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Allergy

Introduction

Many common and recurring ear, nose and throat symptoms are caused by allergies.  These include nasal and ear symptoms, sinusitis, postnasal drainage, coughing and hoarseness.  Wilmington Ear Nose & Throat provides complete allergy testing and treatment.  Our doctors are trained and have extensive experience in the medical treatment of allergies.

Allergy Diagnosis

During your inital visit, your physician will carefully review your health history and current symptoms as well as your family's health history.  Routine skin testing is generally used to diagnose your allergy symptoms so your doctor can provide the most effective form of treatment.  In certain cases, a blood test must be used instead of skin testing.

Allergy Testing

Allergy testing can be performed in a cariety of ways.  Blood tests can be sent for evaluation, but skin testing is the most common method used in the diagnosis and treatment of ENT related allergies.  During this testing a skin prick device is used to screen for ptoential allergies.  This provides an immediate assessment of the patient's allergies and gives a very good idea of how allergic the patient is to specific allergens.  This then allows the allergy technicians to prepare an allergy vaccine which will created specifically for each patient and can be used in allergy treatment.

Preparations for Allergy Testing

When your appointment is scheduled you will be given instructions on how to prepare for allergy testing.  It is important to discontinure all antihistamines 7 days prior to testing.  We offer a skin test for 48 different inhalant allergens; including pollens, dust mites, molds and pets.


Allergy Treatment

Avoidance

Once your allergy has been diagnosed and you are aware of the environmental cause of your symptoms, one course of action is to avoid the allergen.  However, this is not always possible.

Medication

Several types of over-the-coutner or prescription medications may be prescribed to control your allergy symptoms.  Our doctors are experts at determining the best medication(s) for you.  Allergy medications can be very effective in controlling symptoms, but do not cure the allergic reaction.  Allergy symptoms can only be prevented by changing your immune system's response to the offending allergen. 

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy builds up blocking antibodies by repeated exposure of allergens, reducing your allergic response and possibly eliminating the allergy altogether.  When allergen avoidance and medications do not successfully control your allergy symptoms, your doctor may recommend immunotherapy.  Through shots or oral drops, your doctor can change your body's response to the problem allergen over time.  Immunotherapy can improve or eliminate symptoms, as well as reduce or eliminate the need for mediations and future treatment.  Research shows that the use of allergy drops build up the same response as traditional allergy shots without the need for injections or frequent office visits.


 

Allergies and Allergic Rhinitis

Allergy problems and associated diseases include: chronic “colds,” ear diseases may have an allergic component, sinus infections, headaches and allergic rhinitis.

An allergy is an abnormal reaction to an ordinarily harmless substance called an allergen. When an allergen, such as pollen, is absorbed into the body of an allergic person, that person’s immune system views the allergen as an invader and a chain reaction is initiated. White blood cells of the immune system produce IgE antibodies. These antibodies attach themselves to special cells called mast cells, causing a release of potent chemicals such as histamine. These chemicals then lead to the allergy symptoms you may be experiencing.

 

Symptoms of allergies can include sneezing, nasal stuffiness, itching and drainage, itching and watery eyes, burning palate and throat, dry and itchy skin and hives. Allergies can also contribute to other diseases such as sinusitis, ear infections and asthma. As ear, nose and throat specialists, our physicians can effectively treat theses illnesses associated with allergies.

People can be allergic to multiple allergens. The most common allergens include tree and/or flower pollen, weeds, grasses, mold, dust mites, animals, foods, medications, cockroach and insect stings.

Allergic disease affects one out of six Americans (approximately 40-50 million people), and costs millions of dollars in medications, physicians services and missed days from school or work. Allergic diseases are the sixth leading cause of chronic disease in the United States.

Allergies are rarely life threatening, but often cost lost workdays, decreased work efficiency, poor school performance and less enjoyment out of life. It is common for allergy sufferers to develop sinus or repository infections if allergy symptoms are not controlled. Considering the millions spent in anti-allergy medications and the cost of lost work time, allergies cannot be considered a minor problem.

There are a host of medications (and only a few mentioned here) that are used in the treatment of allergies, including antihistamines (Allegra, Zyrtec, Clarinex, Benadryl), nasal antihistamine sprays (Astelin), nasal steroid sprays (Flonase, Nasacort, Nasonex, and Rhinocort) and saline sprays. The medical management of allergies also includes counseling in proper environmental control. While medications are often effective in controlling your symptoms, they only ‘mask’ the symptoms and help individuals to cope with daily life. Certain medications may have undesirable side effects or excessive expense. In these cases, your doctor may advise allergy testing to determine the specific substances to which you are allergic. Once this is determined, you can desensitize yourself to the allergies by undergoing a series of allergy shots, also called immunotherapy.

 


 

Allergy Testing Instructions and Interfering Medications

 


 

ALLERGY SHOT HOURS

Delaney Office

Monday – Thursday
8:00 am – 11:30 am
CLOSED LUNCH
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Friday
8:00 am – 1:00 pm

Market Street Office (Porters Neck)

Monday – Thursday
9:00 am – 11:00 am
1:00 pm – 3:30 pm

NOTE: You will need to schedule
an appointment at this office.
 

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Wilmington Ear Nose & Throat Associates • 2311 Delaney Ave. • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone: 910-762-8754 • Fax:910-762-0778
Business Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. • Business Hours Vary By Location

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