Sinus and Allergy
What Are Allergies and What Is Allergic Rhinitis?
Allergies or allergic rhinitis is a disorder that occurs when your body detects foreign substances called allergens (triggers). Your allergies occur because your body's defense system mistakes harmless allergens (such as pollen, dust, or grass) for harmful antigens (such as bacteria).
The symptoms of allergic rhinitis occur when a substance called histamine is released into the blood. The histamine causes the most common symptoms of allergies such as:
Most patients of Dr. Smith have suffered with sinus- and allergy-related complaints most of their lives. The program's initial efforts focus on accurately diagnosing the cause of your allergic and nasal complaints before prescribing a treatment plan specific for you. The goal is for long-term therapy to improve your quality of life.
The first line of therapy for allergies is avoidance. Knowing what activates your allergies through allergy testing allows you to avoid being exposed to harmful triggers. For instance, if you are allergic to dust mites you should obtain bed sheets and pillows that are resistant to dust mites. Reducing your exposure may dramatically improve your nasal complaints. Many allergens such as dust, pollens, and mold are difficult if not impossible to avoid, especially at work.
Medications such as antihistamines, nasal sprays, steroids and decongestants may provide temporary relief but do not address the underlying problem. Furthermore, medications often fail to adequately control your symptoms. Medication is useful for short-term benefit or for those who have minimal problems controlling their allergies.
Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots)
Immunotherapy (allergy shots) is one of the only scientifically proven methods to control allergies for long-term benefit. Immunotherapy is ideal for those who cannot avoid their allergic triggers, have problems managing their allergies or do not like feeling "medicated." Once your allergens have been identified through skin testing, you may consider immunotherapy to control your allergies.