Spring occurs between the end of March and late June, creating a beautiful, renewed planet after cold or wet winters. While spring is a beloved time of fresh blooms and plush grasses for many, about 50 million people dread this season. Allergy season lasts through summer, and for many allergy sufferers, into fall, creating a huge portfolio of symptoms.
Wade Han, MD, FACS, and Elvira Livigni-De Armas, Au.D., lead our experienced and compassionate staff at Florida Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center in Orlando, Florida. Allergies affect people in a number of ways, with symptoms triggered by contact with food, pollution, organic matter, or medication. Dr. Han is a board-certified ear, nose, and throat specialist who provides quality care to all allergy sufferers, offering solutions for severe cases.
What are allergies?
Our immune systems are complex, fantastic networks that are specially equipped to protect us from certain biological hazards in our environment. Unfortunately, our immune system can also overreact, mistaking an innocuous substance for a harmful intruder. Interacting with cat hair, for example, isn’t dangerous for humans, but if you’re allergic, your immune system sounds the alarm.
Seasonal, outdoor, and indoor allergies are often triggered by pollen and animal dander. Hay fever and hives are common reactions to these types of allergies. Common food allergies include peanuts, shellfish, wheat, and dairy. Symptoms of food allergies can be as mild as tingling, or as severe as anaphylaxis, a life-threatening emergency that requires an immediate dose of medication.
People living with allergies often have several types of allergies. It’s not unusual, for example, for someone to be allergic to both cats and gluten. While cats can cause hay fever and gluten can cause gastrointestinal problems, both can also cause a reaction in your skin. Skin allergies usually manifest as a raised rash or bumps on the skin, and can also be triggered by detergents and latex.
What are some top treatments for allergies?
Many people are familiar with over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants. For most people, allergic sensitivities start in childhood. Some may grow out of their allergies, but many people live with allergies for the rest of their lives.
All is not hopeless for allergy sufferers. Dr. Han has options to help people whose allergies impact their daily lives. It’s possible that Dr. Han will recommend an antihistamine to treat mild or infrequent allergies, but immunotherapy is available for people with severe cases of allergies.
Before recommending any treatment, Dr. Han sits with you for a full consultation. Dr. Han may require an allergy test to confirm the allergies that bother you and to make sure that he treats allergies of which you may not be aware. If Dr. Han determines that you’re a candidate for immunotherapy, you may have the option to choose between allergy shots and the generally preferred sublingual immunotherapy.
Allergy shots contain small doses of your allergens, allowing your immune system to strengthen in the face of the irritant. Over the course of several months to a few years, your immune system learns to recognize your allergens as being as harmless as they are. Allergy shots require you to come into the office for each treatment.
Sublingual immunotherapy offers the same benefits as allergy shots, except that your doses come in tablets that dissolve under the tongue. This much-preferred option, however, only covers certain allergies, whereas allergy shots can treat any allergy that you may have.
I’d like to discuss my allergy treatment options.
Dr. Han is happy to treat your allergies. He goes over your personal and family health history, helping you understand how to protect yourself from and treat your allergies. You’re not stuck with a stuffy nose or taking extra time to check the menu for things that might make your throat swell. Call either of our Florida offices to schedule a consultation with Dr. Han, or book an appointment with us online.