Florida Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center
Otolaryngology located in Orlando, FL & Kissimmee, FL
Allergies are so common they’re the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. Wade Han, MD, FACS, and the team at Florida Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery provide allergy testing and individualized treatment that can help you get relief from hay fever, allergic sinusitis, and other types of allergies. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Han or Megha Parekh, PA-C, call one of the offices in Orlando or Kissimmee, Florida, or use the online booking feature.
Allergies Q & A
What causes allergies?
An allergy begins when your immune system identifies a substance that’s normally safe as a danger to your health. Then every time you come into contact with that substance, you have an allergic reaction.
Some of the most common allergens include:
- Airborne allergens: mold, dust mites, and pollen from trees, grasses, and ragweed
- Contact allergens: poison ivy, soap, latex, and nickel
- Insect stings: bees, wasps, and hornets
- Medications: penicillin, aspirin, ibuprofen
Dr. Han and Megha frequently treat allergies because some of the most common allergens — pollen, dust mites, mold, and animal dander — cause nasal congestion and recurrent sinusitis.
What symptoms develop when I have an allergy?
Hay fever and other allergies caused by airborne substances tend to affect your eyes and nose. Contact allergens lead to skin inflammation and rashes. As a group, however, allergies cause symptoms such as:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Watery eyes
- Itchy nose, eyes, or mouth
- Skin rashes, hives, or eczema
Allergies to insect venom, latex, food, and some medications can cause a severe reaction called anaphylaxis. This reaction typically occurs within minutes, causing shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, and weakness. An anaphylactic reaction is a life-threatening medical emergency, so you should use your epinephrine pen immediately (if you have one) and call 9-1-1.
How is allergy testing performed?
Before the team can treat your allergies, they must first determine your exact allergens through allergy testing.
In a skin prick test, small drops of potential allergens are placed on your skin, then the skin is gently pricked. If you’re allergic to one of the substances, you’ll develop a skin reaction. The reaction occurs quickly, so you’ll stay in the office during your test.
In a skin patch test, the allergens are on a patch that’s placed on your skin. After you wear the patch for several days, you’ll go back to the office so the doctor can check for a reaction.
You may have a blood sample drawn, which is screened for the presence of antibodies produced in response to allergens.
How are allergies treated?
If your allergies are mild, you may get enough relief by limiting your exposure to the allergen and taking medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, and topical corticosteroids.
The team also provides immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots and sublingual immunotherapy, which is done using tablets that dissolve under your tongue.
When you get sublingual immunotherapy, you take a daily tablet at home. For allergy shots, you’ll come to the office on a regular schedule to get injections. Both types of immunotherapy give you small doses of your allergen. Over time, your body becomes less sensitive to the allergen, and your allergies are significantly diminished or eliminated.
If you develop allergy symptoms, call Florida Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery or book an appointment online.