Allergies are caused by foreign substances constantly bombarding your body—such as dander, pollen, dust, mold, chemicals, and certain foods. In response, your body has developed an immune system that produces antibodies to protect you. But sometimes immune systems overreact, producing in excess a certain antibody known as IgE, which causes allergic reactions.
For those Americans who experience allergies every year—an estimated 1 in 5 people—there is always the hope that they can find sustainable relief from the sneezing, coughing, runny noses, and watery, itchy eyes, and many other symptoms allergies can cause.
We’re here to let you know that we can provide you the most up-to-date and effective techniques for managing your allergies, helping you understand more about the allergies that you or a loved one might be experiencing.
Our allergy specialists work with patients of all age populations, so if your allergy concerns are for yourself, a young child, or a more senior member of the family, we’ll proudly provide you the same comprehensive approach to allergy care your friends and neighbors have come to expect from Ear Nose & Throat Medical and Surgical Group.
Common Symptoms of Allergies
- Eyes – Itching, redness, swelling, tearing
- Ears – Fluid in the middle ear, recurrent infections
- Nose – Itching, congestion, sneezing, postnasal drip
- Sinus – Sinus pain, pressure, recurrent infection
- Lungs – Shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, coughing
- Skin – Itching, welts, hives, blistery rash
- Other – Headaches, fatigue, hyperactivity, depression
Common Causes of Allergies
- Pollen (Trees, Grasses, Weeds)
- Dust Mites
- Animal Hair/Dander
- Insect Stings/Bites
Did you know? 60 million people in the U.S. suffer from allergies. That’s enough people to classify as an allergy epidemic!
How Do I Manage My Allergies?
- Avoid the allergen(s) – While this may work in some situations, some substances such as pollen are hard to avoid
Treat the symptoms – Medication can provide you a measure of relief from your allergy symptoms, but it does nothing to address the root of the problem
Use immunotherapy – Alter the body’s reaction to the allergen(s). To desensitize your immune system’s reaction to the effect of the offending allergen is the only treatment method known to cure your allergy
What are My Testing Options?
The first step in treating an allergy is to find out what is causing the reaction.
Radioallergosorbent Testing (RAST) involves sending a sample of your blood to a lab to be tested for allergens. We don’t typically recommend this method as allergens may not show up in blood and can be missed.
Modified Quantitative Testing (MQT) is a state-of-the-art method. It combines both intradermal testing and skin-prick testing. This allows the healthcare provider to precisely identify the degree of reactivity. This is our preferred testing method as recommended by the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy (AAOA).
What are my treatment options?
There are a number of treatment options available that may offer some relief from allergy symptoms. These options include avoidance, prescription and over-the-counter medications, and allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots or sublingual drops).
|Subcutaneous Immunotherapy (SCIT)||Injections of allergen extract||In your physician’s office||Weekly, for a 30-minute appointment||Covered by most insurance plans|
|Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT)||Drops of allergen taken orally||In your home||Quarterly, to pick up the next vial of drops||Not covered by insurance; out-of-pocket expense for patient|
If you feel that someone you love or your allergy medication and avoidance measures do not help as much as you would like, you should consult one of our ENT Allergist specialist regarding evaluation and individualized treatment options available to you.
Who could benefit?
Allergy shots or sublingual drops are used for people with respiratory allergies caused by pollens, animal dander, molds and dust mites. Speak with your physician about your allergies and the individualized treatment options available to you. If you think you may be a candidate for immunotherapy, ask your doctor about it today.