Are You Receiving the Appropriate Allergy Treatment

Allergy treatment at your Atlanta doctorolder couple involves a combination of modalities including medication, environmental controls and immunotherapy and Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT). Immunotherapy, commonly known as allergy shots, is a program that increases immunity to certain allergens that trigger allergy symptoms.

While increasing immunity, it decreases your sensitivity to the substances that trigger your allergy symptoms when you are exposed to them. Immunotherapy by sublingual drops, commonly referred to as allergy drops, is an individually tailored alternative program designed to desensitize you to those substances to which you are allergic.

Your allergy tests results are used to create a mixture of substances to which you are allergic. Sterile extracts are prepared from allergy-producing substances such as pollens, molds, house dust, and animal danders according to thing to which you are allergic. These biological substances are then taken under the tongue in increasingly stronger doses until your maximum or maintenance dose has been achieved. Allergen immunotherapy involves administering increasing amounts of an allergen to a patient over several months. Immunotherapy has been shown to be effective in preventing the development of new allergies and, in children, preventing the progression of allergic disease from allergic rhinitis to asthma. Allergen immunotherapy can lead to the long-lasting relief of allergy symptoms after Atlanta allergy treatment is concluded.

Allergen immunotherapy involves administering increasing amounts of an allergen to a patient over several months. Immunotherapy has been shown to be effective in preventing the development of new allergies and, in children, preventing the progression of allergic disease from allergic rhinitis to asthma. Allergen immunotherapy can lead to the long-lasting relief of allergy symptoms after Atlanta allergy treatment is concluded.

Call now to make your appointment with your Atlanta allergy doctor. You can reach us at 770-691-0873.

 

Time for Allergies to Start Springing Up Again

Spring has sprung, and with springtime comes the beginning of allergy spring allergiesseason. In many parts of the country, late winter was unseasonably warm and blooms are up to three weeks ahead of normal. This could mean a more severe allergy season coming up.

Symptoms of those suffering from grass allergies are similar to those who have pollen allergies. Sneezing, congestion, and itchy eyes and nose top the list of symptoms, and they might range in severity. Swelling of the tissues around the eyes is also common. Those with severe allergies to grass can even develop hives upon contact of the pollen.

Medication Relief for Spring Allergies

Nasal steroid sprays reduce inflammation and mucus production, and can be taken in combination with an antihistamine. Take those with non-sedating ingredients.  When you are having an allergic reaction, your body releases histamines. This is what causes the redness, swelling, itching and mucus that lead to sneezing and other symptoms. Take medication early so you can block the histamine before it becomes an issue.

For some sufferers, immunotherapy, or allergy shots, may be an option. Patients get injections of their allergen over a period of months or years to make them less sensitive to the allergen. Not everyone is suited to the treatment, so consult your allergist.

Contact the physicians at Ear, Nose & Throat Institute to find out more about your summer allergies! Call us at 470-695-3981!

When is allergy season? More like, when is it not allergy season?

When is allergy season? Don’t be silly

When is allergy season

In the south, we tend to think of allergy season as the early spring when we see the heavy yellow pollen on our cars, well basically on everything. The crazy thing about this pollen is that very few people are allergic to this yellow pine pollen. It is the tree pollens we can’t easily see that give us the most outdoor allergy problems.  Of course there are indoor allergens that can be just as bad for some people. The indoor allergens are a problem year round, with most common ones being dust mites, pet dander, mold and mildew.

What can you do to help with indoor allergens? Well, for dust mites which typically are found in carpets, bedding and upholstered furniture you need to use High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. These help eliminate dust and other allergens, including pollen in your home. You should also dust with a damp cloth weekly, wash all bedding weekly and vacuum carpets often.

Pet dander is another common indoor allergen that bothers a lot of people. What can you do if you love cats and dogs but are allergic? Try to keep them off upholstered furniture and carpets and out of the bedroom because their dander, or dead skin flakes will remain in the carpet and furniture. Bathe pets frequently to wash away dander as well as any pollen that may be in their fur. You should also have your carpets steam cleaned often.

An allergen that is both an indoor and an outdoor problem is mold. Indoor molds grow in damp areas, like under a sink, basement or in the shower or tub. Outdoors mold is found in the fall in piles of leaves and weeds that have gotten wet and are rotting. You can keep mold levels lower by keeping bathrooms, basements and other damp areas clean and as dry as possible. You can help eliminate outdoor mold by removing leaves and weeds from your yard as soon as they fall.

Probably the most common allergen we think of in Georgia is tree pollen. Tree pollen is usually the first seasonal allergen to appear in our area each year, often as early as January. By February we start to have other pollens in the air, such as alder and maple. March is when most of us really begin to feel allergy symptoms from pollen, pollens from juniper, elm, oak and alder really start to appear. Weeds also begin to pollinate and bother people’s allergies as well. April is still very pollen filled, with weeds such as nettle creeping in our area.

May hits many people quite hard, getting hit by both tree and grass pollens. June is the height of grass pollen like Bermuda, rye and oat. July is when weeds really start to come in strong. By August and September, weeds such as pigweed, ragweed, and nettle are in full effect. Mold also really begins to affect some people at this time as well. Mold is the main concern for November, as ragweed has finally started to end. In December, outdoor allergens are at their lowest of the year.

To avoid pollens, you should try to not go outdoors between 10 AM and 4 PM if at all possible. If you do go out, shower immediately, including shampooing your hair during peak pollen season. Also wash your pets as soon as they come in from outdoors. They are little pollen magnets and bring it into your house on their fun. This can be difficult though when the question “When is allergy season?” is not even really relevant.

The best and most effective way to deal with allergies is the find out what you are allergic to. You can do this by have a simple, fast, allergy test done at the ENT Institute. Once you know exactly what you are allergic to, you can begin to take the right steps to eliminate these things from your surroundings and also begin immunotherapy to help your body better handle these allergens and build up a tolerance for them.

Schedule an appointment at The ENT Institute

Fall Is In The Air, And So Is Fall Ragweed.

Fall ragweed

Why let Fall ragweed ruin your fun?

I personally think fall in is the best time of the year, the leaves are changing colors,  football games, cooler weather, pumpkin flavored everything, but for many, it is a miserable time of year due to allergies. Thanks fall ragweed….

Seasonal allergies, including fall allergies, affect more than 35 million Americans and cost more than $7 billion in lost productivity. In the fall, weeds pollinate, and so does the main cause of fall allergies in Georgia….. ragweed. A single ragweed plant can produce one billion pollen grains each season. Ragweed’s lightweight pollen grains can travel up to 400 miles in the wind. Ragweed is often found growing along roads and in open fields throughout the country. In the south, due to the late first frost, ragweed may pollinate though the entire winter.

Another major cause of fall allergies is mold. Outdoor mold can begin at any time of year but in the fall, it thrives in compost piles and in leaves that fall to the ground during the fall. In the south with warmer temperatures in the fall, mold thrives. Mold spores are often airborne. They are very small and very light and can easily be inhaled into the lungs.  The mold spores often rise high in the air during the warming of the day and fall back to the ground during the cooler evenings.

So how can you protect yourself from fall allergies?  You should try to avoid being outside in the mornings and  on windy days. Pollen is most commonly released during the morning hours. If you must be outside during this time and are allergic to ragweed and molds, it is recommended to wear a mask over your nose and mouth until around 10:00 am and on windy days. You should also shower and wash your hair immediately upon returning home. Do not sit or lay of fabric covered furniture until you have showered and changed clothes. As tempting as it is to open your windows on a nice fall day, do not, if you have allergies. You should also remove fallen leaves from your yard often, before they get wet and mold.

80% of people with fall allergies complain off sneezing, runny nose and itchy/watery eyes. They may also have trouble sleeping, being tired, having poor concentration, and decreased productivity. If you suffer from allergies any time of the year, help is easily available. The ENT Institute in Metro Atlanta offers low cost high quality allergy testing and therapy. The immunotherapy can be performed at home allowing you more freedom and less visits to the doctors office. This is especially convenient to those who travel for work and for busy families. If you have allergies call ENT Institute today to schedule your allergy test (770)740-1860.

Schedule an appointment at The ENT Institute

What is a Nasal Endoscopy?

What is that thing they put up my nose?

nasal endoscopy

“That thing” is called a nasal endoscope, the procedure titled “nasal endoscopy”. Just think of it as our eyes to see what’s going on past the most anterior part of your nose. When you come in, we always start with a basic exam of your ears, nose, and throat.  When we need more information, we use the endoscope.  The endoscope has a camera lens with a fiberoptic light attached that slides into your nose and sometimes, all the way down to your vocal cords (otherwise known as a laryngoscopy). On occasion, we’ll try to empirically treat you without our “eyes”. That can work but is essentially what you’re doing when you go to your Primary Care Provider. We want to expedite your healing and diagnose you as quickly and accurately as possible. Our endoscope is a tool in our toolbox to do that, and a nasal endoscopy is needed to make you healthy!

So if for example, the reason for your visit is sinus pressure or drainage, we need to have eyes into your nasal passage to evaluate causes of your symptoms: Is it infectious? Is it inflammatory? Could it be related to allergies? Is there anatomic obstruction, masses, polyps? Sometimes, you will come in with ear fullness and we’ll use the endoscope to visualize the back of the nose/top of your throat (nasopharynx) where the Eustachian tube orifice lies.  Many times this opening is blocked from drainage, obstruction, infection and causes your ears to pop, feel full, or even give way to ear infections. By using the endoscope, we can see directly to that site which helps us to narrow down the possibilities and remove the guesswork.

You may notice a “surgical procedure” documented on your bill- that is your insurance company documenting our tools as a procedure.  

To schedule an appointment with the Ear, Nose and Throat Institute, please call 770-406-6587.