By our Smarty friends at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates
It’s here! First we see a little yellow dusting on our cars. Then, before we know it, we can write notes to each other on our car windows. That’s when we know it’s bad.
According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, Charlotte took the number 23 spot on last year’s spring allergy rankings for worst spring allergy cities. With all of the trees and plentiful green areas around, this is really not something we can avoid. As the trees start to bloom and the pollen gets airborne, we begin our annual ritual of sniffling and sneezing. Unfortunately, most of us can predict when spring is on its way.
According to Dr. Bobby Silver of Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A. (CEENTA), “Pollen is the biggest spring allergy trigger. When pollen grains get into the nose of someone who’s allergic, they send the immune system into overdrive.” Your allergies occur because your immune system is over-reacting to harmless substances in the environment. When you breathe in an allergen such as pollen, your immune system perceives it as something harmful and responds by causing your nose to run and sneeze in an attempt to get rid of the pollen inside the nose.
To determine if you are allergic and how severe your allergies may be, CEENTA provides reliable allergy testing. Skin testing is considered the gold standard because of its high level of accuracy and reliability. Immediate results are given with this test, allowing for quick feedback and prompt initiation of treatment. Skin testing is very safe but there is a very small risk of an adverse reaction when doing this test.
Another type of testing is in vitro testing. In vitro testing is a fast and easy blood draw. Unfortunately, results are not immediate and not as sensitive as the results from skin testing. However, there is no risk of an adverse reaction with in vitro testing.
Of course, the best way to protect yourself from allergies is to avoid the things to which you are allergic. Although this sounds like a great idea, it is not always possible, especially when it comes to environmental allergies. CEENTA offers many treatment options that fit any lifestyle or schedule. Depending on what fits your situation best, antihistamines, decongestants, nasal steroids and/or allergy eye drops may be recommended. If this option does not work for you, allergy shots (immunotherapy) or sublingual drops can be prescribed for you. “Allergy shots actually address the root of the problem – the immune system. By repeatedly exposing the immune system to controlled amounts of allergen, the patient has a chance of actually becoming less allergic over time,” says Dr. Silver. Even if immunotherapy does not eliminate your need for medications, studies demonstrate that immunotherapy provides more relief of symptoms than medications alone.
We are aware of how bothersome allergy symptoms can be and how they can impact your quality of life. We look forward to working with you to find the best treatment regimen to provide you with the relief you need.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Silver or one of our Board Certified Otolaryngologists, please call Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A. at 704-295-3000 or visit www.goodsenses.com for more information on our services.
J. Robert Silver, MD
Adult & Pediatric Otolaryngology
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery