Forty-five million Americans suffer from a recurring problem, we all know as allergies. Runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy and runny eyes, post nasal drip, sinus problems, asthma, and eczema are the most common symptoms of an allergy problem. Allergy symptoms appear when our body’s immune system begins to respond to a particular substance as it were a dangerous invader. These invaders are called an allergen. Once these allergens get into our body, our normal response is to send antibodies to get rid of the allergen. The battle between the allergen and antibodies end up releasing chemical mediators, also known as histamine, into the bloodstream. Those chemical mediators eventually cause changes to the body in which we produce the symptoms we feel. Those who suffer from allergy symptoms might experience problems year round while others only have problems during particular seasons. How do you know if you have allergies? The Ear, Nose and Throat Center can diagnose and treat your allergies.
DIAGNOSING YOUR ALLERGIES:
Skin testing is a safe and easy way to determine which allergens are causing your symptoms by a simple scratch test. The scratch test uses a concentrated liquid of common allergens, such as pollen, mold, dust mites and animal dander, and with a multi-stick method tests for ten allergens at a time, 30 total.
We scratch the outer layer of your skin to allow in the allergens (no needles, injections or bleeding). Your body will creative a hive, similar to a mosquito bite, to your specific allergens.
TREATING YOUR ALLERGIES:
Antihistamines and/or nasal steroids. You get immediate relief but ultimately are only treating the symptoms.
Vials that contain a tiny amount of your specific allergens. Over time, this modulates your immune system and can eliminate your allergies.
WHY CHOOSE IMMUNOTHERAPY?
Immunotherapy offers the opportunity to desensitize your immune system and decrease your sensitivity to your specific allergens. Over time, exposure to those offending allergens results in fewer and less severe symptoms, potentially eliminating your need for OTC medications.
We offer two options for immunotherapy:
• Available at both SLC and Draper offices.
• Administered 1-2 times a week.
• Drops under the tongue daily.
• Done in the comfort of your home at your convenience.
• Advances to maintenance doses significantly faster than shots.
We customize our immunotherapy vials to individually fit each patient.
Beware Of Allergens
Anything can be an allergen. Some substances, because of their chemical make-up, are more prone to generate an allergic response in humans. Pollens, food, mold, dust, feathers, animal dander, chemicals, drugs such as penicillin, and environmental pollutants commonly cause many to suffer allergic reactions.
Hay fever is caused by pollens. The most significant cause of hay fever in the United States is ragweed. It begins pollinating in late August and continues until the first frost. Late springtime pollens come from the grasses, i.e., timothy, orchard, red top, sweet vernal, Bermuda, Johnson, and some bluegrasses. Early springtime hay fever is most often caused by pollens of trees such as elm, maple, birch, poplar, beech, ash, oak, walnut, sycamore, cypress, hickory, pecan, cottonwood, and alder.
Certain allergens are always present. These include house dust, household pet danders, foods, wool, various chemicals used around the house, and more. Symptoms from these are frequently worse in the winter when the house is closed up. Mold spores cause at least as many allergy problems as pollens.
Molds are present all year long, and grow outdoors and indoors. Dead leaves and farm areas are common sources for outdoor molds. Indoor plants, old books, bathrooms, and damp areas are common sources of indoor mold growth. Molds are also common in foods, such as cheese and fermented beverages. Colorful or fragrant flowering plants rarely cause allergy because their pollens are too heavy to be airborne.
Can Allergies Be Serious?
Allergies are rarely life threatening, but often cause lost workdays, decreased work efficiency, poor school performance, and less enjoyment of life. It is common for allergy sufferers to develop sinus or respiratory infections if allergy symptoms are not controlled. Considering the millions spent in anti-allergy medications and the cost of lost work time, allergies cannot be considered a minor problem.
Treatment And Prevention:
A number of medications are useful in the treatment of allergy including antihistamine, nasal decongestant sprays, steroid sprays, and saline sprays. The medical management of allergy also includes counseling in proper environmental control. Based on a detailed history and thorough examination, your doctor may advise testing to determine the specific substances to which you are allergic.
The treatments employed by your otolaryngologists will depend on the materials to which you are allergic and the degree of your sensitivity to them.
The only “cure” available for inhalant allergies is the administration of immunotherapy (injections or sublingual drops) that build up protective antibodies to specific allergens (pollens,molds, animal danders, dust,etc.). Your physician will oversee your progress and care for any other nasal and sinus disorders that may contribute to your symptoms.
Tips for Controlling Your Environment:
- Wear a pollen mask when mowing grass or house cleaning (most drugstores sell them).
- Change the air filters monthly in heating and air conditioning systems, and/or install an air purifier.
- Keep windows and doors closed during heavy pollen seasons.
- Rid your home of indoor plants and other sources of mildew.
“I originally came into the ENT Center because of severe allergies which were causing daily headaches and fatigue like I’d never had before. I started the drops in November 2014. Today, April 28th, 2015, I am currently in the throes of spring allergies and I’ve got to attest that my allergies are SO MUCH BETTER already. No itchy eyes, runny nose OR headaches! I still have minor fatigue but I’m optimistic with time that this too will pass. I’ve done six vials so far. They are easy to use and so convenient. I’ve already sent several of my friends to the ENT Center, and would recommend this service to anyone.”