Allergies are caused by your body’s immune system misinterpreting normal environmental factors as threats—such as dander, pollen, dust, mold, chemicals and certain foods.
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, 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 Hendricks ENT.
Common Symptoms of Allergies
- Runny nose
- Recurrent ear infections
- Loss of taste or smell
- Sleep disturbances
- Recurrent sinus infections
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!
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).
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.
Allergy shots 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.
You may learn to live with your allergies—but you don’t have to! See an ENT Allergist to learn more about your allergies and to find out if immunotherapy is right for you.
One in three Americans is affected by seasonal or year-round allergies, leading to chronic sleep troubles, poor focus, mood disorders and infections and inflammation for millions of Americans. Though allergy symptoms can be fairly mild in some people, they can lead to utter misery in others and can translate to more missed workdays and loss of productivity.
Pet allergies and food allergies are also common, and many people may not be fully aware of their specific allergens. A full allergy testing panel can reveal your specific allergens, as well as the immunotherapy treatment options available to you.
An allergy is an immune response to the body’s exposure to a specific foreign substance. Research suggests that certain genetic mechanisms may give the body a tendency toward a specific allergen at birth, but most allergies are acquired through exposure and can occur at any age. Oddly, you can experience an allergic reaction to an allergen that you’ve been exposed to many times before without incident.
When your body decides that a specific allergen is now an invader — for whatever reason — you have developed an allergy to that foreign substance. During exposure, your immune system studies the allergen and prepares for another exposure by developing antibodies, which are designed to detect it. The next time you’re exposed to that foreign substance, your immune system recognizes it and activates cells in your body to disable it. These cells release a chemical called histamine, which causes swelling and other allergy symptoms.
Your body has a threshold of exposure for most allergens, meaning that it can handle a certain amount of a specific allergen. Too much exposure, however, and your body triggers an attack on this substance. Over time, you may outgrow an allergy and see your symptoms become less severe, or they may worsen.
Although food allergies and pet allergies may differ in severity from rhinitis (hay fever) or other common allergies, the symptoms of an allergic reaction are often similar. Usually, an individual having an allergic reaction experiences:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
Other, more severe reactions are referred to as symptoms of anaphylaxis. These are life-threatening and typically occur with exposure to drugs, penicillin, insect stings, food allergies (peanuts, shellfish), x-ray dye and latex. Please seek emergency medical care if any of the below symptoms occur after exposure to an allergen:
- Tightness in the lungs or trouble breathing
- Chest pain
- Low blood pressure
- Dizziness, fainting
- Hives or welts
- Swelling of the throat, face, lips or tongue
- Abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting
The first step in treating an allergy is to find out what is causing the reaction. There are a variety of ways to do this.
Radioallergosorbent Testing (RAST)
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.
Conventional Intradermal Testing
Conventional Intradermal Testing is one of the classic ways to test for allergens but also the most tedious. A very weak dose of potential allergens is introduced to the outermost layer of the skin to see if a reaction takes place. This method requires multiple shots to determine how reactive you are to each allergen.
Modified Quantitative Testing (MQT)
MQT is a state-of-the-art method. It combines both intradermal testing and skin-prick testing. This allows the physician to precisely identify the degree of reactivity with fewer shots. This is our preferred testing method.
Contact us today to make an appointment.
Think of your immune system as a team of bodyguards dedicated to guarding your health. They do a great job repelling common irritants like germs and bacteria, but sometimes a harmless substance sets off a false alarm, convincing your bodyguards to go on the attack. This results in the itching, inflammation and a host of other symptoms you’re probably familiar with. This is what we call an allergic reaction.
Immunotherapy trains the body to reduce these false alarms. By exposing your immune system to increasingly stronger doses of an allergen through injections, your team of tiny bodyguards will gradually learn the difference between the allergen and an actual health hazard.
Unlike other treatment options, immunotherapy targets the cause of the underlying condition rather than the symptoms, thereby reducing the effects of your allergies and improving your overall health.
According to research, the effects of immunotherapy can last 5–10 years or longer, allowing you to enjoy daily activities outdoors or the company of pets without watery eyes or a scratchy throat affecting your quality of life.
Contact us today to make an appointment.
Hay fever, known in the medical community as allergic rhinitis, is one of the more common allergies experienced by people in the United States—an estimated 30% of Americans experience hay fever.
If you or one of your loved ones experience hay fever, we’d like to help. Our staff of allergy experts can help understand the triggers of your allergies, as well as offer treatment and techniques for managing and controlling the effects of your hay fever, so you can lead a more normal way of life.
Causes & Symptoms of Hay Fever
Hay fever can be defined as the inflammation of your nasal airways. This inflammation occurs when you inhale certain allergens, such as pollen. When you inhale these allergens, your body’s immune system reacts to what it perceives as a threat by releasing histamines into your body, resulting in cold-like symptoms: congestion, watery eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, etc.
Though the name hay fever implies that it is a seasonal condition, hay fever, depending on the person afflicted, can occur at any time of year and be triggered by a variety of allergens, such as:
- Tree or flower pollen
- Certain grasses and weeds
- Cigarette smoke
Our allergy experts offer comprehensive testing to determine the root cause of your allergies and will create a plan customized for you. These plans often include changes to your lifestyle and recommendations for avoiding the triggers that are causing your allergies.
Because not all allergens can be avoided, there are many allergy medications we can recommend to help you manage your symptoms and lead a more normal way of life. In severe or chronic allergy cases, we can prescribe medication, immunotherapy (allergy shots), antihistamines and a variety of other treatment methods.
The first step in managing your allergies is to make an appointment with an allergy expert. If you or someone you love experience hay fever, please don’t hesitate to contact our practice. Though your allergies may seem manageable on your own, letting them go untreated can lead to additional and more severe consequences, like ear infections, sinusitis, asthma and more.
Contact us today to make an appointment.