Ear, Nose & Throat Care
Specializing in treating disorders of the ear, nose & throat. Skilled in the latest surgical advancements for head and neck surgery.
Allergies | Allergy Center
Residents of South Mississippi are exposed to a broad spectrum of environmentally produced allergens. Pollen from oak trees, pine trees, ragweed and goldenrod can often be seen. High humidity levels also produce mold related allergens that can also exacerbate ones symptoms. Allergies are rarely cured, but with proper diagnosis there are many medications and treatment options that are available to help relieve your symptoms.
Our Allergy department staff are members of the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy. Regular courses are attended so that our allergy staff is educated with any new information and changes to better benefit our patients. Over the years allergy testing methods have become more perfected.
The method of allergy testing, if needed, is determined by the physician upon the clinical exam. Your allergy results will indicate the need for allergy injections / immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a program of regular injections of increasing amounts of extracts of allergens to which you are sensitive. When sufficient relief of your allergy symptoms can not be achieved with environmental controls and medications, immunotherapy can reduce your sensitivities. It is effective for weeds, trees and grass pollens, dust mites, mold spores and some animal danders. Food allergies should be rotated or eliminated in your diet depending on how allergic you are to the food.
Methods of Testing
Modified Rast Testing and Total IgE
Tested by drawing blood in our office and results are received within seven days. Do not have to fast or discontinue antihistamines. No risk in testing if you are pregnant. items that can be tested are dust mites, mold spores, weeds/flowers, trees, grass, epidermals, food, latex testing, certain medications, chemicals, occupationals and insects/venom.
Skin Testing OR IDT
Inhalants only, no foods, possibly up to 114 needle sticks. Testing takes two hours and you have to stop all antihistamines seven days prior to testing. Results of the testing are immediate.
MQT: Modified Quantitative Testing
Testing consists of pricks and intradermal needle sticks for inhalants. Testing time is 30-45 minutes, results are immediate. Antihistamines must be discontinued seven days prior to testing.
Food Allergies IgG4
Food allergies are an important cause of illness in both children and adults. The number of people suffering from food allergies has increased over the last 20 years.
There are two basic types of food allergies, immediate and delayed. They are also referred to as “obvious” and “hidden” allergies. If someone is exposed to a food and has a reaction instantly or within several hours, it is then considered an “immediate” food allergy. Sometimes a person will eat a food and not experience any symptoms for hours or even until the next day. This is considered a “delayed” food allergy.
There are two primary antibodies within us that cause food allergies. One is IgE and the other is IgG. Immediate food allergies are caused by the IgE antibody; delayed are caused by the IgG antibody. For the allergic patient, a harmless allergen is introduced to their system, but these antibodies mistake the allergen (food in this case) as a harmful substance. This improper recognition triggers a reaction often resulting in symptoms such as irritable bowels, nausea, stomach pain, headaches, hives, rashes, hyperactivity, inattention, nervousness, depression or even anaphylaxis which can be life threatening.
It is estimated that 3-5% of food allergies are caused by the IgE antibody and that approximately 50% are attributed to IgG antibodies. It is also estimated that IgG4 is responsible for most of the food allergies caused by the “G” antibody. IgG4 against foods indicates that the person has been repeatedly exposed to food proteins recognized as foreign by the immune system. Physicians sometimes perform IgE and IgG4 testing to be thorough.
A person may be able to eat a food they are allergic to occasionally and suffer no symptoms. However, if a person eats the food daily or several times a day, their tolerance can become compromised and symptoms may occur. A common trait of people that have food allergies will crave the food(s) they are most allergic to.
Plants reproduce by moving tiny grains of pollen from plant to plant. Some pollen is carried by bees and some is blown by the wind. The wind-blown pollen is what causes nasal allergies. The amount of pollen in the air varies from season to season. Help control your exposure to pollen by checking the pollen counts daily and avoid spending time outdoors when counts are high; change your clothes after spending time outside and wash your hair before bed; stay indoors on windy days.
These bugs are too small to see but they can live in mattresses, blankets, stuffed toys, carpets and curtains. The droppings of these mites are a common cause of indoor nasal allergies. To control dust mite allergens, choose non-fabric upholstery like leather or vinyl, replace horizontal blinds with vertical blinds, have as little carpet as possible, wash your sheets, blankets and mattress pads in hot water every 1-2 weeks, remove dust-collectors (such as stuffed animals, knick knacks and wall-hangings) from the bedroom and vacuum and dust your home every week.
Mold reproduces by sending tiny spores into the air. If these spores are breathed in, they can cause a nasal allergic reaction. Mold tends to grow in bathrooms, basements, in the soil of houseplants, old books, old magazines, aquariums, damp shoes, rugs in bathrooms, garbage pails and window sills. To control mold growth, drain wet areas of your yard and clean up leaves and weeds before they begin to rot; clean the bathroom regularly with bleach; fix leaky faucets or roof leaks; leave window open or fan on while showering to let moisture escape; encase pillows and mattresses and use dehumidifiers if your house is damp.
Pets such as cats, dogs, birds, horses and rabbits are common causes of nasal allergies. Flakes of skin (dander), saliva left on fur when an animal cleans itself, urine in litter boxes and cages and feathers on birds can all cause nasal allergies. Control pet allergies by keeping your pet outdoors or out of your bedroom, use an air-cleaner with a HEPA filter, washing your hands after you touch your pet, bathing your pet weekly to cut down on the allergens they produce.
Food allergies are very common. A food allergy is an abnormal response to food that is triggered by a specific reaction in the immune system and expressed by certain symptoms. Many people think that they have a food allergy which in all actuality they only have a food intolerance. Food intolerance is far more prevalent, occurs in a variety of diseases, and is triggered by several different mechanisms that are distinct from the immunological reaction responsible for food allergy. There are 8 common foods that account for 90% of food allergic reactions. These foods include eggs, peanuts, milk, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy.
What are common allergy symptoms?
Allergies encompass a wide range of symptoms and affect people differently. The severity of allergic reactions can depend on the type of allergy, the level of exposure and each individual’s immune response. Acadian Allergy Center can identify the source of your allergy and successfully treat the symptoms, allowing you to feel better.
Do you ever have any of the following symptoms?
- Itchy, swollen, red, watery eyes
- Clear, watery, nasal mucus
- Itching of throat, nose or ears
- Abdominal pain
- Skin rash
- Hay fever
- Migraine headaches
- Swelling of face, especially hands and feet
Methods of testing include RAST testing (blood test), prick testing and skin testing. If you show any of the above allergy symptoms, schedule an appointment with us today to see how we can help.
Can a person be cured of an allergy?
Allergies cannot be cured but allergy symptoms they cause can be treated and controlled. This may require making changes in your environment or behavior to avoid or reduce your exposure to certain allergens. Medication also may help relieve symptoms of an allergic reaction. Even with allergy treatment, your body’s immune system may continue to react when exposed to allergens. In some cases, however, children may outgrow their allergies, particularly those to food.
Immunotherapy, or allergy shots, is not a cure. Rather, the shots are a way to significantly lessen the symptoms caused by exposure to specific substances.
Your allergy results will indicate the need for allergy injections/immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a program of regular injections of increasing amounts of extracts of allergens (organic substances which cause allergies) to which you are sensitive. When sufficient relief of your allergy symptoms can not be achieved with environmental controls and medications, immunotherapy can reduce your sensitivities. It is effective for weeds, trees and grass pollens, dust mites, mold spores and some animal danders. Food allergies should be rotated or eliminated in your diet depending on how allergic you are to the food.
Your allergy symptoms are caused by your body producing an excessive amount of allergy antibody when you breathe allergens. Immunotherapy helps your immune system build protective antibodies to the various allergens for which you are being treated. These protective antibodies reduce the allergy reactions and can suppress your system’s tendency to produce excessive allergy antibodies.
Injections are administered weekly until you have achieved your maximum symptom-relieving dose. This takes several months depending on your degree of sensitivity. The test methods indicate a safe starting dose. Each patient is different and the strength of the maintenance dose and frequency of injections is tailored to the individual. The maximum symptom-relieving dose is then repeated weekly until your symptoms have been controlled through at least two consecutive seasons. After that time, an attempt is made to gradually taper your injections. Most people undergo immunotherapy an average of 3 to 5 years. We allow you to take your injections home after reaching the maintenance dosage provided you’ve had no problems and we require you to have a current EpiPen or Twinject. We offer home immunotherapy classes to teach how to self-administer your injections.
I need an Allergy Injection | Immunotheraphy
We mix the allergy vials in our office so they are more personalized to meet the patients needs. Before mixing each allergy vial we take into consideration what is the current pollen count, how high is the patient’s allergy, did they have any reaction to their previous injection, etc.
There are certain times that you cannot receive an allergy injection.
- If you have gotten a flu shot in the last 48 hours
- If you have had fever within the last 24 hours
- If you have a rash including poison ivy or poison oak
- If you have wheezing or asthma
What do I do if I have a reaction?
If the site is red, itchy or swollen you may apply Benadryl spray or hydrocortisone cream at the site to relieve the symptom. Do not scratch the area. Ice can be applied to reduce any swelling. If you are having difficulty breathing, you should use an epipen. Any time you have a reaction you should notify your doctor so it can be documented in your chart.