As ear, nose, and throat physicians and surgeons, we encounter and treat many allergy related conditions. Frequent infections such as head colds, sinus infections, ear infections, and even balance disorders can have an allergic origin.
In this allergy section and throughout this website, we hope to provide you and your family with useful information about how you can help prevent allergy and other illnesses from affecting your quality of life.
Select the particular topic of interest from the column at the left, but don’t miss the “Allergy Prevention Tips” section, to learn the real secrets to allergy prevention.
OUR ALLERGY DEPARTMENT
We at The Center for Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery have a commitment to help patients identify and treat those allergic exposures that commonly cause illness of the ears, nose, sinuses, and throat. Drs. Michael Seicshnaydre has spent over twenty years treating patients with allergic-induced illness. Dr. Seicshnaydre is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy and has done additional training in treatment of ear, nose, and throat allergies.
Our allergy nurse has over thirty years of experience in treating allergies. The wisdom she has gained has been extremely beneficial in helping patients with even the most challenging allergic condition. This includes inhalant allergies, food allergies, and chemical sensitivities. Our testing is very scientific and tailored to your specific symptoms, so we are able to identify and treat your allergic condition.
At The Center for Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery, we have dedicated the time, equipment, staff, and continued medical education to serve your allergy needs. Our reward has been the feedback from our patients, namely the improved quality of life they report after receiving our allergy treatment.
As ear, nose, and throat physicians, we feel especially trained to assist patients with the more common manifestations of allergic problems. However, because we are ear, nose, and throat physicians, we recommend patients with asthma see an asthma allergy specialist.
Based on recent medical studies, over 50 million Americans appear to be coping with allergic rhinitis, (the nasal symptoms of allergy) on a daily basis. It appears that up to 40% of all children are also affected day-to-day with allergic conditions. Unfortunately, only 10% to 20% of those children with allergy problems demonstrate complete remission of that condition six to ten years after diagnosis. Allergic diseases are estimated to cost over 4 billion dollars in money spent on medications, doctor and hospital visits. There is also an indirect estimate of 3.3 billion dollars of indirect costs due to loss of work productivity and days of missed work, making a total estimated cost to our country of nearly 8 billion dollars.
The result of this cost has produced an extensive amount of research regarding allergic disease. Currently, it appears that medical science has discovered allergy disease is due to a very complex reaction of multiple cells within our body that are part of our immune system. These cells are attempting to control and manage exposures, but in doing so causing an allergic type response.
Patients with allergic diseases also react to other non-allergic sources in our environment such as cool air, smoke, and various chemical compounds. This is called nasal hyperactivity in the medical field, or otherwise known as chemical sensitivity. New research suggests that nerves within our nasal lining are very sensitive (or hypersensitive) to such exposures causing the inflammatory response we see in allergic patients.
WHAT IS ALLERGY?
Allergy is our genetic uniqueness interacting adversely with substances in our environment. Our immune system keeps us healthy by identifying foreign substances like bacteria and viruses and produces antibodies to destroy these invaders. The immune systems of allergic people overreact to certain environmental substances that are foreign to our body, but unlike bacteria and viruses, these substances are otherwise harmless. To learn more about our amazing immune system, go to “Immunity”. The results of this are a variety of systems from sneezing, itchy, or runny nose, to congestion of the ears, nose, and sinuses.
DO I HAVE ALLERGIES?
Allergies are not always easy to diagnose because some of those are seasonal in nature due to outdoor sources, yet others are year round due to indoor sources of allergy. Although most allergies begin during childhood, a recent study has shown that the peek onset of allergy diagnosis was in the mid 40’s. Many parents are concerned of having passed the allergy burden to their children, because they themselves are allergic people. That is not necessarily true. Although children of allergic parents have a greater chance of becoming allergy patients, in the range of 30% to 50% chance, they don’t always become allergy patients. If they do, they often have a different set of substances they are allergic to when tested.
Below is a list of common allergy symptoms that are due to exposures through things we breath, foods we eat, or things we touch.
• Runny nose
• Nasal congestion
• Itchy eyes and nose
• Chronic stuffy nose