Different Kinds of Allergy Treatments Offered by ENTs

Reach Out to an ENT Doctor for Chronic Allergy Symptoms


Different Kinds of Allergy Treatments Offered by ENTsAllergies are a common ailment that affects many people in the world. It’s estimated that about one-third of adults and two-thirds of children have seasonal allergies. Symptoms may include red itchy eyes, stuffy nose, sneezing, or skin rash. If you suffer from allergies, then look no further. We will talk about different allergy immunotherapy offered by ENTs.

What is an ENT Doctor?

ENT stands for ear, nose and throat. An ENT doctor is a medical specialist and practitioner who deals with diagnosing and treating conditions related to:

Allergy Causes

An allergy is an immune response that happens when the body comes into contact with certain substances, called allergens. These include pollen, mold, dander (tiny pieces of dead skin), dust, or pet fur. Some people are even allergic to certain types of food. Allergies also may be triggered by stinging insects, certain medications, and other substances.

Types of Allergies

Allergies can be either airborne or contact-related. The common types of allergies that most people suffer from are as follows:

  • Pollen Allergies – This allergy is commonly caused by weeds, grasses, trees, and airborne spores from mold or mildew.
  • Food Allergies – Symptoms are likely to flare up after a particular food gets consumed. Common allergens include wheat, dairy products, peanuts, and tree nuts.
  • Contact Allergies – These kinds of allergies can be caused by jewelry or makeup.

Contact with allergens causes the immune system to release harmful chemicals like histamine. It might cause you to feel congested or bring on inflammation. One should see an ENT if their symptoms do not get better, and in dire cases, dial 911 for emergency treatment.

How Do Allergists Treat Allergies?

There are many treatment options available for the different types of allergies. Allergy treatments that ENT doctors use include allergen avoidance and medications in case it is an acute allergy.

Allergen Avoidance

To help prevent allergic reactions, patients should avoid exposure to known allergens. That means staying indoors on windy days when pollen counts in the air are high. It may also mean removing carpets and drapes, changing bedding often in case of pet allergies, and cleaning pet cages frequently.

Medications

For people who have severe reactions to allergens, an allergist may prescribe medications that can help stop the immune system from releasing histamine. These drugs may be taken daily or as needed when allergy symptoms start to flare up. Some of the most common medications include:

  • Antihistamines – It prevents the release of histamine, which can cause a runny nose, itchy eyes, and scratchy throat. Histamine can also bring on inflammation in your airways, making breathing difficult for those with asthma or chronic lung problems like COPD. This form of medication will stop it from worsening.
  • Decongestants – These medications shrink blood vessels in the nasal passages, making it easier to breathe. They can be taken as a pill or spray (by people 12 years of age and older) or drop (by children 6-11 years old). Decongestant nasal sprays should not be used for more than three days because they can prolong your symptoms.
  • Nasal Sprays – These medications are sprayed into the nose and reduce nasal congestion caused by allergies. It can treat hay fever, colds, flu, and other types of nasal inflammation.
  • Steroids – Steroids suppress your immune system so that it stops responding to allergens as irritants. They help decrease inflammation and nasal congestion but should not be used for an extended period because they can cause serious side effects.

Allergy Shots

Allergy shots are a form of immunotherapy involving regular injections to desensitize the immune system to allergens. Shots are effective for treating allergies to pollen, mold, pet dander, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. They’re also used to treat severe allergies that don’t respond well to other types of treatment.

Shots can take six months or longer to work, but most patients can stop taking allergy medications after a year of weekly injections. It is also available as a pill, but it’s more commonly administered by injection. It tends to be less effective than regular allergy shots and has not been approved for use in children under five.

The best thing to do when experiencing chronic allergies is to schedule an appointment with our ENT doctors. We can provide you with the relief you need!

About Westside Head & Neck

The board-certified ENT doctors of Westside Head & Neck treat all general conditions of the ear, nose, and throat. Even more serious conditions such as neck, mouth, and throat cancer can also be diagnosed and operated on by ENTs.

We accept most PPO insurance plans, Medicare, and select HMO’s to keep hearing, swallowing, and breathing relief open to more Los Angelenos. Our two offices are located in Santa Monica and Culver City. To set up an appointment to discuss your ENT issues with any of our physicians at either location, please call (310) 361-5128 or email appointments@westsidehn.com.


Head & Neck Cancer


Head & Neck Cancer is a term used to describe a number of different malignant tumors that develop in or around the throat, larynx, nose, sinuses, and mouth.

Most head and neck cancers are squamous cell carcinomas, meaning they begin in the flat, squamous cells that make up the thin surface layer of the structures in the head and neck. Directly beneath this lining, which is called the epithelium, some areas of the head and neck have a layer of moist tissue, called the mucosa. If a cancer is limited to the squamous layer of cells, it is called carcinoma in situ. If the cancer has grown beyond this cell layer and moved into the deeper tissue, then it is called invasive squamous cell carcinoma.

Types of Head & Neck Cancer

There are five main types of head and neck cancer, each named according to the part of the body where they develop.   For more information, including signs and symptoms about each different form of  head and neck cancers listed below, click on the links below to read more on Cancer.net.

Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancer. The larynx is commonly called the voice box. It is a tube-shaped organ in the neck that is important for breathing, talking, and swallowing. It is located at the top of the windpipe, or trachea. The hypopharynx is also called the gullet. It is the lower part of the throat that surrounds the larynx.

Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinus Cancer. The nasal cavity is the space just behind the nose where air passes on the way to the throat. The paranasal sinuses are the air-filled areas that surround the nasal cavity.

Nasopharyngeal Cancer. The nasopharynx is the air passageway at the upper part of the throat behind the nose.

Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancer. The oral cavity includes the mouth and tongue. The oropharynx includes the middle of the throat from the tonsils to the tip of the voice box.

Salivary Gland Cancer. The salivary gland is tissue that produces saliva, which is the fluid that is released into the mouth to keep it moist and that contains enzymes that begin breaking down food.

Information above provided by & approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board06/2014

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