Allergies are an abnormal response of the immune system. People who have allergies have an immune system that reacts to a usually harmless substance, such as pollen, mold and animal dander in the environment. This substance is known as an allergen. When a person is exposed to the allergen a series of events occur creating an allergic reaction.
Allergies affect at least two out of every 10 Americans, making it a very common condition.
To identify what environmental substances to which a patient is allergic, one of three testing methods are employed. Patients undergo either a technique called
Intradermal Skin Testing (Skin Endpoint Titration, or SET), Modified Quantitative testing (MQT) or a blood test called RAST (Radioallergosorbant Test) In most cases, during each test the patient is exposed to 32-60 inhalants that are native to the North Texas area and certain foods.
Common symptoms of an allergic reaction to inhaled or skin allergens include:
Allergy medications are available as pills, liquids, inhalers, nasal sprays, eye drops, skin creams and injections. Some of these allergy medications are available over-the-counter, while others are available only by prescription.
Immunotherapy (link to immunotherapy) is a treatment option used to build up “tolerance” to those environmental substances to which a patient is allergic. Either periodic injections (allergy shots), or Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) accomplishes this build up in “tolerance.”
To learn if you are suffering from allergies, it is important to visit your DFW Sinus Select Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (ENT) to be properly diagnosed for your sinus issues, and receive information on the treatment.
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