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Sinusitis is a common condition that can cause symptoms such as nasal congestion and discharge. In some cases, it can last for months on end if it’s not successfully treated.

What is Acute & Chronic Sinusitis?

Sinusitis is an inflammation or swelling in the lining of your sinuses. It’s classified as acute when it lasts three weeks or less and happens no more than three times a year.

Chronic sinusitis, on the other hand, is longer-lasting and typically lasts more than 12 weeks.

How Can Antibiotics Help with Sinusitis?

Antibiotics can help treat sinusitis only if it’s caused by a bacterial infection.

Is Acute Sinusitis Contagious?

If your acute sinusitis was caused by a virus, someone else could catch the virus from you but not the sinusitis itself.

What Are the Types of Acute Sinusitis?

Sinusitis is often classified by its cause. Viral sinusitis has symptoms that are similar to those associated with a cold. It often lasts for a week to 10 days.

Bacterial sinusitis is caused by bacteria, and it can cause thick green or yellow mucus, which often drips down the back of your throat. This type of illness often clears up in 10-14 days if it’s treated with an antibiotic.

Allergic sinusitis can sometimes be seasonal or may last throughout the year. It can lead to chronic sinusitis and often causes sneezing, itchy nose, throat, or eyes, and congestion.

How Are Acute & Chronic Sinusitis Diagnosed?

Acute sinusitis can have many symptoms in common with other illnesses, such as a cold. A cold usually lasts no more than 10 days, acute sinusitis can last longer.

To diagnose or rule out chronic sinusitis, your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms, examine your nose and face for tenderness and also examine the inside of your nose. They may also examine your sinuses closely with a special instrument or scan or conduct an allergy test.

What Are the Complications of Acute & Chronic Sinusitis?

Most cases of sinusitis don’t cause complications, but the ones that do are often bacterial infections. Complications can include infection in your eye and its surrounding tissue, a blood clot in your sinus cavity (thrombosis), or a bone infection.

What Are the Possible Causes of Sinusitis?

Sinusitis can be caused by the following:

  • Virus
  • Allergy
  • Asthma
  • Deviated septum
  • Nasal polyps
  • Bacterial infection
  • Fungi
Can Chronic Sinusitis Be Cured Without Surgery?

Depending on the cause, chronic sinusitis may be able to be cured without surgery. For example, if it’s caused by an allergy, you could receive medication, avoid the allergen, or receive allergy shots to build up your tolerance to the allergen over time.

How to Cure Acute Sinusitis?

Acute sinusitis can be successfully treated in the following ways:

  • Decongestants
  • Nasal sprays
  • Pain relievers
  • Antibiotics: if bacterial sinusitis is suspected

If you’ve had nasal congestion, discharge, facial pain or other symptoms associated with sinusitis, make an appointment today with Lakeside Allergy ENT in Rockwall, Forney, or Wylie TX. Our experienced ENT doctors can correctly diagnose sinusitis and recommend the most effective treatments.

The post Acute vs. Chronic Sinusitis appeared first on Lakeside Allergy ENT.

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How Often Should I Get a Hearing Test?

Most people will get a hearing test approximately every five to ten years until the age of 45 or 50. Because most hearing loss is age-related, doctors often recommend getting hearing tests more frequently as you get older. About half of Americans 75 years of age or older suffer from some form of hearing loss. It is recommended to have a hearing test before any problems arise so that a baseline can be established.

Should I Ever Ask for a Hearing Test Early?

Ask your doctor about a hearing test if you notice early symptoms of hearing loss. One of the first signs of hearing loss is the inability to distinguish “s” and “f” sounds. You may also find that you have trouble with high-pitched voices or increasing difficulty hearing and understanding in background noise. Also consider having a hearing test if you have begun to have new or worsening tinnitus which is a ringing, buzzing, or humming in the ears.

Do Some People Need Hearing Tests More Often?

There are three main causes of hearing loss. The causes include physical blockage of the ear canal or middle ear, nerve damage, or a combination of both of these. Most hearing loss is age-related, so sticking to the standard schedule of hearing tests will help you monitor your hearing and get care as necessary. Anyone with a significant family history of hearing loss should have hearing testing more regularly.

Hearing loss can be caused or worsened by exposure to loud noise or continuous exposure to quieter noises over a certain decibel level. People who work with or around heavy equipment are at significant risk of hearing damage. Annual monitoring hearing testing is highly recommended if you have a history or noise exposure or are currently exposed to loud sounds either in a work environment or recreationally.

Hearing loss can also be precipitated by infection or other problems in the ear. For example, the collection of fluid in the middle ear which may be caused by allergies, sinus, or other upper respiratory conditions can lead to temporary loss of hearing. This is known as conductive hearing loss and will generally go away once the underlying problem has been addressed.

If you work in a field where you may be at risk of permanent hearing damage, you should have hearing tests performed every year. Take precautions by using ear protection whenever you are exposed to loud noise in a work environment or recreationally.

Is a Hearing Test Necessary to Get a Hearing Aid?

A hearing test is essential prior to purchasing a hearing aid. If you are not fully informed about your level of hearing loss and the underlying cause of the hearing loss, using a hearing aid incorrectly can lead to further hearing damage.

A hearing aid does not reverse hearing damage but instead amplifies sounds around the listener. Some hearing aids reduce background noise, making it easier to focus on others in conversation. However, you should still have regular hearing tests after you start using a hearing aid.

Who Performs a Hearing Test?

A hearing test should be performed by an audiologist. There are several different types of hearing tests that can be done together to provide a complete understanding of your hearing.

If you think you may be experiencing signs of hearing loss, make an appointment today with the ear, nose, and throat doctors of Lakeside Allergy ENT. We can provide the latest tests to help you with your hearing.

The post Best Time to Get a Hearing Test appeared first on Lakeside Allergy ENT.

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Although spring is a wonderful time of year, it can bring misery for allergy sufferers. Trees, grass, and weeds are producing pollen, which can cause a variety of symptoms.

What Are Common Symptoms of Spring Allergies?

If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms this time of year, you may have spring allergies:

  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Itchy mouth or throat
  • Ear congestion
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Chest tightness
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Headache
What Are Different Ways to Manage Spring Allergies?

The following tips can help reduce your symptoms:

Check Pollen Forecasts

Local television stations and newspapers often post a pollen count forecast. Try to stay indoors when the counts are particularly high.

Limit Outside Activities

Avoid going outside from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, when pollen counts are usually highest.

Keep Your Windows Shut

Keep your home and car windows shut and use the air conditioner to cool off.

Use a Dust Mask

If you’re outside especially on windy days, consider using a dust mask to limit your exposure to pollen.

Change Clothes

When you’ve been outside, change your clothes and take off your shoes when you come inside so you’re not tracking pollen throughout the house.

Don’t Dry Your Clothes Outdoors

Hanging clothes outside on the line to dry may save energy, but it can also worsen your allergies as pollen clings to your clothes and sheets.

Use a HEPA Filter

These filters can help remove airborne particles.

Vacuum & Dust Frequently

This will help reduce the amount of pollen in your home

Take a Shower Before Bedtime

This removes pollen that accumulates on your body and hair.

Talk to Your ENT Doctor

They may recommend over-the-counter or prescription oral antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays, or eye drops.

Consider Allergy Shots

If your symptoms are severe and don’t respond well to lifestyle changes and medication, allergy shots may be able to help. These expose you to a tiny but slowly increasing amount of a springtime allergen, so your body builds up a tolerance to it.

If you’re experiencing spring allergy symptoms, make an appointment today with the ear, nose, and throat doctors of Lakeside Allergy ENT. We offer allergy testing as well as the most effective treatments that will help you get the relief from your spring allergy symptoms.

The post Top Ways to Manage Spring Allergies appeared first on Lakeside Allergy ENT.

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Your tonsils are part of your immune system. They consist of two oval-shaped pads of tissue, one situated on each side of the throat. They are the first line of defense against viruses and bacteria that would otherwise infiltrate your body through your nose and mouth.

In relatively rare situations, your tonsils can become infected. Children are more likely than adults to be affected, but tonsillitis may occur at any time of life. Surgery is not necessary in some cases of tonsillitis.

Can Medication Be Used in Place of Tonsil Surgery?

The body may sometimes be able to weather tonsillitis without tonsil surgery. Most cases of tonsillitis are caused by a virus, not by bacteria, which means no medication can eliminate the root cause. Medication can only be used to make the symptoms more bearable.

If you develop symptoms of tonsillitis, you should seek medical attention right away. Your doctor will keep an eye on the situation and discuss your tonsil treatment options. Only in certain specific cases do most doctors consider tonsillectomy surgery warranted.

Why Should I Get My Tonsils Removed?

There are three major situations where tonsil removal is used:

First, if the tonsil infection recurs, it may be a good idea to have tonsils removed. Sometimes, a certain area of the body may simply become prone to infection and require more intensive care. In many of these cases, the associated symptoms become severe and painful over time.

Second, if there are significant complications arising from the tonsil infection, a tonsillectomy may be required to protect the patient. Two rare, but serious complications include the development of a tumor or of a pus-filled lesion called an abscess. The latter can be very painful.

Third, tonsils can be removed for reasons other than infection. This is most common if your tonsils have become enlarged, which may happen without any other symptoms.

Removal is called for if enlarged tonsils cause disordered breathing that affects sleep quality.

Preparation for Tonsillectomy

Tonsil removal is a relatively simple procedure, and there are few special steps you’ll need to take. Tell your doctor about any current medications or health conditions as well as any family history of bleeding disorders or reactions to anesthesia.
Most patients will be advised to discontinue use of blood thinning medications for at least two weeks prior to surgery. You should also avoid eating anything after midnight the day before your procedure.

Recovery Time for Tonsillectomy

Although tonsillectomy is not complex, it does involve a significant recovery period. It is a good idea to plan for 10-14 days of recovery. Most patients will be prescribed medicine for pain management and eat a limited diet consisting of liquid and liquid-like foods. Patients must be prepared to avoid hard, crunchy, spicy, or acidic foods until full recovery is complete.

Are There Any Risks of Tonsillectomy?

Risks of tonsillectomy are minor and do not compare to the risks of leaving damaged tonsils untreated. Swelling of the tongue and soft palate near the surgery site may cause some difficulty breathing or swallowing. Minor bleeding usually occurs both in surgery and during healing. On very rare occasions, an infection may occur at a surgical incision site and should be treated promptly.

If you believe you have tonsillitis and would like to know more about treatment options, make an appointment today with Lakeside Allergy ENT. Our experienced ear, nose, and throat physicians can identify and treat tonsil issues you may be having.

The post When Should I Remove My Tonsils? appeared first on Lakeside Allergy ENT.

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Your thyroid gland may be small, but it has a big effect on many of your body’s important functions, including your metabolism. If you have a thyroid disorder, this gland may make too little or too much hormone, causing symptoms such as fatigue.

What Is A Thyroid?

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the base of your neck in front of your windpipe. This gland releases hormones that help regulate many of your body’s important functions, including your metabolism (the way your body uses energy). Hormones secreted by your thyroid regulate your heart rate, breathing, body weight, muscle strength, body temperature, and more.

What Are the Symptoms of a Thyroid Disorder?

The most common thyroid disorders are hyperthyroidism, which occurs when the gland makes too many hormones and hypothyroidism, which occurs when too little hormones are secreted. They can cause the following:

Hyperthyroidism
  • Feeling moody, anxious, or irritable
  • Hand trembling
  • Feeling sensitive to heat
  • Nervousness
  • Hair loss
  • Missed or light menstrual periods
  • Swelling at the base of your neck
  • Increased frequency of bowel movements
  • Hair loss
  • Losing weight without a known cause
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
Hypothyroidism
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Frequent heavy periods
  • Constipation
  • Memory issues
What Causes Thyroid Disorders?

Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can be caused by a number of different issues, including:

Hypothyroidism
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Overresponse to hyperthyroidism treatment
  • Thyroid surgery
  • Certain medications
Hyperthyroidism
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Goiter
  • Excess iodine
  • Pregnancy/birth
What Are the Risk Factors for Developing Thyroid Disease?

You may be more likely to have a thyroid disorder if one or more of the following applies to you:

Hypothyroidism
  • Woman age 60 or older
  • A family history of thyroid disease
  • Presence of an autoimmune disease
  • Treated with anti-thyroid medications, radioactive iodine or have received radiation to your neck or upper chest
  • Thyroid surgery to remove all or part of your thyroid
Hyperthyroidism
  • Woman age 60 or older
  • Family history of Graves’ disease or hyperthyroidism
  • History of other autoimmune disorders
  • Pregnancy
  • Taking iodine supplements
How Are Thyroid Disorders Diagnosed & Treated?

Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism can be diagnosed with a blood test that checks your hormone levels. Hyperthyroidism can also be diagnosed with other tests, including one that uses a radioactive tracer to determine how well your thyroid is working. Treatment is focused on restoring your thyroid’s hormone levels to their normal production. It can include:

Hypothyroidism
  • Synthetic hormone medication
Hyperthyroidism
  • Radioactive iodine treatment to disable the thyroid
  • Medication to block hormone production
  • Surgery to remove all or part of the thyroid

If you think you have any symptoms of a thyroid disorder, make an appointment today with Lakeside Allergy ENT. Our experienced ear, nose, and throat physicians can identify and treat any thyroid issues you may be having.

The post How Do I Know If I Have a Thyroid Disorder? appeared first on Lakeside Allergy ENT.

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Having allergies can have a big impact on your everyday life, especially if your symptoms occur frequently. When you haven’t had success finding effective relief or when you’re not sure what you’re allergic to – going to an allergy center can help.

Benefits of Visiting an Allergy Center

An allergy center is a place that offers allergy testing and treatment options to ease symptoms. These centers can do different types of tests to help patients determine what they are allergic to. This information can help patients explore treatment options to relieve or prevent allergic reactions. In some cases, this can be a life-saving experience, such as when patients have a severe food allergy or allergies to insect stings. These patients can take steps to lower their risk of having a serious reaction and have an epi-pen with them in case of emergencies.

What Kinds of Allergy Tests Are Available?

Allergy centers offer a few different types of tests, including skin tests and blood tests. These tests include:

Press Testing

During this skin test, allergists prick the skin slightly and expose it to a certain allergen. If the skin becomes red or develops other symptoms, such as swelling or itching, this indicates an allergic reaction. These tests are often done on the arm or the back.

Intradermal Skin Tests

This involves using a pressing device to place the allergens and waiting to see if there are any reactions. Intradermal skin tests are usually done for food allergies, insect sting or bite allergies and penicillin allergies. In some cases, they can be done for allergies that affect the respiratory system.

Blood Tests

Immunoglobulin-E testing involves taking a blood sample and checking for antibodies to certain allergens. This test can provide allergists with more specific results about what a patient is allergic to.

What Does an Allergy Center Treat?

Allergy centers can provide treatment options for patients who have different kinds of allergies, such as the following:

  • Seasonal allergies to pollen, ragweed & other allergens that are only around during certain times of the year
  • Dust, pet dander and other allergens commonly found in households
  • Insect stings & bites, such as bee stings or fire ant bites
  • Certain foods
  • Certain medications, such as penicillin
What Treatment Options Are Available?

When patients get the results of allergy testing, they can then discuss the options that are available to them for treatment. In some cases, such as pet dander allergies or dust allergies, this might mean limiting exposure to allergens. Some patients can also receive allergy shots or injections. These injections help their body slowly become used to being exposed to a certain allergen, so that their immune system doesn’t trigger an allergic reaction.

For patients with a potentially life-threatening allergy, such as a bee sting allergy or a food allergy, avoiding exposure as much as possible and having an epi-pen on hand are the usual forms of treatment. An epi-pen can be used in case patients have a severe reaction.

If you suffer from allergies and need relief, contact Lakeside Allergy ENT to set up an appointment.

The post Top Allergy Center in North Texas appeared first on Lakeside Allergy ENT.

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Winter isn’t a season you often associate with allergies, but they can be just as prevalent for people who are subject to allergies. You aren’t bothered by the pollens that are normally the cause of summer allergies, but there are plenty of indoor allergens that tend to increase in intensity because your home is closed up during the winter months.

The Four Biggest Culprits

There are four winter allergens that cause the most problems for those susceptible to them. These are pet dander, dust mites, mold/mildew, and cockroaches.

Pet dander is an allergy to the droppings of your pet and not to their hair as many people think. Keeping litter boxes cleaned daily and giving both dogs and cats regular baths can help eliminate much of the problem.

Dust mites thrive all year round. These tiny bugs make their home in upholstery, carpeting and other areas consisting of fabric throughout your home. Running a carpet sweeper daily will help keep them to a minimum.

Mold and mildew love damp places like basements and bathrooms. Any place that is subject to warm, damp conditions can cause them to grow and thrive. While not as dangerous as many believe, for those with breathing problems and allergies, especially the very young and the elderly, hidden mold or mildew can be debilitating. Using a moisture absorbing agent in these areas can help as can buying a dehumidifier.

Cockroaches don’t only inhabit places that are dirty. These hardy bugs can find their way into any home and can thrive on the smallest amount of food and water. Keep all your pipes free of leaks. Cover any food items immediately after a meal and make sure all the cracks and crevices into your home are covered.

Minimize the Risk

While you can’t eliminate the risks of winter allergies completely, there are some things you can do to minimize the effects.

  • Buy a humidifier to help prevent dry noses, which are more susceptible to infection
  • Keep the humidity level in your home around 50%, as too much humidity can make mold and mildew worse
  • Use area rugs instead of wall-to-wall carpeting. Dust mites will be less likely to find a space to live; cover furniture with throws and wash the throws weekly
  • Buy a vacuum with a good HEPA filter; use it along with mopping and dusting regularly to help keep dust under control
  • Bathe your pets once a week. Any more often is likely to dry out their skin (and really irritate your cat) and keep all pets out of your sleeping area
  • Use protective mattress and pillow coverings and wash all bedding once a week
Let Us Help

Despite all your efforts, there are still ways to pick up allergens in public places, especially the workplace. You can’t stop them completely. If winter allergies have you wishing Spring was already here, contact us today. Our experienced staff will have you feeling in top shape quickly so you can enjoy the winter holidays and all the activities this time of year offers.

The post What Are Winter Allergies? appeared first on Lakeside Allergy ENT.

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When the tissues inside your sinuses become inflamed and blocked, for long periods of time due to swelling and mucus buildup, you may have chronic sinusitis.

What Is Chronic Sinusitis?

A common condition, chronic sinusitis (also called chronic rhinosinusitis) occurs when the sinuses (the cavities around your nasal passages) become inflamed and swollen for 12 weeks or more, despite attempts to treat it.

Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms

Chronic sinusitis is signaled by nasal inflammation and two or more of the following:

  • Postnasal drainage where thick mucus leaks down the back of the throat
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose due to nasal obstruction or congestion
  • Facial pain, tenderness, or discomfort
  • Sense of smell and taste is reduced in adults or a cough in children.

Other signs and symptoms of chronic sinusitis may include:

  • Ear pain
  • Upper jaw and teeth soreness
  • Cough that might worsen at night
  • Sore throat
  • Bad breath
  • Exhaustion or irritability
  • Nausea
How Does Chronic Sinusitis Develop?

The most common causes of chronic sinusitis include:

  • Allergies, especially hay fever, that can cause inflammation leading to nasal passages inflammation and sinus blockage
  • Nasal polyps, tissue growths inside the nose that makes breathing difficult because they block the sinuses
  • Deviated nasal septum, which is an uneven wall between your nostrils that limits air flow through one or both nostrils
  • Respiratory tract infections, infections in your nose, windpipe, or lungs caused by funguses, viruses or bacteria (most commonly colds) can cause your nose to become inflamed, thicken your sinus membranes, and block mucus from draining out of your nose
Treatment Options for Chronic Sinusitis

In many cases, chronic sinusitis can be effectively treated with conservative methods, unless you have complications because treatment was delayed, or there is an anatomical reason that’s causing problems.

Conservative treatment options can include:

  • Antibiotics: If chronic sinusitis is related to a bacterial cause, antibiotic prescription drugs may be prescribed
  • Nasal decongestant sprays: Over-the-counter and prescription nasal sprays can help to shrink swollen nasal passages and help improve drainage
  • Antihistamines: Treatment for allergies causing chronic sinusitis may involve antihistamines to relieve nasal inflammation, itching, sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes caused by an allergic reaction
  • Topical nasal corticosteroids: Prescription steroid nasal sprays are an effective option to reduce inflammation and swelling in nasal passages and sinuses
  • Nasal saline washes and sprays: Nasal solutions are effective because when you wash the nasal passages, you can significantly clear thick secretions from your nose

When chronic sinusitis doesn’t respond well to conservative sinusitis treatments, surgical treatment may be recommended and can include:

  • Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) to correct structural abnormalities that is performed using an endoscope (small camera) and surgical tools
  • Balloon Sinuplasty, a minimally invasive, in-office procedure that uses a small balloon catheter to open up nasal passages
  • Propel Sinus Implant is a small nasal implant that’s typically inserted after FESS to keep the surgical area open, while it slowly releases cortisone to prevent scarring or polyp regrowth. The implant dissolves in about four weeks
How to Avoid Chronic Sinusitis

You can avoid chronic sinusitis by avoiding upper respiratory infections. Avoid people who have colds, and wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Work with your doctor to keep your allergy symptoms under control. Avoid tobacco smoke and air pollution.

Lakeside Allergy ENT is home to highly experienced board-certified otolaryngologists specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of all ear, nose, and throat related disorders, including chronic sinusitis. Sinus infection treatment requires expert care. If you have symptoms of sinusitis, get started by requesting an appointment using the form on this page.

The post How to Determine If You Have Chronic Sinusitis appeared first on Lakeside Allergy ENT.

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Coughing, sneezing, runny eyes, and itchy nose can all be signs you have allergies. Some people can control their allergy symptoms with over-the-counter medicines, but some people need professional medical care for allergy symptom relief. If you think you may have allergies, consider seeing an allergy doctor who can test if you do and also help you control symptoms.

What Are Allergy Doctors?

Allergy doctors (allergists) diagnose and treat allergies. There are different types of allergy doctors. If you have a skin allergy, a dermatologist is the best type of allergy doctor to see. If your allergies are related to hay fever, sinus problems, or asthma, then the best type of doctor to see is an ear, nose and throat (ENT) board certified otolaryngologist who specializes in the treatment of sinus problems and allergies.

How Do You Pick an Allergy Doctor?

If you or your primary care physician (PCP) have decided you’d benefit from visiting an allergy doctor, your PCP can provide you with referrals to allergy specialists in your area.

What Do Allergy Doctors Treat?

Allergists treat several different types of allergy problems, including:

Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)

Hay fever involves allergic reactions that take place in the nose. Allergic rhinitis is typically triggered by pollens or molds. When symptoms occur during warmer weather, it’s called hay fever. If the allergic reactions happen throughout the year, the allergens at home (things causing allergic reactions) could be dust mites, animal dander, or indoor molds, or there are allergens where you work or go to school.

Asthma

Asthma symptoms happen when airway muscle spasms block the airflow to the lungs. These symptoms can also develop when the lungs’ bronchial tubes become inflamed, and excess mucus can block airways. Inflammation and excess mucus can be triggered by allergens.

Signs You Need an Allergy Doctor

If you have any of the following symptoms that last more than three months or make it hard for you to sleep, work or attend school, it’s important to consult with an allergy doctor.

Hay Fever
  • Sneezing
  • Congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy nose, eyes/roof of the mouth
Asthma Attack
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tight feeling in the chest
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Chronic cough (which is sometimes the only symptom)
What Types of Allergy Tests May an Allergist Perform?

Your allergy doctor will find the allergens by conducting tests. There are three commonly used allergy testing methods. Two are skin tests and a third test is called RAST testing.

Skin Prick Test

A small prick of the skin is made, and then the doctor puts an allergen on the open skin and watches for reactions. The skin pricks are typically placed on your arm or back. If you’re allergic to a substance, you skin will react with symptoms of redness, itching, and swelling.

Intradermal Testing

Your allergy doctor injects a tiny amount of an allergen under the surface of your skin, and then waits to see if there is a reaction at the site.

RAST Testing

A blood test for detecting allergen antibodies.

Lakeside Allergy ENT has three board-certified otolaryngologists and allergy doctors specializing in diagnosing and treating all ear, nose, and throat-related (ENT) disorders, including allergies and asthma. If you or your child have asthma or allergy symptoms and you want to learn more about allergy testing and treatment, call our office at 972-771-5443 or request an appointment with our expert allergists.

The post Best Time to See An Allergy Doctor appeared first on Lakeside Allergy ENT.

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Allergies are very common, and they can cause everything from annoying symptoms to a potentially life-threatening reaction.

What are Allergies?

Your immune system’s job is to defend your body against dangers such as bacteria, viruses, or toxic substances. But if you have an allergy, your immune system mistakenly reacts to an otherwise harmless substance that enters your body, viewing it as a threat and triggering an allergic response.

Who Do Allergies Affect?

Anyone of any age can be affected by allergies. You can have allergies as a child, or you may be exposed to a particular substance and then suddenly become allergic to it as an adult.

Allergies have a genetic component. If your parents have allergies, your chances of having them increases If both parents have them, your risk more than doubles. Although you may have a tendency to have allergies, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll develop symptoms.

Smoking, pollution, infection, and hormones have also all been linked to an increased tendency to develop an allergy.

How Do Allergies Develop?

Allergies begin to develop when you come into contact with an allergen – the substance you’re allergic to. As your immune system detects a threat, you may have a pro-inflammatory response. Your body then becomes sensitized to the substance, and when it comes into contact with it again, it responds by releasing substances such as histamine, which causes symptoms like sneezing, tearing up, or itching, which are designed to defend your body against the perceived threat.

Allergens can include a wide variety of substances, including animal dander, certain medications, foods, insect bites or stings, and mold.

What Symptoms Do Allergies Cause?

Allergies can often cause one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Runny, swollen, and inflamed nose
  • Constant sneezing
  • Watery eyes   
  • Itchy eyes, nose, or the roof of your mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Rashes
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Stomach upset
  • Eczema
  • Dry, red, itchy skin
  • Hives
  • Anaphylaxis – a life-threatening reaction that’s characterized by symptoms such as difficulty breathing and tightness in the throat. This requires immediate medical attention.
What are Treatment Options for Allergies?

The following are some common treatment options for allergies:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Nasal sprays
  • Eye drops
  • Inhaled medication
  • Epinephrine – often prescribed under the brand name EpiPen, this autoinjector can be administered by you or another person if you’re experiencing anaphylaxis
  • Immunotherapy – allergy shots or medication under your tongue that gradually increases your exposure to the substance you’re allergic to. Over time, your body becomes desensitized to the allergen.

If you’re experiencing symptoms that may suggest you have an allergy, make an appointment today with Lakeside Allergy ENT. We have the best ear, nose, and throat and allergy specialists in Texas and have three convenient locations in Rockwall, Forney, and Wylie, TX to serve you.

Our practice offers several types of allergy testing to determine if you have an allergy, and if so, what substance or substances you’re allergic to. From there, we’ll devise the most effective treatment plan to treat your allergies.

The post How Do Allergies Develop? appeared first on Lakeside Allergy ENT.

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