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Allergies to dust, pollen, and other substances in your environment can cause chronic symptoms that interfere with everyday life. If your allergies are causing you problems, board-certified otolaryngologist Jeff Goodell, DO, of ENT & Allergy in Midwest City, Oklahoma, can help. Dr. Goodell is an expert in diagnosing and treating allergies, using advanced techniques such as immunotherapy. To schedule an allergy treatment consultation, call ENT & Allergy or book an appointment online today.
If you have allergies, it can significantly affect your ability to work and enjoy your leisure time. As yet, there's no complete cure for allergies, but effective treatments can make a tremendous difference to your quality of life.
The first step is to undergo allergy testing at ENT & Allergy, where Dr. Goodell uses a highly sensitive modified quantitative testing (MQT) method to identify the substances causing your allergies.
Once you know what's causing your allergy, you can take steps to avoid the allergens as much as possible. However, this isn't always possible, so you might also need to take antihistamine medications.
Antihistamines are available as pills or a nasal spray. They work by suppressing histamines — chemicals in your immune system that cause common allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and itching.
More severe allergies might require short courses of steroid medications, which are effective in reducing tissue inflammation. However, it's not advisable to take steroids for long periods. Another longer-lasting option is immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy involves having allergy shots, where Dr. Goodell injects small doses of allergens under your skin. These allergens are ones that cause allergic rhinitis, so could include:
The shots help your body gradually build a tolerance to the allergen, resulting in fewer and less severe symptoms.
To begin, you get an allergy shot once or twice a week. The amount of allergen in the shots steadily increases over time; after 4-6 months of weekly injections, you reach your optimal or maintenance dose.
When you reach this maintenance dose, you continue with the same shots every 2-4 weeks for the next 4-6 months. After one year of maintenance shots, Dr. Goodell assesses how well the treatment is working.
If you're experiencing some benefit, you can continue to get monthly shots for up to five years.
Some patients are able to undergo cluster or rush immunotherapy, where you reach your maintenance dose more quickly. ENT & Allergy also offer sublingual immunotherapy, where you put the medication under your tongue.
If you're struggling to manage your allergies, call ENT & Allergy today to enquire about immunotherapy or book an appointment online.