Because many people equate their ‘allergies’ with nasal congestion they often seek treatment from an ENT. An ENT, or otolaryngologist, is a surgeon trained to take care of diseases of the ears, nose and throat. One likely took out your tonsils or put tubes in your daughter’s ears. If your congestion is caused by a nasal septal deviation rather than allergic disease, this is definitely the way to go. However, if you are one of the 50 million Americans with allergic disease, you need to be evaluated by a fellowship trained, Board Certified Allergist and Immunologist. For the same reason that many over the counter medications won’t alleviate allergic symptoms, neither will the basic approach of addressing only nasal allergens.
Allergic disease is not only extremely complex, affecting multiple organs, but it is also one of the most common chronic diseases in adults and the most common chronic childhood disease. It is commonly associated with asthma, a life-threatening breathing disease, and causes the majority of absenteeism from schools and businesses. An allergic reaction is the body’s immunologic response to something it has come in contact with. Typical “hayfever” is a common response to pollens; hence, the therapies aimed at your nose may not help. Many people with pollen allergies are also allergic to other allergens like animal dander, insects, dust mites, foods, medications, or even latex. To make matters more complicated, these allergens will often trigger asthma attacks and in extreme cases cause life threatening anaphylaxis. Other related allergic disease states may manifest as eczema or urticaria, hives.
Given the complexity of adequately diagnosing and treating all aspects of allergic disease there is a medical subspecialty known as Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. A Board Certified allergist has undergone a 3 year residency in either internal medicine or pediatrics, with cross training in the other, and completed an additional 2-3 year fellowship training in treating only allergy, asthma and immunology. If you need help with your allergies call Southern Allergy & Asthma at 912-303-9355
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