Posts for: August, 2022
Should you turn to an otolaryngologist to treat your allergy symptoms?
Summertime can be glorious…for people who don’t have allergies; however, allergies can flare up this time of year, making that fun vacation or time outdoors miserable. If you find yourself hiding inside most of the year, this could signify that your allergies are uncontrolled and interfering with your life. Is it time to see an otolaryngologist for relief?
When Should I See An ENT Doctor?
If you find that your allergy symptoms are minor and controlled through over-the-counter remedies and home care, then you may not need to book an appointment with your ENT doctor immediately; however, you should turn to an ENT doctor if,
- You are dealing with chronic sinusitis or nasal congestion
- Your symptoms are severe
- Over-the-counter medications, lifestyle changes and home care aren’t enough
- Your symptoms last three months or more
- Your allergies are interfering with sleep, work or your quality of life
How Does an ENT Specialist Treat Allergies?
If you deal with seasonal or mild allergies, you may find them only a minor nuisance, and it might not be worth scheduling an appointment with a doctor; however, if you find yourself battling allergies for several months a year and they aren’t responding to at-home care these are signs that it might be time to sit down with an ENT doctor to discuss other treatment options.
How Does an ENT Treat Allergies?
If you aren’t sure what is causing your allergy symptoms, allergy testing will provide the best insight. Once allergy testing is performed, we’ll know exactly what you’re allergic to so we can map out a treatment plan. Treatment options range depending on the severity and type of allergies you’re dealing with. Allergy treatment plans often include,
- Lifestyle changes such as keeping windows and doors closed, using a HEPA air filter in the bedroom and other modifications to reduce your exposure to the allergen
- Oral medications such as antihistamines and decongestants
- Steroids or saline nasal sprays
- Immunotherapy (allergy shots) for more severe and unresponsive symptoms
If you are dealing with allergy symptoms that are driving you mad with itchy, watery eyes, nasal congestion and fatigue, an ENT doctor may be the right specialist to turn to for relief.
Is it a sinus infection, allergies or a cold?
It isn’t always easy to tell a sinus infection apart from other respiratory illnesses. Still, it’s essential to recognize the signs and symptoms, so you know what medical professional to turn to. Especially if you are dealing with persistent or severe sinus problems, you must turn to an ENT doctor, who specializes in treating acute and chronic infections and issues that impact the nose and sinuses. Want to learn more about sinusitis? You’ve come to the right place.
What Is Sinusitis?
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, sinus infections affect over 31 million Americans. Sinusitis causes swelling of the nasal passages, which can lead to difficulty breathing through the nose or even a complete nasal blockage (in more severe cases). Some people mistake their sinus infection for the common cold since many symptoms are the same.
What Are the Common Symptoms of a Sinus Infection?
Wondering if you could be dealing with sinusitis? Some of the warning signs include,
- Nasal congestion
- Green nasal discharge
- Postnasal drip
- Facial pain or fullness
- Referred pain in the upper teeth
What Causes Sinusitis?
In many cases, a bacterial infection is typically to blame. Of course, viruses and fungi can also cause sinus infections, particularly in those with compromised immune systems.
How Is Sinusitis Diagnosed?
Since distinguishing your symptoms from other conditions can be challenging, it’s always best to see one of our ENT doctors for a proper diagnosis. Treating your disease sooner can prevent health complications or symptoms from worsening.
How Is It Treated?
The cause of your sinusitis and whether you have an acute or chronic form will determine the type of treatment we recommend. In most cases, using an over-the-counter antihistamine or decongestant spray can reduce swelling within the sinuses to help improve drainage. Of course, these medications should only be used for a few days. If you aren’t finding relief after a few days, it’s time to talk to us.
For those with bacterial sinusitis, antibiotics are usually the best course of treatment. In some situations, a nasal steroid spray may be used to reduce swelling and inflammation of the tissue within the nasal passages.
If you are dealing with a sinus infection that isn’t going away or improving with rest and home care, you owe it to yourself to turn to an ENT doctor for treatment.