Advanced Allergy Center Kentuckiana
Millions of people suffer from nasal allergies. The most appropriate person to evaluate nasal allergy and sinus symptoms is our Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose, and Throat physician).
At Advanced ENT & Allergy, we have the largest and one of the oldest Otolaryngic Allergy practices in our area. Our Physicians have more than 20 years of experience in treating allergic diseases. Our professionally trained Allergy Technicians are both experienced and knowledgeable. We believe in continuing education to keep updated on changes and the latest procedures.
We treat both adults and children. Our skin testing is done mainly on the back and upper arm and involves placing a small amount of antigen under the first layer of skin, creating a “wheal”. The wheal is timed for ten minutes and then measured. We test for 34 antigens routinely. Patients may need more intra-dermal wheals in the arm depending on the extent of the allergic disease. We offer a numbing cream that can be applied one hour before the testing appointment to help alleviate any discomfort associated with the skin testing. As an added benefit, when children are scheduled for surgery (ear tubes, tonsillectomy, or adenoidectomy) we can skin test while they are under general anesthesia.
The physicians and clinicians at Advanced ENT & Allergy make patient care our #1 concern. Our goal is to make the patient experience as pleasant as possible and address the needed symptom relief. We encourage patients with questions concerning allergy testing and treatment to contact our office and one of our experienced allergy technicians will address the question or concern.
Differences Between Sinusitis and Allergy Symptoms
It’s springtime, and you have a stuffy nose, sinus pain, fatigue, and a reduced sense of smell and taste. You head to the local pharmacy for over-the-counter medication to treat your allergies. The problem is that these are symptoms of a sinus infection, not allergies. Most allergy patients can’t tell the difference, according to a survey by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Inhalants and Allergic Rhinitis
Allergies or Allergic Rhinitis is a disorder that occurs when the body detects foreign substances called allergens (triggers). Allergies occur because the body’s defense system mistakes harmless allergens for something potentially harmful (such as bacteria). Allergic Rhinitis symptoms occur when a substance called histamine is released into the blood. The histamine causes the most common symptoms of allergies, such as sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, itchy throat, and a stuffy nose. Other less common symptoms a patient might experience include chronic sinusitis, dizziness, ear problems, rashes, hives, and stomach problems.
We can test and treat a variety of allergy-related disease processes, such as indoor and outdoor inhalants, stinging insects, and food and fungus allergies. Utilizing three techniques to manage allergies, the patient will receive the maximum relief of their symptoms:
- Immunotherapy (allergy shots or sublingual therapy)
The first line of therapy for allergies is avoidance. Knowing what activates allergies through allergy testing allows allergy sufferers to avoid exposure to harmful triggers.
Medications such as antihistamines, nasal sprays, steroids, and decongestants may provide temporary relief but do not address the underlying immune problem.
Immunotherapy (allergy shots or sublingual therapy)
- Immunotherapy is one of the only scientifically proven methods to control allergies for long-term benefits. Immunotherapy is ideal for those who cannot avoid their allergic triggers, have problems managing their allergies, or do not like feeling “medicated”.
- Allergy shots are a once-a-week injection given in our office. You may take them at the office that fits your traveling needs. They have been proven to be effective and have been used in the United States for many years.
- Sublingual Therapy is a convenient way of administering immunotherapy. They are very effective and have been the treatment of choice in Europe for many years. Drops are placed under the tongue twice a week at home. Insurance does not currently cover Sublingual Therapy and is on a cash-only payment.
- Allergy Tablets are a new alternative to shots. They are a once-a-day tablet that dissolves quickly under the tongue. It covers grass and ragweed allergies and can be taken from the convenience of your own home.
One study found that 60% of the general population exhibited food allergy symptoms. Of this number, 10 percent were severe enough to require medical treatment. Food allergy is a progressive disease that builds on itself. An allergic individual becomes progressively worse until their symptoms become severe enough to seek medical treatment.
If you are born with the tendency to develop a food allergy, it will be to the foods that you “repeat eat”, meaning the foods you eat every day. In our society of processed foods, we eat hidden ingredients, such as milk, soy, wheat, or corn daily. There are two types of food allergies:
- Cyclic food allergy is the most common type of food allergy. Symptoms are delayed, meaning you may not have symptoms for hours to days after ingesting the offending food. Symptoms may vary with dose and frequency and, therefore, are extremely difficult to self-diagnose.
- Fixed food allergy is less common. Symptoms occur almost immediately after being ingested. Symptoms may include swelling of the face, hives, or rash, which can ultimately lead to anaphylactic shock. Anaphylactic shock is a sudden, severe, and potentially fatal allergic reaction. It is marked by a drop in blood pressure, itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing. The only way to treat this type of allergy is total avoidance.
Food allergy treatment is a combination of avoidance and a rotation diet. There are treatment options available that can be discussed once skin testing has been completed.
The fungus lives on our skin naturally. A break in the skin can allow the fungus to enter the body, resulting in an infection. This infection can cause a variety of symptoms, including rashes and gastrointestinal problems.
Common sites for fungal infections are nails, skin (including scalp and groin area), ear canal, vagina and the gastrointestinal tract.
Treatment options are diet changes to eliminate foods that “feed” the fungus and immunotherapy. Immunotherapy desensitizes the body from the fungus.
Stinging insect allergy is an allergic reaction to a bee sting. The reaction can be mild, resulting in localized redness and swelling at the sting site. Reactions can become severe enough to cause anaphylactic shock. Anaphylactic shock is a sudden, severe, and potentially fatal allergic reaction. It is marked by a drop in blood pressure, itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
Our organization will test and treat stinging insect allergies with immunotherapy. Immunotherapy for stinging insect allergy has been proven to be very effective in preventing severe reactions.