Our Allergy Clinic in Houston plays an important part in our ear, nose, and throat practice. Our physicians specialize in multiple areas of ENT, including allergies, and have expertise in the identification, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of a wide array of ENT conditions.
What is an Allergy?
An allergy is the body’s reaction to something that is usually harmless. These are called allergens and can include anything fromsome foods to insect stings. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 1 in 5 Americans suffers from allergies and visit an allergy clinic at some point in their lifetime.
An allergic reaction starts when you inhale, touch, or otherwise encounter an allergen. The body’s response is to create more IgE, a protein that latches onto the allergen. Following this, histamine and some other chemicals are released into the blood to cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Symptoms of Allergies
Symptoms will vary depending on the allergen, as well as how that individual is exposed. For nasal and skin allergies, symptoms include:
- Watery eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Runny or itchy nose
- Fatigue or malaise
- Hives (raised, red patches in a rash formation)
Allergies to food can cause cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. If an insect was the culprit, there may be redness, swelling, and pain in the area. Generally, symptoms can range from very mild to life-threatening. Our goal at the Allergy Clinic in Houston is to identify which allergens are most dangerous and prescribe any medications that could help prevent symptoms.
Causes of Allergies
At the Allergy Clinic in Houston, we perform specialized skin and blood tests to help us determine the allergens and severity. In most cases, the allergy clinic will provide you with the answers you need to help prevent an allergic reaction. At the Allergy Clinic in Houston, we advise our patients of the most common causes, which include:
- Allergens like pollen, mold, and dander
- Some foods like nuts, wheat, and soy
- Insect stings such as from wasps or bees
- Medications, especially those of the penicillin family
Why Visit an Allergy Clinic
At the Allergy Clinic in Houston, patients receive state-of-the-art testing and treatment to identify specific allergens and ensure that other problems that could arise, such as asthma, are under good control. Patients decide to visit our allergy clinic when they have simply had enough of their symptoms and over-the-counter medicines are no longer helpful. In this case, our ENT/allergy physicians will ask detailed questions about signs and symptoms and then perform either a skin allergy test or blood test to determine the best course of treatment. Treatments could include avoiding allergens, medicines that reduce symptoms, immunotherapy, or emergency epinephrine.