Could you be dealing with allergies? It’s important to know the signs.
While people without allergies may be singing the praises of spring weather, you may be hiding away in your home. Or you may be finding that even your home isn’t safe when it comes to your watery eyes and stuffy nose. From the foods we eat to outdoor plants, there are so many things that can cause allergies to kick up. Know the signs of an allergy and when your symptoms warrant turning to our Garland, TX, ENT doctor Dr. James Maddox for further evaluation.
Symptoms of Allergies
An allergic reaction can appear anywhere from a couple of minutes after exposure, or it may develop over the course of several hours. Most of the time, symptoms are mild and can be managed with simple over-the-counter medications. Common allergy symptoms that we see here in Garland, TX include,
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Red, watery, or itchy eyes
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent cough
- Hives (a red, itchy rash)
- Dry or red skin
- Swelling of the eyes, face, or lips
What you are allergic to will determine what types of symptoms you are dealing with. For example, if you are allergic to ragweed and you go outside you may battle a runny nose or red, watery eyes while someone who has a skin allergy may be more likely to develop hives when they come in contact with an allergen.
In some cases, a person may develop a severe allergic reaction. This is known as anaphylaxis and should be treated right away, as this can be deadly. Some signs of anaphylaxis include,
- Swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat
- Feeling as if the throat is closing up
- Trouble breathing
- Blue lips
- Loss of consciousness
It’s important that if you or a child is experiencing any of these symptoms that you can 911 right away.
When to See an ENT Doctor
So, when should you turn to an ear, nose, and throat doctor regarding your allergy symptoms? It’s time to give your doctor a call if,
- Your symptoms keep you up at night or make it difficult to work
- You have had persistent allergy symptoms for more than three months
- You’ve tried remedies and OTC medications, but they aren’t working
- You deal with recurrent sinus infections
- Your symptoms are severe
- You also have preexisting health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure (certain over-the-counter allergy meds may not be safe)
If you are desperate for allergy relief and over-the-counter remedies aren’t doing the trick, it’s maybe time to turn to our ENT team here in Garland, TX, to address your allergies. To schedule an evaluation with Dr. James Maddox, call (972) 272-5555.
Here’s how to keep acid reflux in check.
While the majority of people will experience acid reflux every once in a while, as many as 20 percent of Americans will develop acid reflux two or more times a week. This is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and this can cause serious damage to the tissue of the esophagus if left untreated. Wondering whether you should treat acid reflux yourself or turn to our Garland, TX, ENT doctor Dr. James Maddox for care?
Can I treat acid reflux myself?
If you deal with little episodes of acid reflux every once in a while, then you may be able to control it through simple lifestyle changes. For example, many of the foods and drinks we consume can contribute to acid reflux. If you are prone to acid reflux, you’ll want to avoid these foods and drinks as much as possible:
- Carbonated beverages
- Citrus fruits
- Garlic and onions
- Spicy foods
- Tomatoes and tomato sauce
- Processed and fried foods
It’s important to eat smaller meals rather than one larger meal, which can also contribute to acid reflux. Make sure to avoid lying down after eating or to eat your last meal at least three hours before bedtime. If you’re a smoker, this is also a contributing factor. Talk with your doctor about the best ways to quit.
For those occasional bouts of acid reflux, you may even reach for an over-the-counter antacid.
When should I see a doctor?
While a night of acid reflux will certainly not send you to the doctor for an evaluation, if you are dealing with acid reflux on a weekly basis then it’s time to consult with our Garland, TX, ENT. After all, GERD isn’t something that can just be treated by taking antacids all the time. In this case, our gastroenterologist may prescribe a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), which blocks acid production in the stomach rather than just neutralizes acid like an over-the-counter antacid.
If you are living with acid reflux in Garland, TX, and it’s happening regularly, then it’s time to turn to an ENT for more effective treatment. Over-the-counter antacids are not considered a viable treatment option for managing long-term or chronic acid reflux. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Maddox, call us at (972) 272-5555.
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.
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