Treatments For Allergies
A Few Words About Allergies of the Ear, Nose, and Throat
You’re not alone if you suffer from allergies. In fact, millions of Americans have them. Allergies can appear at any age, and can even disappear in childhood only to reappear in adulthood. Allergy is a condition, often inherited, in which the immune system of the affected person reacts to something eaten or something in the environment that doesn't affect most other people. People often think of an allergy as only "hay fever," with sneezing, runny nose, nasal stuffiness, and itchy, watery eyes. However, allergies can also cause symptoms such as chronic "sinus" problems, post-nasal drip, head congestion, frequent "colds," recurring ear infections, hearing loss, dizziness, chronic cough, and asthma. Even stomach and intestinal problems, many skin rashes, chronic headaches, and fatigue can be symptoms of allergy.
Your Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) Allergist is a specialist who can diagnose and treat allergies affecting the ear, nose and throat. The specialty of Ear, Nose, and Throat is also called Otolaryngology, and we sometimes refer to allergy problems in this area of the body as Otolaryngic Allergy. An ear, nose, and throat physician treats all ages, ranging from infants to seniors.Â The expertise of an otolaryngologist can benefit patients with allergies, chronic ear infections, delayed speech caused by fluid in the ears, dizziness, recurrent tonsillitis, and snoring due to enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids.Â In addition, we offer both medical and surgical treatments for problems such as hearing difficulties, chronic sinusitis, snoring, and chronic hoarseness or other vocal problems that can affect patients of all ages.
An ear, nose, and throat physician treats all ages, ranging from infants to seniors. The expertise of an otolaryngologist can benefit patients with allergies, chronic ear infections, delayed speech caused by fluid in the ears, dizziness, recurrent tonsillitis, and snoring due to enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids.Â In addition, we offer both medical and surgical treatments for problems such as hearing difficulties, chronic sinusitis, snoring, and chronic hoarseness or other vocal problems that can affect patients of all ages.
Do you experience red, itchy eyes when going outside? Do certain foods cause you nausea or abdominal pain? Then you could be suffering from allergies. Allergies are so common that they affect about 30 percent of adults, and while there isn’t a cure, the ENT doctors at James B. Maddox, M.D. are here to make sure that you get the compassionate and individualized allergy treatment you need to manage your symptoms more effectively.
An allergy develops when the immune system overreacts to a harmless allergen. Common allergens include:
- Pollen and weeds
- Animal dander
- Foods (e.g. nuts; eggs; shellfish)
- Dust mites
Having allergies can produce a variety of symptoms from headaches and skin rashes to nausea and sneezing. While many allergies aren’t life threatening there are some that are. An appointment with one of our ENT specialists will help to determine the cause and severity of your allergy symptoms.
Through a thorough medical evaluation, we will be able to create a treatment plan that will help to reduce and even eliminate your symptoms. Blood and skin tests can often provide us with an accurate diagnosis to help determine the culprit behind your allergies.
While avoiding the allergen is key to preventing your symptoms, we know that sometimes this is impossible. Fortunately, there are treatment options out there such as medication and immunotherapy that can provide the relief you’ve been looking for.
Antihistamines are often the first line of defense against allergy symptoms. Antihistamines are known to treat symptoms such as congestion, runny nose, sneezing, hives and itchy eyes. Over-the-counter antihistamines may work well for relieving your symptoms, while patients with more severe symptoms will often benefit from a stronger, prescription-strength antihistamine.
Decongestants are also a great medication for relieving nasal congestion and can be used along with antihistamines. If nasal inflammation, congestion or other allergy symptoms are more severe or aren’t responding to these other treatments, then we may prescribe steroids. Of course, steroids do come with potential side effects, so it’s always important to talk with us if you have any questions or concerns about taking steroids.
If medications just aren’t cutting it, then it might be time to consider immunotherapy, or “allergy shots”. Over time, these injections are designed to help your body get used to the allergen, which can be a major relief for those chronic or severe allergy sufferers.
Why seek the care of an Otolaryngic Allergist?
An Otolaryngic Allergist is able to diagnose and treat disorders of the upper respiratory tract (ear, nose, throat, etc.) caused by allergic conditions. Because the Otolaryngic Allergist is an ear, nose, and throat surgeon and specialist (ENT), other non-allergic diseases of the upper respiratory tract can also be efficiently diagnosed and treated.
To diagnose and treat your allergies, the Otolaryngic Allergist uses methods that have been shown to not only identify specific allergens, but also to achieve effective control of allergies quickly.
When Should You See A Specialist?
Under the following circumstances, the patient should seek consultation with an Otolaryngic Allergist:
- When the diagnosis of an ear, nose, or throat allergy or cause of an ear, nose, or throat symptom is uncertain
- When allergy or ear, nose or throat symptoms are not adequately controlled
- When special diagnostic allergy tests are needed
- When specialized treatment such as immunotherapy is needed
- When other related ear, nose, and throat medical problems are present, such as
- Chronic Sinusitis
- Nasal Polyps
- Fluid In The Middle Ear
- Chronic Ear Infections
- Deviated Septum
- Vocal Disturbances
- Enlarged Adenoids Or Tonsils
- When complications associated with treatment or difficulty in controlling allergy symptoms are affecting the patient's quality of life.