Allergies are one of the most common health conditions affecting children and adults. They’re also a top cause of nasal congestion and chronic sinusitis. Michael Jaindl, MD, at South Florida Ear, Nose and Throat in Lehigh Acres, Florida, specializes in comprehensive allergy care, including allergy testing, immunotherapy, and helping you with chronic sinus and nasal conditions that develop as a result of allergies. If you need relief from allergy symptoms, call the office today.
Your immune system triggers allergies when it mistakenly identifies a safe substance as something that can harm your body. The substance, called an allergen, is tagged by antibodies, then every time you encounter the substance in the future, your immune system activates an allergic reaction.
These are a few examples of the most common allergens:
Eight categories of food cause most food allergies: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish.
Airborne allergens often cause recurrent rhinitis and sinusitis, or inflammation of the membranes lining your nose and sinuses. Both conditions cause sinus pain, nasal congestion, and a discolored discharge.
The symptoms you develop are generally related to the type of allergy. For example, airborne allergens like pollen cause nose, eye, and respiratory symptoms, while contact allergens lead to skin rashes.
This list includes the range of symptoms caused by the different types of allergies:
Some types of allergens, especially foods, insect venom, and latex, have the potential to cause a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis rapidly causes symptoms such as difficulty breathing, a swollen tongue or throat, and dizziness.
An anaphylactic reaction is an emergency because it can quickly lead to loss of consciousness and death. At the first sign of a reaction, call 911 and use your epinephrine pen.
Allergy treatments are specific for your allergen, which means the first step is allergy testing with a simple bloodtest. Once your allergens are identified, your treatment begins with a plan to avoid those substances.
Mild allergies may only need over-the-counter medication. But when your symptoms are severe or year-round, or you’re at a high risk for anaphylaxis, your South Florida Ear, Nose and Throat provider may recommend immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy is given through sublingual drops that dissolve under your tongue. This treatment contains a small amount of your allergen. With consistent exposure to the allergen, your immune system develops a tolerance to the substance, and your allergic reactions diminish or disappear.
If you suffer from allergies, call South Florida Ear, Nose and Throat today.