Allergies are a common autoimmune condition. Allergies provoke overproduction of something called histamines. At Wake Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists & Wake Sinus Center, Dr. Pankaj Gupta tracks down allergic triggers with state-of-the-art testing and helps patients manage symptoms. He can help you feel better, too.
What signs show you have allergies
Sometimes, people who are sneezing, coughing, itching, wheezing or dealing with a runny or stuffy nose assume they have a cold. While the common cold virus provokes these symptoms, allergies also exhibit similar ones, but usually without the fever, malaise and sudden onset colds exhibit.
Allergic reactions happen when someone is exposed to an irritant, or allergen, which their bodies are particularly sensitive to. The allergen may be inhaled, touched, or ingested, producing common signs such as:
- Skin redness and rashes (hives)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Itchy, watery, puffy eyes
Common allergic triggers include dust, mold, animal dander, pollen, cigarette smoke, food, drugs, latex and more. Some reactions are mild to moderate. Others, such as those associated with insect vectors (bee stings), can be severe and life-threatening. These are called anaphylactic reactions and require immediate medical attention. Wheezing, extreme hives and even unconsciousness often accompany these extreme allergic responses.
Dealing with allergies
If you suspect you have allergies in one form or other, seek the advice of Wake Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists and Wake Sinus Center in Cary for an allergy consultation with Dr. Gupta and his team of experts.
Dr. Gupta will review your symptoms, possible triggers and medical history. Often he performs in-office allergy testing in the form of pin tests (scratches on the skin which expose the body to minute amounts of possible allergens). Intradermal testing, injections of suspected allergen placed under the skin, is another method of honing in on allergic triggers and their severity.
Decongestants and antihistamine medications are common treatments for allergies. Allergy shots, desensitizing shots given at regular intervals, help control symptoms as well.
Of course, lifestyle adjustments can help, too. They may include:
- Staying indoors on high pollen count days
- Wearing a particle mask when doing housework or other dusty chores
- Washing hands and face after coming in from the outdoors
- Keeping a written log of symptoms, including foods you think you may be sensitive to
- Taking your medicine with you to school, work, the gym and especially on vacation
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America states that one our of every five people in the United States have some form of allergies. So, you won't be alone in pursuing treatment and making changes in your habits to help control them.
Day to day life with allergies
You can manage your allergies, and Dr. Gupta and his team are more than happy to help you. For an individualized consultation, please call Wake Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists and Wake Sinus Center at (913) 851-5636.
Have you ever wondered why you still feel tired after a long, full night of sleep? The problem may be sleep apnea, a condition that is not easily diagnosed. Many people don’t realize that they have sleep apnea and struggle for months or years with the effects. Learn more about the causes of this condition as well as the symptoms and treatment options with Dr. Pankaj Gupta at Wake Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists and Wake Sinus Center in Cary, NC.
Sleep Apnea Causes
Many cases of sleep apnea are caused by an obstruction in the airways that only occurs when you are sleeping. If you have a tendency to lay down in a certain way (such as on your back) or you have an excess of soft tissue in the back of your throat, that could increase the chances of sleep apnea. The muscles in the back of the throat relax when you sleep, so the soft tissue is more likely to block the airway. Patients who are overweight often struggle with this sleep disorder. In some cases, sleep apnea is hereditary and children may have this problem due to enlarged tonsils or major dental overbites. Smoking or excessive alcohol consumption could also contribute to sleep apnea symptoms.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Loud, consistent snoring is one of the clearest signs of sleep apnea. But obviously, since the patient is asleep at the time, he or she doesn’t recognize this symptom until another person says something about it. Other symptoms include:
- A tired feeling when waking in the morning.
- Fatigue throughout the day.
- Problems with memory and concentration.
- Irritability and changes in mood.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
Dr. Gupta will discuss several different treatment options with you if you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea. These treatments may help:
- CPAP device (worn at night to aid normal breathing).
- An oral appliance to adjust the jaw and prevent blockages.
- Surgery to help the airways stay open, such as a tonsillectomy or repair of a deviated septum.
If you’ve recently discovered that you may be experiencing the symptoms of sleep apnea, get assistance from an ENT who is familiar with this disorder. Call (919) 851-5636 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Pankaj Gupta at Wake Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists and Wake Sinus Center in Cary, NC.
In the midst of allergy season, controlling your itchy eyes and runny nose can seem like an endless undertaking. However, with help from your ear, nose, and throat doctor, you can overcome your symptoms to get back to your normal daily activities as soon as possible. Learn more about allergies and their treatments with Dr. Pankaj Gupta at Wake Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists and Wake Sinus Center in Cary, NC.
What causes an allergy?
An allergic reaction occurs when a substance enters the body and the immune system mistakenly identifies it as a threat. The immune system then creates antibodies which attack the substance (now designated as an allergen). This triggers the production of histamines, which causes an expansion of the blood vessels and results in the symptoms we associate with allergic reactions. However, the body creates these antibodies particularly for each allergen, which is why someone may be allergic to pollen but not to peanuts.
Do I have allergies?
There are several types of allergies with their own kinds of symptoms:
- Food allergies: A food allergy can cause issues like abdominal cramping, numbness in the face or mouth, swollen tongue, or difficulty swallowing. You may also experience skin irritations such as hives.
- Seasonal allergies: Seasonal allergies cause reactions to substances like pollen or mold. The symptoms associated with seasonal allergies often include itchy, red, and watery eyes, runny nose, congestion, or a scratchy throat.
- Skin allergies: Contact dermatitis, which occurs when the skin reacts to an allergen, causes issues like rashes and hives. This reaction occurs after the skin comes into contact with an allergen.
- Drug allergies: Some drugs cause an allergic reaction such as a skin reaction like hives but can also cause fever, itching, wheezing, runny nose, or shortness of breath.
Allergy treatments in Cary, NC
Treating allergies depends on the type of allergens you are allergic to. Often, an over-the-counter antihistamine, which blocks the histamines produced during the allergic reaction, is enough to minimize the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Sometimes, patients require a stronger, prescription-strength antihistamine to treat their symptoms. Severe allergies require emergency medications like injectable epinephrine which patients carry with them in case of an allergic reaction. Finally, immunotherapy may also help some patients. It follows the same idea as a vaccination and introduces small amounts of an allergen into the body, building up a tolerance over time.
For more information on allergy treatments, please contact Dr. Pankaj Gupta at Wake Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists and Wake Sinus Center in Cary, NC. Call (919) 851-5636 to schedule your appointment for a consultation with Dr. Gupta today!
A cleft palate is a birth defect that affects the shape and formation of the roof of the mouth, causing a split in either the soft tissue or the bony portion. This condition occurs early on in pregnancy as the baby is developing. Of course, a cleft palate will not be detected until after a baby is born. While this malformation can be disheartening and stressful for parents, it’s important to understand this birth defect and how it can be repaired.
Depending on the severity of the cleft palate, your otolaryngologist will be able to determine how many surgeries will be necessary. The first surgery alone can improve the function of the middle ears, improve how the palate functions and even ensure that teeth and certain bones within the face develop properly.
In some cases, your child may also require bone grafting surgery at some point during childhood to improve the health of your gums and to make sure that permanent teeth are properly supported. As you might imagine, getting cleft palate surgeries early on will also improve your child’s speech and prevent impediments.
Additional surgeries may also be required to improve certain areas of the face such as the nose, as well as to improve breathing or to realign the jaws. After the surgeries are complete, other procedures may be performed in order to reduce the appearance of the scar.
It’s important to know that despite the lengthy treatment process and multiple surgeries that children who undergo cleft palate repair early on in life can achieve a greater quality of life. Not only do these surgeries provide a more natural appearance, but they prevent certain health problems (e.g. hearing loss) while also restoring proper speech and chewing.
If your baby was born with a cleft palate or cleft lip it’s important that you find an ENT doctor that you can trust to discuss surgery and to find out if this is the best option for your little one.
While it might not seem like there is a purpose behind why your ear produces earwax, there most certainly is. Even though a lot of people try to clean out their ears on their own, it’s important to remember that ears are self-cleaning. This means that the earwax will typically just come out on its own. Of course, there are times when earwax can become impacted or blocked, which can temporarily cause muffled hearing and discomfort.
Why does impacted earwax happen? There are a few things that could be to blame but one of the most common causes is at-home ear cleanings. While it might seem rather unhygienic, you don’t need to clean your ears, and should never place a cotton swab into the ear canal as you risk damaging or injuring your ear. One look at the package of cotton swabs and you’ll see that it states that you should never place it in your ear. Plus, these swabs can end up just pushing earwax deeper into your ear, which can lead to pain and other problems.
If you have a narrow ear canal or if you are older you may be more prone to earwax impactions. If this is the case, you may want to visit an ENT doctor rather regularly for proper earwax removal. You may also find that you are prone to earwax buildup if you constantly place things in your ears, whether you often use headphones or a hearing aid.
Fortunately, an otolaryngologist will often treat earwax impaction through prescription-strength eardrops that will successfully breakup the wax. Of course, if this treatment doesn’t work then you may need to come in so that we can safely and effectively wash out your ears and dislodge the earwax completely.
Remember to never try to remove the earwax buildup yourself, as they could just end up causing more issues in the long run. While there are kits that you can use at home to help irrigate and clean out the ears, if you aren’t noticing a change in your symptoms after three days it’s a good idea to visit your otolaryngologist for care.
There are several techniques for removing wax, from irrigating the ear to using a painless suctioning device. The earwax treatment we recommend for you will depend on several factors such as health and structure of your ear.
If you are dealing with earwax impaction then it’s time you turned to an otolaryngologist who can safely remove the buildup.
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