Posts for tag: allergies
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.
Don’t let winter allergies get you down this holiday season.
You want to enjoy the holiday lights and the time with family, not worry about itchy, watery eyes, chest congestion and breathing issues. Our Cary, NC otolaryngologist, Dr. Pankaj Gupta, offer up some helpful tips for how to protect yourself from winter allergies so that you can enjoy all that the season has to offer.
While the cold weather and snow might not conjure up images of allergies they are still alive and well for some people. Think about it: with fireplaces going, indoor heating systems running at full speed, Christmas trees and other floral decorations in the house and poor holiday diets, all of these situations can seriously impact your asthma and allergies. Wintertime is when indoor allergens can wreak the most havoc.
Before bringing a Christmas tree inside the house wash it outside and leave it to dry. Once it is thoroughly dry, bring it in the house. This step alone tends to help a lot of people who suffer from pollen allergies.
With regards to heating: if you have a fireplace make sure it is always properly ventilated. Have a professional come to the home and make sure that everything is working as it should. When it comes to running central heat, all the pet dander and dust that it kicks up could also be exacerbating your allergy symptoms.
Some people may be able to turn off their central heat and opt for space heaters to prevent allergens from circulating around the house. Of course, if replacing the central heat with space heaters just isn’t enough warmth, then you may want to try adding humidifiers to your home to introduce moisture back into the air and prevent bloody noses, dried out sinus passages and sore throats. If you are experiencing severe allergy symptoms you need to visit our Cary ENT doctors as soon as possible.
It may also seem hard to believe but what you eat can also impact your allergies. Certain foods like wheat, dairy or sugar can make the body’s inflammatory response worse. Those with asthma may find that foods that contain nitrates and preservatives can make their symptoms worse. These inflammatory foods can run down your immune system and lead to illness. Therefore, maybe forgo that Christmas cookie or the second helping of eggnog.
If your allergy symptoms are affecting your quality of life, then turn to Wake Ear Nose and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC to get the relief you deserve. Don’t let allergies stand in your way!