty shows up alongside a fever, severe coughing, difficulty laying down or waking up at night unable to breathe, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Common Causes of Breathing Problems
Your breathing problems may originate from one or more of the following conditions:
- Allergies: Allergies occur due to your body’s misinterpretation of outside elements like pet dander, pollen, mold or grass as an attack. Symptoms include sneezing, wheezing, coughing and itchy, watery eyes.
- Deviated septum: A deviated septum can be present from birth or present itself due to an injury. A deviated septum occurs when the wall of tissue between your nostrils becomes severely off-center and causes issues like blockages or congestion.
- Lung disease: Asthma is a common cause of breathing issues and attacks often occur due to a trigger like an allergic reaction to dust, mold or pollen. Other lung diseases like pulmonary edema, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, plural effusion or tuberculosis can also trigger breathing problems.
- Sinusitis: Sinusitis occurs when the lining of the nasal passages becomes inflamed. While sinusitis usually occurs due to a viral infection which shows improvement in a week or two, it can also become chronic, lasting over 12 weeks. Chronic sinusitis often requires sinus surgery to clear the blockage and allow the sinuses to drain.
How can my ear, nose and throat doctor help?
Depending on your diagnosis, your doctor will use different treatments. You will have a physical examination with your ear, nose, and throat doctor. This time allows your doctor to spot abnormalities with your body, take images using x-rays or MRIs, and begin any necessary testing. Your doctor will work with you to determine the cause of your breathing problems and find the best course of treatment for you.