Allergies are the result of a genetic predisposition to develop an allergic response to items we are exposed to throughout our life. Allergies can be seasonal or year-round. Allergy symptoms can include itchy eyes, nose or throat; nasal congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, chest congestion or wheezing. Allergy can also affect the skin causing symptoms such as hives or generalized itchiness. Year-round allergies can cause chronic nasal inflammation and lead to recurrent or chronic sinus infections.
Treatment for allergies begins with an antihistamine designed to block the release of histamine that leads to the symptoms noted above. When this is not enough, medications such as intranasal steroid sprays, leukotriene inhibitors and anti-inflammatory agents can be used to suppress symptoms. When this fails or patients suffer year-round symptoms then allergy shots are often helpful.
Allergy shots contain small amounts of the item that a patient is allergic to based on skin testing. They are given on a regular schedule so that your body gets used to the allergens and no longer overreacts to them. Allergy shots are used when a patientís allergies can be identified and when a patient is not responding to initial treatment. It takes several months to years to develop a long lasting protective response. Allergy shots are very safe but need to avoided in certain patients with unstable asthma or currently taking beta-blocker medications.
The physicians of Missouri Ear, Nose and Throat Center are here to help you manage your allergies. Make an appointment today.