What Are Allergies?
An allergy is an exaggerated response from your immune system to a normally harmless substance. Common allergens (the name given to these trigger substances) include pollen, mold, dust mites, pet dander, food and chemicals.
Our ENT specialists can help you find relief. We offer allergy testing and proven treatment plans to ease your seasonal or year-round suffering.
Who Develops Allergies?
Allergies can affect people of all ages, races and lifestyles. They are most common in children, but can occur at any age. There does appear to be a genetic predisposition toward developing allergies; a child who has a parent suffering from allergies is more likely to experience them.
What Causes Allergies?
Allergies are the result of the immune system responding in an over protective manner to a harmless substance. When an allergen is encountered, antibodies – proteins designed to protect against foreign invaders – are produced. These trigger the release of chemicals called histamines, which are responsible for the telltale symptoms of allergies.
Can Allergies Be Prevented?
Certain types of allergies can be prevented by avoiding contact with the allergen, but the first step in prevention is to identify what type of allergen you are allergic to. The most common allergy types are:
- Insect Stings
- Mice & Cockroaches
What Are the Symptoms of Allergies?
Allergies may be seasonal or occur year-round. Hay fever caused by pollen from grasses, trees and weeds is the most common seasonal allergy. Symptoms include:
- Stuffy and/or runny nose
- Itchiness in the nose and throat
- Postnasal drip
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Pressure in the ears
Common year-round allergens that produce the same symptoms include mold, dust mites, pet dander, environmental irritants like smog or smoke, medications and chemicals.
How Are Allergies Treated?
Allergies can be treated through prevention, medication or immunotherapy.
- Prevention involves avoiding contact with the allergen that triggers your symptoms.
- Medications include antihistamines, decongestants, nasal sprays, eye drops and corticosteroids.
- Those who are unable to avoid allergy triggers and do not find relief from medications may be candidates for immunotherapy which may be administered in the form of injections (allergy shots) or orally (droplets under the tongue).
Call Advanced Ear, Nose & Throat Associates at (602) 944-3311 for more information or to schedule an appointment.