Allergy is by far the most common non-infectious disease, especially among the young.
It affects anywhere between 10 – 25 % of the worldwide population, both children and adults.
Are you tired of excessive sneezing?
Are you suffering from itching in your nose and eyes?
Do you have a blocked nose that is alternating between sides?
Do you have a watery nose on and off?
If so, these could be triggered by an allergy and the condition could be Allergic Rhinitis! It may coexist with Allergic Conjunctivitis, Asthma, Urticaria and other medical conditions.
What can happen if you don’t diagnose/treat your allergy?
- One-third of patients with Allergic Rhinitis may progress to develop Lower airway symptoms like allergic bronchitis or asthma.
- It can lead to Sinonasal polyposis and chronic sinusitis
- Resulting in sleep-disordered breathing issues most common being Obstructive sleep apnoea.
Understanding your allergy, diagnosing it and effectively treating it prevents the progression of an “allergic march” and improves the quality of life.
The proteinaceous substance that causes allergy is known as an Allergen.
Allergens can be found indoors or outdoors.
We tend to think of air pollution as something that happens outside, in truth the air quality inside your homes, offices and other buildings could be worse than outside. The cause could be hidden well within the 4 walls of your home.
Houses located in traffic-heavy and humid areas, which use excessive air conditioning could all be prone to allergies.
Examples of common allergens are:
Indoor allergens: Dust Mites, cockroaches, pet dander, molds
Outdoor allergens: Pollens (grass pollens & tree pollens), molds.
Consult your ENT specialist to see if you have symptoms of allergy.
Specific blood tests and skin prick tests are available that supplement the clinical diagnosis. Once diagnosed the next step would be to find out the triggers causing your specific allergy symptoms!
A gold standard test for allergy diagnosis is Allergy Skin Prick testing which can confirm your sensitivity to different types of allergens.
Once you know what is causing the problem, you need to limit your exposure to the allergen and take symptomatic treatment.
- Allergy control is best achieved by allergen avoidance.
- Half an hour of daily physical activity and adequate sun exposure /
- Optimizing your Vitamin D levels takes you a long way in allergy control.
In most cases, this is enough. In extreme/persistent cases of allergy timely treatment to modulate your immunity may be required. The specific treatment that can be curative by modulating immunity is called Allergen Immunotherapy.
Seek help from an ENT specialist who treats allergies to understand the type and severity of your allergy and decide on the treatment plan.