With every change of season comes the onset of allergies and sinus problems. For some, this is not just a seasonal problem, but a year-round condition. Symptoms such as sinus headaches, itchy eyes, sneezing, difficulty swallowing, nasal congestion, earaches, and sore throat can weigh you down daily with allergen exposures being inevitable.
Allergies are abnormal responses in the immune system to usually harmless substances in the environment. These are called allergens and can include anything from pollen to animal dander to mold. Two of every 10 Americans suffer from allergies, which is why, at the Ear, Nose, Throat & Allergy Clinic, we focus on individualized and personal care toward those who suffer with allergies.
An allergic reaction can take entire days away from you. After exposure to an allergen, a few things start to happen:
- The body produces IgE, an antibody, that binds the allergen
- Those antibodies attach to mast cells, a blood cell, found all throughout the body. These mast cells make it easier for allergens to reach certain areas of the body like the GI tract and airways
- The allergens that bind to IgE are also connected to the mast cell, which then releases histamine and other chemicals into the bloodstream. Histamine is the primary culprit in allergy symptoms.
Symptoms range depending on severity of allergen, how the person is exposed to it, and what part of the body it is affecting. For example, food allergies tend to attack the GI tract while air allergens like pollen go for the airways and skin. The severity of symptoms can be in three stages:
- Mild, which means they are hardly noticeable but can make you feel a little under the weather
- Moderate symptoms feel like an illness, like a cold or the flu
- Severe allergic reactions can be debilitating. The most severe reaction is called anaphylaxis, which causes the entire body to react with symptoms that can be life-threatening.
At ENTAC Houston, we fully understand the discomfort of allergies. We are dedicated to proper and efficient diagnosis and treatment of allergies. Some of the more common conditions we focus on at our Allergy Clinic include:
- Food allergies
- Hay fever
Our board-certified, highly trained physicians use comprehensive exams and treatment regimens tailored to individual needs. Allergies do not need to stop you from enjoying life.
We can help. Schedule an appointment today at 713-621-2556 or through our website entachouston.com.