ALLERGIES

WHAT IS ALLERGIC RHINITIS?

Allergic rhinitis is inflammation of the mucosal lining of the nose caused by an inappropriate hypersensitivity reaction to an aeroallergen. The allergen triggers an IgE mediated immune response, with mast cell activation and the release of cytokines.

WHAT CAUSES THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ALLERGIC RHINITIS?

  • Seasonal allergies: usually pollen and/or outdoor molds

  • Perennial: caused by indoor allergies i.e. cockroach, dust mite, pets, and certain molds

  • Occupational: surroundings of your working environment

WHO IS AFFECTED?

  • Affects approximately ⅓ of Americans

  • Worse in regions with high humidity

  • Worse in regions with higher plant population

HOW DO MY ALLERGIES AFFECT ME?

  • Eyes: watery eyes, itchiness

  • Nose: septal deviation, polyps, mucus discharge, congestion, sneezing

  • Ear: middle ear pathology, i.e. otitis externa, serous otitis media, otalgia and/or otorrhea

  • Neck: swollen lymph nodes, thyroid enlargement

  • Chest: wheezing, coughing

  • Skin: eczema, hives, dermatographism

DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

  • Non-allergic rhinitis: infectious rhinitis, vasomotor rhinitis, atrophic rhinitis, drug-induced rhinitis, hormonally induced rhinitis, exercise-induced rhinitis, reflex induced rhinitis

  • Structural/mechanical rhinitis: septal deviation, turbinate hypertrophy, adenoid hypertrophy, foreign body, tumor

  • Inflammatory rhinitis: Wegener’s, sarcoidosis, midline granuloma, SLE, Sjogren’s

ALLERGY MANAGEMENT

Combat environmental allergies by reducing exposure. Installing HEPA filters in your home helps to reduce
airborne dust mite and pet dander concentration. Encasing pillows, mattresses, and box springs in zippered dust mite covers can improve sleep quality. Ventilating bathrooms, basements, and other dark, moist places combats mold growth.

Simply avoiding allergens is not always a viable tactic. At Advanced ENT & Allergy, we offer many services geared towards treating your allergy symptoms, starting with allergy testing.

When should you call for help?

 

Give an epinephrine shot if:

  • You think you are having a severe allergic reaction.

  • You have symptoms in more than one body area, such as mild nausea and an itchy mouth.

After giving an epinephrine shot call 911, even if you feel better.

 

Call 911 if:

  • You have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction. These may include:

    • Sudden raised, red areas (hives) all over your body.

    • Swelling of the throat, mouth, lips, or tongue.

    • Trouble breathing.

    • Passing out (losing consciousness), sudden lightheadedness or weakness, confusion, or restlessness.

  • You have been given an epinephrine shot, even if you feel better.

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as:

    • A rash or hives (raised, red areas on the skin).

    • Belly pain, nausea, or vomiting.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your allergies worsen.

  • You need help controlling your allergies.

  • You have questions about allergy testing.

  • You do not get better as expected.

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