Do you dread spring and summer because of your seasonal allergies? Why be miserable with sneezing, itching, watery eyes and worries about asthmatic wheezing? The physicians at Head & Neck Associates of Orange County can help. Highly credentialed specialists in all things allergy in Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, San Clemente and Irvine , these ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctors can evaluate your symptoms, test you for your specific triggers and put together a treatment plan to help you feel your best.
What are allergens?
Allergens are everywhere. They may be food-related, airborne or contacted by touch. These substances by themselves may be harmless, but to people whose immune systems are sensitive to them, allergens trigger reactions that vary from a mild runny nose or an upset stomach to life-threatening anaphylactic shock.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology states that our bodies produce substances called immunoglobulins (IgE) when we contact allergens. An excessive amount of immunoglobulins causes allergy symptoms.
Common allergens include animal dander, dust mites, mold, pollen, peanuts, shellfish and laundry additives. Seasonal allergic rhinitis affects millions of Americans with its culprits being mold and pollens from grasses, flowers, shrubs, and trees. While rain helps control these substances by washing them away, vegetation usually responds with rebound quantities of pollen that send measurable pollen counts sky high.
What you can do
Avoidance of your seasonal allergy triggers in Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, San Clemente and Irvine, really helps. Monitor your area's pollen count (www.pollen.com) during times of peak symptoms. Close your windows, and use the A/C. Taking over the counter antihistamines helps suppress your body's overreaction to allergic triggers as does simply washing your hands and face and changing your clothes after contacting allergens.
Of course, the physicians at Head & Neck Associates of Orange County provide help for seasonal allergies. Skin patch testing on the back or intradermal testing on the arm safely identifies what you are allergic to by introducing small amounts of common allergens under the skin. The doctor reads and interprets the reactions and prescribes a course of treatment which could include:
- Over the counter allergy medications
- Avoidance strategies as described above
- Allergy shots, injections of tiny amounts of allergens which allow the body to desensitize, or become accustomed to, what triggers symptoms
Have you had enough?
Let the experts at Head & Neck Associates of Orange County in Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, San Clemente and Irvine, help you live well without the scratchy throat, coughing, sneezing and drippy nose of seasonal allergy. Contact the office today to arrange a consultation with one of our otolaryngologists. Call to make an appointment.