Sneezing, congestion, itching, and other allergy symptoms can make you miserable. Allergies, whether they occur seasonally or year-round, are a common problem. In fact, nasal allergies affect about 50 million Americans, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Dr. Pankaj Gupta of Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC, shares information about allergy testing and treatment.
Why do I have allergies?
An allergy occurs when your body overreacts to a specific substance known as an allergen. Your immune system decides that these perfectly harmless substances are dangerous and releases antibodies to attack them. Common allergens include pet dander, foods, medications, insect bites or stings, dust, mold, pollen, grasses, fungi, cockroaches, and dust mites. The release of antibodies triggers common allergy symptoms such as sneezing, wheezing, coughing, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, congestion, itchy or red eyes, headache, or hives.
How are allergies treated?
Determining which allergens cause your symptoms is the first step in treating your allergies. An allergy test, conducted in our office, may be recommended if you frequently suffer from allergy symptoms. Tests include:
- Skin Prick Test: During this test, your skin is pricked with pins in several spots. Allergens added to a liquid solution are applied to each spot. If a spot begins to redden and itchy, we know that you're allergic to that specific allergen.
- Intradermal Test: In some cases, you may be allergic to an allergen even if you don't experience a reaction during the skin prick test. The intradermal test provides a more definitive diagnosis. During the test, a tiny amount of an allergen is injected into your skin. If you are allergic to the allergen, a raised red spot will form around the injection site.
Depending on the results of your allergy test, we may recommend both over-the-counter and prescription medications that will relieve your symptoms. Immunotherapy, a treatment that gradually desensitizes your body to the presence of allergens, may also be helpful, in some cases. In addition to medications, you can reduce your allergy symptoms by avoiding allergy triggers and making a few changes to your home to decrease allergens, such as buying an air filter or removing rugs or other dust catchers.
Allergies don't have to keep you from doing the things you like. If you're tired of dealing with your allergy symptoms, make an appointment with Dr. Gupta of Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC, by calling (919) 851-5636.
A sinus infection can be a less than pleasant experience. Unfortunately, sinus infections, also known as sinusitis, are common and can \happen to anyone. Your ear, nose, and throat doctor can help you pinpoint the cause of your sinus infection, determine the best course of treatment, and help you get back on your feet as soon as possible. Find out more about sinus infections and their treatments with Dr. Pankaj Gupta at Wake Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC.
What causes a sinus infection?
Your sinuses are the hollow areas of the skull, located behind the eyes, nose, and cheeks. These areas are normally filled with air, allowing you to breathe air normally through them. However, when the sinuses become blocked with fluid or by inflammation, it can cause germs to build up and the sinuses to become infected. The term “sinus infection” is an umbrella term used for inflammation and infection of the sinuses, regardless of what causes it. Some common causes of inflamed sinuses include the common cold, a deviated septum, nasal polyps, or allergies.
Do I have a sinus infection?
The symptoms of a sinus infection include stuffy nose, runny nose, cough or congestion, loss of smell, facial pain or pressure, sinus headaches, bad breath, fever, or even dental pain in some cases. A sinus infection, known medically as sinusitis, can become chronic if it lasts more than 12 weeks. In either case, your doctor can diagnose this uncomfortable condition and help you seek out the best treatment option available.
How will my doctor diagnose a sinus infection?
Your doctor will use a physical examination to assess your symptoms and determine whether or not you suffer from a sinus infection or another, similar condition. During this examination, your medical history and visual examination of the face and inside the nose will help your doctor in their diagnosis. Chronic sinusitis may require further testing, such as a nasal endoscopy.
Sinus Infection Treatments in Cary, NC
Treating a sinus infection varies from patient to patient, but the condition often responds well to at-home treatments like over-the-counter medications, warm compresses, and plenty of rest and fluids. However, if your symptoms last longer than a week, your doctor may suggest prescription medications.
For more information on sinus infections, please contact Dr. Pankaj Gupta at Wake Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC. Call (919) 851-5636 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Gupta today!
Struggling to hear the TV? Can't filter out what one person is saying when you are in a crowded room? And, what's that buzzing noise you're always hearing? Well, don't be alarmed, but all these and more may be early signs of hearing loss. In Cary, NC, Dr. Pankaj Gupta and Dr. Susan O’Brien, AuD team up to bring you the best hearing care in the area. Come see them with your hearing issues. Dr. Gupta will investigate possible medical causes, and Dr. O'Brien will test your hearing and help you with hearing aids if necessary. You can hear well again!
You and millions of others
The Hearing Loss Association of America estimates that 20 percent of Americans--a full 48 million--have some degree of hearing loss (presbycusis), and surprisingly, many people don't even know it. However, their loved ones, friends and coworkers usually observe signs such as:
- Needing to repeat words and sentences
- Loud TV volume
- Inability to hear soft, high-pitched voices such as those of children and young women
- Difficulty understanding a conversation in a crowded room
Additionally, hearing loss sufferers may continually hear a buzzing or squealing noise. This is called tinnitus, and it may be accompanied by dizziness or vertigo.
The causes of hearing loss in Cary
As with so many medical conditions, heredity plays a big role. Hearing loss seems to run in families, but also, trauma to the ear drum, continual exposure to loud noises or music (a noisy occupation or listening to your favorite rock band for years) take their toll.
Further, the Better Hearing Institute states that some prescription medications, such as NSAIDS, may be ototoxic--that is, damaging to the auditory nerve. An accumulation of cerumen, or ear wax, frequently blocks the ear canal, or fluid behind the eardrum from repeated ear infections muffles sounds. Both of these physical obstructions may be treated by your primary care physician or otolaryngologist at Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists.
Finally, two less common causes of hearing loss include Meniere's Disease, an autoimmune disorder that reduces hearing and precipitates vertigo. A benign tumor of the auditory nerve, called an Acoustic Neuroma, is another cause.
What happens at Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists
Dr. Gupta performs a medical evaluation on his hearing loss patients to pinpoint the reasons behind presbycusis. Also, patients see Dr. O'Brien for an audiogram which tests the ears' responses to various electronic tonalities and for a tympanogram to determine the degree and kind of hearing loss.
Contact the office
If you, your loved ones or your family doctor suspect you have a hearing loss, please contact Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists. The highly qualified staff will get to the source of your concerns and develop a treatment plan specific to your needs. Call today: (919) 851-5638.
Is getting through the day a challenge due to constant congestion, headaches, fatigue and sinus pain? Balloon sinuplasty offers a gentle, minimally invasive way to treat your condition. With the help of Dr. Pankaj Gupta of Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC, this innovative treatment can decrease sinus infections and ease congestion and other symptoms.
What is balloon sinuplasty?
Sinus surgery used to be the only way to relieve congestion common in chronic sinusitis. Although technological advances have made it possible to perform the surgery endoscopically, the procedure still involves cutting tissue or bone in your sinus passages.
Faced with the prospect of surgery and a somewhat painful recovery period, some people in Cary who have chronic sinusitis choose to simply live with their symptoms. Unfortunately, chronic pain and headaches can interfere with your ability to function at work or school and may decrease your enjoyment of life.
Luckily, balloon sinuplasty offers another treatment option. During your treatment, a small balloon is inflated in your sinuses, widening the walls and easing congestion. Before your procedure begins, you'll receive a local anesthetic to ensure that the minimally invasive procedure is pain-free. The balloon is inserted in your sinuses using a thin catheter, then inflated when it's in the proper position. After the balloon is deflated, a stream of saline solution is used to remove mucus from the lining of your sinuses.
What are the benefits of balloon sinuplasty?
Balloon sinuplasty offers several benefits, including:
- Easier Recovery Period: It takes about a month to recover from endoscopic sinus surgery. When you undergo balloon sinuplasty, you'll be able to resume your normal activities in about two days.
- Less Pain: Pain is an unfortunate consequence of any procedure that involves cutting tissue. Because there is no cutting in balloon sinuplasty, you'll experience less pain after your procedure. You may experience a sinus headache, which will go away a few days after surgery. Over-the-counter pain medication can help control any pain after the procedure.
- No Nausea: General anesthesia tends to cause nausea and grogginess. When you choose balloon sinuplasty, you won't feel sick after your procedure and won't have any food or beverage restrictions before or after surgery.
Balloon sinuplasty offers an effective treatment for chronic sinusitis and sinus infections. Call Dr. Gupta of Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC, at (919) 851-5636 to learn if you're a good candidate for the procedure.
Your watery eyes itch. Your nose is running, and your throat feels scratchy. Do you have a cold? No, these are symptoms of your seasonal allergies in Cary, NC. How can you feel better? Dr. Pankaj Gupta, board-certified otolaryngologist, suggests several common strategies which reduce the unpleasantness of allergies.
What are your triggers?
Common allergy triggers--things or environmental conditions which instigate symptoms--are dust mites, pollen, wood smoke, mold and animal dander. Many individuals experience sensitivities to certain foods, medications, and fabrics as well.
While Dr. Gupta recommends you seek testing and treatment (shot therapy, sublingual drop therapy or over the counter medication) for more severe symptoms, less problematic allergies can be dealt with using simple lifestyle changes. These changes are especially helpful with seasonal allergies--those sensitivities which happen as winter changes to spring, summer changes to fall and so on.
So know your triggers, and plan to control them as they enter your environment or you enter theirs.
Simple preventives in Cary
There are many things you can do daily which help mitigate allergy discomforts. Just think about them, apply them intentionally and routinely, and you'll experience less intense symptoms. Here are some great examples from Dr. Gupta and from the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology:
- Leave your shoes by the door. You'll keep your floors clean and track far less tree and grass pollen into the house.
- Wipe your dog down with a damp washcloth after a walk. This removes the pollen and road dust your pet inevitably picks up on his or her coat. Regarding cats, keep them inside if at all possible.
- Take a shower after you have been working or working out (jogging, walking, biking) outdoors. You, too, drag pollen into your home. The steam from your shower also opens your nasal passages and airway for better breathing.
- Reduce the humidity in your home with a dehumidifier. Less than 60 percent is ideal so mold growth is inhibited.
- Wear sunglasses to keep pollen from entering your eyes, and stay indoors if possible between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when pollen is at its highest.
- In warm weather, close up the house and car, and use your air conditioning. Keep your HVAC units clean, and invest in HEPA filters to reduce the dust, animal dander, pollen, mold and other airborne particulates. Buy an allergen-reducing vacuum cleaner, and keep your floors and furniture clean.
- Wear long-sleeves and pants when working in dusty or pollen-filled environments.
- Check your local TV and radio news for area pollen counts during peak seasons. Also, there are many allergy alert apps for your smartphone, tablet or other mobile devices which can keep you informed on current trigger levels in your area.
You can feel better
Get relief from your allergies in Cary, NC. Contact Wake Ear, Nose And Throat Specialists for more information or a one on one consultation with Dr. Gupta. Call (919) 851-5636.
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