Allergies are a widespread condition that affects approximately one out of every five Americans. They occur throughout the year in all types of climates and can be triggered by pollen, mold spores, dust mites, animal dander, food, chemicals, medications and other environmental irritants.
Despite the advances in allergy care during the past several decades, there are still only three basic, accepted approaches to allergy care:
- 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.
- Pharmacotherapy: Medications can frequently control allergy symptoms. These may include antihistamines, decongestants, prescription nasal sprays, leukotriene inhibitors and other types of products.
- Immunotherapy: When allergen avoidance and medications do not successfully control allergy symptoms, an ENT specialist can alter the body’s overactive response by carefully challenging the patient’s immune system through exposure to the actual allergens to which a patient is sensitive. Once the patient’s allergens have been identified by allergy testing, immunotherapy treatment can be given in one of two ways–with regular injections known as subcutaneous immunotherapy (aka allergy shots) or with the use of under-the-tongue drops known as sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). SLIT is growing in popularity among patients but may not be covered by some insurance plans.
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.
Call Sound Health Services for more information or to schedule an appointment.