Posts for tag: allergies
From environmental and seasonal elements to food and pet triggers, allergies can be caused by a variety of elements, especially when it comes to children's allergies. While over-the-counter medications and avoiding triggering materials can relieve mild symptoms, severe and potentially life-threatening allergies will require medical treatment and management. Fortunately, Dr. Pankaj Gupta of Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists & Wake Sinus Center in Cary, NC, offers allergy testing and treatment to all of his patients—read on to learn if you should come into the office for a visitation.
Q: What causes allergies?
A: An allergic reaction occurs when the body identifies common allergens like mold, pollen, dust, or pet dander as a threat and issues an immune response to "attack" the invader. The release of chemicals like histamines in response to allergic triggers causes the familiar symptoms like sneezing, congestion, itchy/watery eyes, or difficulty breathing in severe cases. While allergic reactions are caused by exposure to specific triggers like food or high pollen counts, it is not clear what the underlying cause for developing allergies may be. Although many allergies develop in childhood, anyone can develop allergies at any time.
Q: How are allergies treated?
A: Treatments vary depending on the type and severity of the allergy, and can range from over-the-counter anti-histamines to allergy shots and inhalers for asthma.
Q: When should I see a doctor for allergies?
A: Allergy tests from our Cary office can help to identify specific allergies and their triggers. They also help your ENT doctor to develop the best treatment plan for your situation. Generally, it is recommended to see a doctor if your allergy symptoms persist for more than a few days or reoccur frequently throughout the year. You should also schedule an appointment with an ear, nose and throat specialist if you have difficulty breathing (seek emergency treatment for severe allergic reactions, as they may be life-threatening), or if you suffer from chronic sinus infections.
Find an ENT Doctor in Cary, NC
For more information about allergy testing and treatment, contact Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists & Wake Sinus Center by calling (919) 851-5636 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gupta today.
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.
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!
Do you find that certain times of the year it’s difficult to go outdoors without developing watery itchy eyes or sneezing your head off? Does coming in contact with your friends’ pets leave you dealing with red itchy welts on your skin and a runny nose? If you said “yes” to these questions, you could very well be dealing with allergies.
While there isn’t a cure for allergies, there are many ways to treat this issue. If you aren’t finding relief through over-the-counter antihistamines, nasal sprays, and other allergy medications, it’s time to turn to an otolaryngologist for help. It’s important that you don’t just ignore your allergy symptoms, as they can often get worse if left untreated.
First and foremost, it’s important to figure out what is causing your allergy symptoms to flare-up. Everything from pollen, mold dust, dust mites, dander, and mildew could be causing your symptoms. The sooner you and your ENT doctor are able to get to the root of your flare-ups the easier it will be to treat your allergies.
While an otolaryngologist may choose to prescribe medication to help you better manage your symptoms, there are also a variety of lifestyle modifications you can incorporate into your daily routine to reduce flare-ups.
For starters, it’s important to reduce how often you come in contact with the offending allergen. This may require you to close your windows during the day, vacuum the carpets and furniture a few times a week, bathe your trusty pet regularly, use an air purifier with a HEPA filter in your bedroom, or place a protective covering over your mattress.
Even though some people may find relief from commercial allergy products, those dealing with persistent or moderate-to-severe allergies may require a more specific and stronger medication. There are a variety of prescription nasal sprays, eye drops, and other antihistamines that can reduce congestion, eye redness and itching, and other allergy complaints. Of course, if these lifestyle changes and medications aren’t enough to get your symptoms under control then your allergy specialist may discuss the pros and cons of getting allergy shots.
Don’t let allergies get the better of you. There are ways to get your allergies under control so they don’t control you. Don’t fight your allergy alone; turn to an ENT specialist for help.
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.