If you dread the approach of allergy season, let your ENT physician prepare you for symptom management and real relief. At our Garland, TX, office, otolaryngologist, Dr. James Maddox, helps numerous patients feel their best even during peak allergy seasons.
When is allergy season?
The start and duration of an allergy season vary with where you live. Typically, it runs anywhere from January to November, but most allergy sufferers experience their most distressing symptoms with the onset of Spring.
Spring poses an array of allergy events, including increasing pollen count, warmer temperatures, and rainy weather which may activate mold growth both inside and outside your house. Common allergy symptoms include:
- Sneezing and coughing
- Runny nose
- Itchy, watery, puffy eyes
- Itchy skin and hives
- Sinus congestion and infection
Consult your ENT doctor
Dr. Maddox likes to see his allergy patients in his Garland, TX, office before the peak season begins. He'll review your symptoms and medications and make sure you have your meds on hand so you can start them in advance of Springtime.
If you suspect you have allergies but have never been evaluated, come into the office for testing. The most common kind of allergy testing is the skin prick test which introduces a small number of suspected allergens under your skin. Dr. Maddox reads the sites and formulates a care plan to include some or all of the following:
- Decongestant and antihistamine medications
- Allergy shots (immunotherapy) to desensitize the immune system to suspected allergic triggers
Other things you can do
At home, take these common-sense precautions before your symptoms begin:
- Spring clean the house to limit dust mites, pet dander, and mold spores.
- Change your HVAC filters, and either clean your doormats or get new ones.
- Check the pollen count every day, and keep the doors and windows closed on high count days.
- Have a supply of your allergy meds on hand, and begin taking them before allergy season begins.
- Wear sunglasses outdoors, and wear a dust mask when mowing the lawn or doing other gardening chores.
- Keep your dog and cat well-groomed and clean.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation says that 20 million Americans have seasonal allergies, and they caused substantial illness when not treated. Let Dr. James Maddox and his team guide you through the allergy season. Phone us in Garland, TX, at (972) 272-5555.
Tinnitus, which is actually a symptom of an underlying condition, affects more than 12 million individuals in the U.S. It manifests as phantom sounds in both or just one ear. While not life-threatening, it could be challenging to manage and may need proper treatment. In most cases, it’s a symptom of problems with your hearing but it can also be a symptom of something else.
This means that an accurate diagnosis by your ENT doctor Dr. James Maddox in Garland, TX, is crucial to determine what’s causing your tinnitus.
Possible Causes of Tinnitus
It’s commonly associated with a malfunctioning kidney, allergies, and high blood pressure. Tinnitus could likewise occur due to:
- Side effects of certain medications
- Cardiovascular issues
- Hearing loss
- A neck or head injury
- Exposure to loud sounds
- Bones in your middle ear that have hardened
In addition, tinnitus could worsen or result from hearing loss. Common hearing loss causes that could aggravate your tinnitus include:
- Earwax buildup
- An ear infection
- A ruptured eardrum
Unfortunately, tinnitus isn’t curable and could be a permanent symptom unless you have the underlying cause treated. It’s vital to obtain a diagnosis from your ENT doctor in Garland, TX. You will need to undergo some tests to find out what’s causing your tinnitus.
While you can’t possibly ease your tinnitus without addressing the underlying cause, you could do some things to try and silence the annoying noises, such as:
- Prescription medications
- Hearing aids to alleviate the ringing and magnify sounds
- An electronic device called a masker to conceal the noises, along with retraining therapy
Relaxation and mindfulness techniques as well as counseling can help in managing the depression, anxiety, fear, or other emotional health concerns that typically come with tinnitus.
Likewise, tinnitus isn’t always preventable, but you could try to safeguard your hearing and ears. Refrain from exposing yourself to loud sounds such as machinery, concerts, blaring music and such, without ample ear protection.
For Concerns or More Information on Tinnitus, Talk to Us
Dial (972) 272-5555 to book a meeting with Dr. James Maddox in Garland, TX, today.
Sinuses giving you trouble? Here’s how an ENT can help.
Springtime is here. While that means warmer, sunnier weather is ahead, it also means that a lot more people are dealing with sinus and nasal problems. If you’ve been dealing with the symptoms of a sinus infection for weeks now and at-home care isn't providing you with relief, then it may be time to see our Garland, TX, ENT doctor, Dr. James Maddox, for more effective treatment.
What are the signs of chronic sinusitis?
If you are someone who battles with recurring sinus infections, or you deal with symptoms for up to three months or more at a time, then you might very well be dealing with chronic sinusitis. Since chronic sinusitis can cause damage to the sinuses, it’s important to spot the symptoms so that you can turn to our Garland, TX, ENT physician for treatment.
The problem is that the symptoms of sinusitis are often similar to a cold or allergies, so you may not think you need to see a doctor when you actually do. If you’ve been suffering from three or more of these symptoms, it’s time to see an otolaryngologist:
- Facial pressure and pain
- Thick yellow or green nasal discharge
- Mild-grade fever
- Referred pain in the upper teeth
- Post-nasal drip (sore throat in the morning)
- Nasal congestion
- Persistent bad breath
How can a doctor manage my sinus pain?
When you come into the office for evaluation we will go through your medical history and ask you questions about your symptoms. From there, we will perform a quick physical examination where we will check the nasal passages. If we suspect that your sinus pain may be caused by polyps or structural abnormalities (e.g. deviated septum), we may request imaging tests or an endoscopy to diagnose the condition.
The type of sinusitis you’re dealing with will determine the treatment plan and treatments that our Garland, TX, otolaryngologist will recommend. For example, some forms of chronic sinusitis will respond to antibiotics; however, if your sinusitis is due to a viral infection, then antibiotics will not be effective. Prescription nasal corticosteroids may also be provided to manage pain and swelling.
If chronic sinusitis is making it difficult to breathe and isn’t responding to any medication, then your ENT doctor may recommend a minimally invasive procedure known as balloon sinuplasty, an alternative to traditional sinus surgery, in which an endoscope is used to open up the blocked nasal passages and help properly drain the sinuses. This procedure can provide years of relief.
Interested? Give us a call
Providing comprehensive ENT care to people living in and around Garland, TX, Dr. Maddox and his team are here to help you tackle sinus pain, allergies, and other ear, nose and throat problems. To schedule an appointment with us, please call (972) 272-5555.
If spring’s approach has you concerned, here’s how to cope with seasonal allergies.
More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year, so if you’re one of them you’re definitely in good company. However, our Garland, TX, ENT Dr. James Maddox wants you to be able to welcome the beautiful springtime and not fear it. If you have allergies, here’s what you can do to manage your symptoms:
Know What Triggers Your Symptoms
Half the battle is just knowing why you’re waking up with undereye swelling, watery eyes, and an itchy nose; however, sometimes you may need to turn to our Garland, TX, otolaryngologist for allergy testing in order to find out what type of allergies you’re dealing with. Once you know, you can avoid or at the very least limit your exposure. Some habits that may help you avoid triggers include:
- Make bedrooms a no-pet zone
- Bathe pets weekly
- Use allergen-proof bedding
- Wash sheets (including pillowcases) at least once a week
- Use a dehumidifier in your home
- Limit time spent outdoors and keep windows closed when outdoor allergens are at their highest
Try Over-the-Counter Medications
Allergy medication can help many people get their allergies under control. Of course, over-the-counter medications may be most effective for those dealing with mild to moderate allergies, while those dealing with severe or unresponsive allergy symptoms should turn to our allergy specialist for prescription-strength medication. Either way, allergy medication is an important part of managing symptoms. Some of these medications may include:
- Antihistamines: great for tackling watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing
- Decongestants: helps with a stuffy nose and nasal congestion
- Eye drops: addresses itchy, watery, and red eyes
- Steroid nasal sprays: reduces nasal inflammation and itchy noses
For those with more severe symptoms, you may want to talk with our doctor about whether immunotherapy or allergy shots, are right for you.
Rinse Out Your Sinuses
If you battle with a stuffy nose during allergy season this could be the result of nasal congestion. While nasal sprays can provide some short-term relief, if you’re not keen on taking medication or you’re just looking for another way to treat your nasal allergies, nasal irrigation is a safe, effective and non-medicinal way to clear out the sinuses. To pursue this last option, we recommend using the NeilMed Sinus rinse Kit.
If allergies are driving you crazy then it’s time to call our Garland, TX, allergy doctor to find out what treatments and medications could finally help you get your symptoms under control. Call us today at (972) 272-5555 for a comprehensive evaluation.
- Skin tests; injecting small amounts of allergen slightly under the skin; a positive reaction usually happens within 20 minutes.
- Challenge tests; you ingest or inhale a small amount of allergen and wait for a reaction; this test is used to determine food or medication allergies.
- Blood tests; a small amount of blood is sent to a laboratory for testing.
Once the allergy testing is complete, there are effective treatments to cope with your allergies, including allergy injections and sublingual drop therapy.
- Taking over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants
- Nasal irrigation with saline solution to clean out your nasal passages
- Placing allergy or HEPA filters in your house, especially your bedroom
- Frequently vacuuming or replacing carpeting with hardwood floors
- Using hypoallergenic pillowcases and bedding
- Keeping pets from coming into your bedroom and off of furniture
- Closing windows and doors in spring and summer to limit pollen exposure
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