Allergies can develop at any point in your life and cause anywhere from minor discomfort to severe anaphylaxis. This condition causes your immune system to react to a harmless substance as though its a dangerous foreign invader. The immune system produces antibodies and sets off a chain of inflammatory responses that lead to your uncomfortable symptoms.
Your choice to seek treatment depends on your comfort level and the severity and frequency of your condition. You might choose to seek medical intervention if any of the following situations apply to you:
- Allergy symptoms are bothersome
- Allergies cause lost productivity
- You experience year-round discomfort
- Your allergies’ causes are unknown
- Over-the-counter medications don’t provide relief for symptoms
An ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor like Dr. Vazquez is the most appropriate specialist to coordinate allergy testing and treatment.
Medication and immunotherapy are currently the best treatment options for allergies. Immunotherapy desensitizes your immune system to allergens while medication helps alleviate your symptoms.
Subcutaneous immunotherapy is another name for allergy shots. Dr. Vazquez injects a small quantity of an allergen in your arm. After getting weekly injections for several months, your body builds a healthy immune response to the allergen, at which time Dr. Vazquez can start to space out the injections.
Sublingual immunotherapy is allergy drops that go under your tongue. These drops expose you to a small dose of ragweed, grass pollen, or dust mite allergens. Eventually, your body builds up immunity to the allergens.
The most common prescription and over-the-counter medications for allergies include antihistamines, nasal decongestants, saline spray, eye drops, and corticosteroid treatments. Dr. Vazquez helps determine which medications are appropriate for you.
Environmental control is an important part of the allergy prevention process. It’s helpful to place barriers wherever you can to keep allergens from entering the home and take measures to reduce existing allergens.
To reduce allergens in the home:
- Encourage everyone to leave their shoes at the door
- Wear a pollen mask when outside
- Close windows and doors during pollen-heavy seasons
- Wipe down your pets after they go outside
- Use HEPA filters and an air purifier
- Encase your pillows and mattresses in protective covers
If you need help controlling your allergies, contact the specialists at Elite ENT to start feeling better.