What are Allergies?
Do you experience red, itchy eyes when going outside? Do certain foods cause you nausea or abdominal pain? Then you could be suffering from allergies. Allergies are so common that they affect about 30 percent of adults, and while there isn’t a cure, the ENT doctors at Shoreline Allergy of Connecticut are here to make sure that you get the compassionate and individualized allergy treatment you need to manage your symptoms more effectively.
An allergy develops when the immune system overreacts to a harmless allergen. Common allergens include:
Pollen and weeds
Foods (e.g. nuts; eggs; shellfish)
Having allergies can produce a variety of symptoms from headaches and skin rashes to nausea and sneezing. While many allergies aren’t life threatening there are some that are. An appointment with one of our ENT specialists will help to determine the cause and severity of your allergy symptoms.
Through a thorough medical evaluation, we will be able to create a treatment plan that will help to reduce and even eliminate your symptoms. Blood and skin tests can often provide us with an accurate diagnosis to help determine the culprit behind your allergies.
While avoiding the allergen is key to preventing your symptoms, we know that sometimes this is impossible. Fortunately, there are treatment options out there such as medication and immunotherapy that can provide the relief you’ve been looking for.
Antihistamines are often the first line of defense against allergy symptoms. Antihistamines are known to treat symptoms such as congestion, runny nose, sneezing, hives and itchy eyes. Over-the-counter antihistamines may work well for relieving your symptoms, while patients with more severe symptoms will often benefit from a stronger, prescription-strength antihistamine.
Decongestants are also a great medication for relieving nasal congestion and can be used along with antihistamines. If nasal inflammation, congestion or other allergy symptoms are more severe or aren’t responding to these other treatments, then we may prescribe steroids. Of course, steroids do come with potential side effects, so it’s always important to talk with us if you have any questions or concerns about taking steroids.
If medications just aren’t cutting it, then it might be time to consider immunotherapy, or “allergy shots”. Over time, these injections are designed to help your body get used to the allergen, which can be a major relief for those chronic or severe allergy sufferers.