A runny nose, itchy, reddened eyes, sneezing...these miserable symptoms represent something millions of Americans suffer from. It's allergies, and Dr. James Maddox, your Garland ENT doctor, helps patients of all ages manage their symptoms. Learn how this experienced physician pinpoints the triggers of allergic reactions and relieves them.
What are allergies?
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says that broadly speaking, allergic symptoms occur when your body's own immune system reacts too strenuously to something you have eaten, touched, or inhaled. Common allergic triggers are:
- Plant pollen
- Insect bites
- Latex gloves and condoms
- Animal dander (tiny bits of an animal's skin--typically from a pet cat or dog)
- Some medications, such as antibiotics
Symptoms range from mild to severe (anaphylactic shock is rare but life-threatening as it threatens the ability to breathe and have proper organ function). At our Garland office, allergies can be identified, alleviated, and managed so that patients feel good and function at their best.
Common allergy symptoms include:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Nasal congestion and copious mucus production
- Post-nasal drip
- Sinus headaches
- Drop in hearing
Testing for and treating allergy symptoms
Blood work and skin testing help your otolaryngologist determine what environmental triggers, food allergies, and tactile irritants cause your various allergy symptoms. Dr. Maddox also listens carefully to patient input on what they believe may trigger their symptoms, the allergies' exact nature, how long they last, and what may worsen or improve them. The doctor then carefully creates a care plan tailored to individual need, medical history, age, lifestyle and of course, results of allergy testing.
Common strategies for avoiding or managing allergy symptoms include:
- Avoidance of known triggers (if possible)
- Immunotherapy (ie allergy shots) which expose the patient to a small number of allergens to desensitize the immune system's reactions
- Antihistamine medications to block production of the natural substances that the body makes when exposed to a trigger
- Nasal decongestants, including steroidal medication if needed
- Corticosteroidal creams to reduce the itching and inflammation from skin reactions
- Self-injected epinephrine (epi-pen) which reverses the severe symptoms associated with insect bites, food, and medications
People with persistent allergies should keep a diary of symptoms and triggers whenever possible, and those with life-threatening conditions should alert family, coworkers, teachers, and so on. Medical alert jewelry, such as a bracelet or necklace, is helpful, too.
Your allergy symptoms needn't rule your life. Identify and manage them with the knowledgeable assistance of Dr. James Maddox. Call his Garland office today for a helpful consultation: (972) 272-5555.