Allergies of the Ear, Nose, and Throat
Allergy is a condition, often inherited, in which the immune system of the affected person reacts to something eaten or in the environment that doesn’t affect most other people. People often think of allergy as only “hay fever”, suffering with sneezing, runny nose, nasal stuffiness and itchy, watery eyes.
However, allergies can also cause symptoms such as chronic “sinus” problems, postnasal drip, head congestion, frequent colds, reoccurring 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 allergies. Food allergy symptoms can be mild to severe, sometimes requiring immediate emergency intervention. Mold and pollen allergy symptoms can vary in severity, and can include sneezing, itchy eyes,inflamed nasal passages, and increased mucus production.
Despite the advances in allergy care during the past several decades, there are still only three basic, accepted approaches to allergy care:
1. Avoidance: The first most basic treatment step, once an allergen has been identified, is to eliminate or avoid contact with it, if possible. Unfortunately, avoiding some allergens (such as pollen, dust, mold, and animals) is often difficult and thus allergen avoidance alone may not be effective.
2. Pharmacotherapy: Medications can frequently control allergy symptoms. These may include antihistamines, decongestants, prescription nasal sprays, leukotriene inhibitors and other types of products.
3. Immunotherapy: When allergen avoidance and medications do not successfully control allergy symptoms, and Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist can alter the body’s overactive response by carefully challenging the patient’s immune system through regular injections of the actual allergens to which a patient is sensitive. This treatment can be given after allergy testing has revealed what it is that a patient is allergic to.
Over time, it may be possible to actually alter a person’s allergic reactions to these environmental allergens, and both improve symptoms, as well as decrease the need for medications, allergen avoidance, or allergy shots for many years.
Why Seek Allergy Treatment from an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist?
An ENT Specialist is able to diagnose and treat disorders of the upper respiratory tract (ear, nose, throat, etc.) caused by allergic conditions.
To diagnose and treat your allergy problems, the ENT Specialists at Sound Health Services use methods that have been shown to not only identify specific allergens, but also to achieve effective control of allergies quickly.
When to See an Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor
The following represent circumstances under which allergy sufferers should seek consultation with an ENT Doctor:
- 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, such as chronic sinusitis, nasal polyps, fluid in the middle ear, chronic ear infections, deviated septum, vocal disturbances, or enlarged adenoids or tonsils may be present.
- When complications associated with treatment or difficulty in controlling allergy symptoms are affecting the patient’s quality of life.
The information on this site is provided by Sound Health Services and the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck, Inc. (AAO-HNS), and is for educational purposes only.
ENT Now offers same day appointments. Call to make an appointment or simply walk in to be seen by a medical specialist.
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