My Blog

Posts for: December, 2014

By Richard Nass M.D.
December 08, 2014
Category: ENT Health
Tags: Allergies  

Nip allergies in the bud before they take over.

Tired of those itchy, red eyes and annoying hack? Does the coming of spring make you anxious? If so, then you are probably one of the 50 million Americans that suffer from allergies. While not often dangerous, allergies can still be downright annoying. If you’ve been suffering with allergies and haven’t found much relief, it might be time to see your Manhattan ENT for help.

What are allergies?

When you have an allergy your immune system produces a hypersensitive reaction to a foreign substance and works extremely hard to defend your body against it. Usually your immune system only reacts when dealing with something harmful like a bacteria or infection; however, for those with allergies, your immune system is working too hard to fight a harmless substance.

Allergies can be brought on by touching or breathing the allergen, by consuming foods or drinks that contain the allergen or from taking medication. Allergies and their symptoms vary from minor to life threatening.

What are some common allergies?

While almost anything can be an allergen the most common substances include,

- Insect stings (e.g. bees)

- Pet dander

- Food (e.g. dairy; gluten; shellfish)

- Mold

- Dust Mites

- Medicines (e.g. penicillin)

- Pollen

What are allergy symptoms?

If you are experiencing an allergic reaction you may have one of more of the following symptoms:

- Nasal congestion

- Runny nose

- Itching skin

- Hives

- Watery eyes

- Sneezing

- Coughing

- Stomachache

What allergy tests are available for me?

The most common way to test for allergies is with a skin test. By scratching the skin with different allergens we can see how your skin responds; however, the skin test can’t test for all allergies and excludes allergies to medication, foods and insect stings.

What allergy treatments are available?

Your Manhattan ENT recommends avoiding the allergen whenever possible; however, the use of antihistamines like Benadryl can often help. We may also recommend steroid nasal sprays, eye drops (when needed), decongestants or allergy shots for those with more severe or long-term allergy symptoms. For those who have life-threatening reactions to certain allergies, we will prescribe an auto-injector such as an EpiPen for the patient to use whenever he comes in contact with the allergen.

When should I contact my ENT about allergies?

If you think your symptoms might be allergy-related you may want to come in for a skin test to pinpoint which allergens are giving you problems. Furthermore, if over-the-counter medications aren’t offering you relief, you will want to come in for an evaluation so we can get you on a treatment plan that works.

Don’t let allergies get the best of you. Call us today so we can help you get through your day symptom-free.