OUR ALLERGY SERVICES
An allergy is an unusual response of the body to an environmental agent. While most individuals may not be allergic to a particular item, some individuals are genetically predisposed to allergies to certain agents or become allergic as time goes by. The development of allergies depends on genetics, environmental interactions, degree of exposure to the particular allergen and duration of exposure and yet unknown factors. The specifics of allergies are far from clear at this time although much research is currently ongoing in this very dynamic field.
Texas Sinus, Allergy, Snoring and Sleep Institute specializes in helping those in The Woodlands, Spring, Conroe, Houston, Tomball and North Houston with Allergies and have a wide array of treatment options that may fit your schedule and lifestyle. We even offer in-office balloon sinuplasty!
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ALLERGIC RHINITIS FAQ
Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis
Common Airborne Allergens
Common Food Allergies
Testing for Allergies
Purpose of Allergy Testing
Skin testing on children
Downside of blood RAST testing.
Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots)
Risks of Immunotherapy
Either during allergy testing or during shots, an anaphylaxis reaction can occur. Tongue or voice box swelling may occur during this resulting in breathing difficulty. Typically an Epipen shot and steroids with benadryl may be given right away. If you are on immunotherapy, always carry an epipen shot with you for use in an emergency.
Allergy drops or sublingual immunotherapy, also called SLIT, is a relatively new form of immunotherapy in the US. While it has been practiced in Europe and South America for over 30 years, it is more widely adopted in the US now. Drops containing allergens that you are allergic too are mixed in a bottle and placed under the tongue. This is a daily treatment and the duration is 2-3 years as well. There are minimal side effects to date with the most common one being a bad taste.
Advantages of Allergy Drops
There are minimal side effects. You do not have to come to the office weekly. Travel is possible while on drops and missing a few days of treatment does not require going back to the original dose of treatment. It is very convenient form of therapy.
Are Allergy Drops paid for by Insurance Carriers?
No. Because they are not FDA approved yet, they are not approved by insurance
carriers. However, we believe that it is a matter of time before that happens.
MANAGING AND TREATING YOUR ALLERGIES
Wash all bedding, including mattress pads, in hot water or bleach every 10 days.
Clean your home. Dust mites are the by most studies the most common allergen to cause allergic reactions. Regular use of a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, washing items in hot water, and mite proof casings will reduce these allergens.
Use of HEPA filters in the bedroom, study or the TV room will help reduce the pollen and particle count.
Dust mite matter and pet dander hide in fabric, such as curtains, furniture upholstery, carpets and bedding. Keeping these clean is important.
Remove carpeting in your home if possible
Basements, bathrooms, kitchens and rooms with reduced ventilation must be well ventilated to prevent or reduce mold growth.
Bathe pets once a week to reduce pet dander, and, if possible, keep your pet out of the bedroom. Wash your hands after petting animals.
Because chalk can irritate children with allergies advise the children not to sit too close to the chalkboard
Limit the number of indoor plants; mold thrives in potting soil.
For individuals with food allergies, always read the ingredients before ingesting a new or packaged food. When dining out, ask restaurants for a list of ingredients or to prepare a meal without the offending food or additive.
Nasal steroids are very effective in improving nasal symptoms of allergic rhinits. Non-sedating antihistamines (such as claritin, allegra, zyrtec) are also effective but less so. Antihistamine nasal sprays may also reduce symptoms.
Immunotherapy such as subcutaneous immunotherapy , also called shots, is very effective in reducing an individuals allergic reaction over the long term.
Alternatively, consider drops or sublingual immunotherapy. Because allergy drops are not FDA approved, they are not paid for by insurance carriers. However, drops are very safe and increasingly research on them shows them to be very effective.