Comprehensive Allergy Treatment
Allergies are a common condition affecting more than one out of every 5 people. Allergies are an abnormal response of the immune system triggered by a typically harmless substance. This substance, such as pollen, mold or animal dander, is known as an allergen. When a person is exposed to an allergen, their bodies produce antibodies and release a variety of chemicals including histamine. Histamine is the main cause for most allergy symptoms. Most allergies are inherited. People with asthma are more likely to suffer from allergies. Since most allergens are found in the air, the reaction occurs in the eyes, nose and lungs. If the allergen is ingested, the reaction can occur in the mouth or stomach.
Most allergic reactions result in mild symptoms that include sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, itching or rashes. Moderate or severe reactions, called anaphylaxis, are rare but can be life-threatening and cause trouble breathing, abdominal pain, cramps, vomiting and dizziness. Bee stings, penicillin and peanuts can cause more serious reactions.
Allergies can be seasonal and only cause reactions during certain times of the year. These seasonal allergens include trees in the spring, grasses in the summer and weeds in the fall. Allergies can also be year round such as dust mite allergy and mold allergy. Allergic rhinitis is the inflammation that occurs in the nose and sinuses and results in nasal congestion, facial pressure and drainage. It may also make sinus infections more likely to occur.
A comprehensive allergy treatment plan includes:
- Enviromental controls – Avoid exposure to the substance your are allergic to, air filters, pillow and mattress covers, eliminating carpet in rooms
- Medications – antihistamines (e.g. allegra), nasal steroids (e.g. Flonase), anti-leukotrienes (e.g. Singulair), eye drops (e.g. Pataday)
- Allergy testing – learn the most important substances to avoid, consider immunotherapy
- Immunotherapy – teaching the immune system to be more tolerant: Sublingual Immunotherapy – allergen solution given under tongue in a drop form
Dr. Boole, a fellow of the American Academy of Otolahryngic Allergy, can help you decide which form of treatment is best for you.
Northwest Florida Ear, Nose and Throat serves patients from Brewton, AL, Pensacola, Jay, Holt, Cantonment, Milton, Pace, Gulfbreeze, Navarre, Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, Niceville, DeFuniak, Destin, Walton County and even has patients from as far east as Panama City, FL.