Allergy Sufferers


The Comings and Goings of Allergies

AllergiesAllergies are one of the great wonders of the world, as in: We wonder where they come from, when they are going to develop and if we are going to grow out of them. One thing we do know is what an allergy is. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) explains:

If you have an allergy, your immune system mistakes an otherwise harmless substance as an invader. This substance is called an allergen. The immune system overreacts to the allergen by producing Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These antibodies travel to cells that release histamine and other chemicals, causing an allergic reaction.

The actual way people react to these allergens can vary depending on the person. In fact, the allergies can vary within the person. For example, the intensity and presentation of your allergies can be different from season to season, although it’s difficult to tell if this is due to environmental or biological factors. In addition, you may react differently from allergens. For example, you may react to one type of pollen, but not another, or even one dog and not another.

Again, why this happens no one knows. To add to the mystery, in the article “Outgrowing Allergies” on the Everyday Health website, Clifford W. Bassett, MD, a clinical instructor in the division of infectious diseases and immunology at the New York University School of Medicine tells us: “In general, as kids get older they can grow out of allergies. But there’s a whole world where, for millions of people, that’s not the case. Some people even grow into allergies.”

Research has shown that most children will not grow out of seasonal allergies, however, food allergies are a different story. “Outgrowing Allergies” explains:

Until recently, most allergists thought that children with milk allergies would outgrow them by age 3 or 4. But a recent study by doctors at Johns Hopkins University showed that the majority of kids won’t outgrow milk allergies until much later, possibly as late as age 16.

Allergies to soy, eggs, and wheat will often be outgrown by the time the child is a teenager. However, if children are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts such as walnuts, pecans, and almonds, there is a good chance — about 80 percent for peanuts and 90 percent for tree nuts — that they will remain allergic as adults.

Some research has suggested that this coming and going of allergies occurs because every seven years, the cells in your body replace themselves, basically giving you a brand new system that reacts differently to allergens. However, this is only partly true. Your cells do die and replace themselves, but each type of cell has its own lifespan and with trillions of cells in your body doing their own thing, there is no set schedule.

So if you find yourself suddenly suffering from allergies or are waiting for that seven-year mark when they disappear forever, it’s time to be proactive. Whether it’s food, pets, or nature causing your symptoms, the expert staff at CT Sinus Center can help end them forever.

Call 860-BALLOON today and schedule your appointment at one of our four conveniently-located offices for allergy testing and an individualized treatment plan that will make you wonder why you haven’t visited our office sooner..

For more information on allergies and sinusitis, visit the CT Sinus website and blog.


Protect Your Child From Spring Allergies

ChildFinally spring has sprung and your child is probably running for the outdoors after being cooped up in the house all winter. But as soon as you started opening up the windows and letting that fresh air in, you may have noticed that your child has started suffering with a scratchy throat and stuffy nose. Just like last year.

What is going on with this poor timing of your kids getting sick right when they can go spend some time outside? It just may be that your child isn’t suffering from a head cold at all, but rather from allergies.

Children can develop allergies from as young as 12 months old and usually show signs of them before they reach age 10 (although symptoms can begin outside of that age range). According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology:

  • In 2012, 9.0% or 6.6 million children reported hay fever in the past 12 months.
  • In 2012, 10.6% or 7.8 million children reported respiratory allergies in the past 12 months.
  • Worldwide, sensitization rates to one or more common allergens among school children are currently approaching 40%-50%.

While the good news is that many children outgrow allergies in later adulthood, you’re still concerned about them right now. And you should be. KidsHealth explains that:

Seasonal allergies not only make life miserable for your child [causing restless sleep, exhaustion, trouble concentrating], but if left untreated, they can lead to some greater long-term health problems, such as sinusitis, chronic ear infections, and even asthma.

The even better news is that there are some things you can do today to help ease your child’s suffering. First and foremost, make an appointment with your doctor or an ENT specialist such as one of the expert physicians at our sister practice Westwood Ear, Nose and Throat. Our staff will make you and your child feel at ease from the moment you walk in the door and throughout the entire visit. We’ll begin by talking to you and your child about their medical history and symptoms. Next, we’ll perform thorough testing to determine exactly what is triggering the allergies. Finally, we’ll develop an individualized treatment plan that is perfect for your child.

Help your child hop happily into the season and away from allergy symptoms. Call Westwood ENT today at (888) 230-3715 and schedule your appointment at one of our four conveniently-located offices.

For tips on keeping your child with allergies (and any adults too) healthy this season, visit our blogs:

To help your child learn more about their allergies, visit the KidsHealth page “Learning About Allergies” for educational articles in fun and easy-to-understand kid-speak.

And last, but not least, for all of your other allergy and sinus-related questions, visit the CT Sinus Center webpage and blog.


6 Spring Cleaning Tips For Allergy Sufferers

CleaningSpring is just around the corner, and you know what that means: spring cleaning. Love it or hate it, it’s a seasonal ritual that does wonders for both your health and your state of mind. But if you suffer from allergies, spring cleaning can be a devil in disguise.

Are we saying that you shouldn’t spring clean? No (sorry); it’s actually very important. What we are saying is that when it comes to this task, there are precautions that you should be taking so that you aren’t actually making your allergies worse. Let’s look at some things that can trigger an allergy attack.

  1. Opening windows. What is one of the first things you do when the weather gets warmer? You open the windows. Unfortunately, this is literally inviting the allergens in. To freshen up rooms while keeping the windows closed, use an air purifier or a diffuser with essential oils. If you absolutely have to open the windows, make sure the pollen count is low.
  2. Dusting. During the winter months, because people spend so much time inside, dust can build up. When you start moving things around, cleaning under, behind, between, etc., the more dust you kick up, the more your allergies will kick in. Wear a mask while cleaning and do a little at a time if your symptoms are acting up. The same goes for when you vacuum. Your best bet, allergies or not, is to purchase a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter that you keep clean.
  3. Bringing out the spring wardrobe. If you tend to put your warm-weather clothes away for the colder seasons and do the “closet switch-out” as soon as the temperature hits 50, wash your clothes before you wear them. Over the months, dust and mold can settle in your garments, which will trigger your allergies.
  4. Letting the dogs out. You may not want to roll around in the fresh growing grass or flower garden, but Fido may, and that gives allergens a free ride in. Also, with the warmer weather, your pet will probably want to go outside more, which means that you’ll want to give him more frequent baths. To make things worse, Fido will be shedding, which adds even more dander to the mix.
  5. Removing mold. Now is the time to inspect spots, inside and out, that may be harboring mold — from your deck and patio furniture to the corners of your garage to the tiles in the bathroom. Even walls can harbor mold. So as you go big with the cleaning, don’t forget all the little corners and crevices where allergens may be hiding. Wear a mask and rubber gloves for further protection.
  6. Using cleaning products. It’s no secret that cleaning products use harsh chemicals and that many people have allergic reactions to them. Be careful with what you are using because not only will the products trigger symptoms while you’re using them, but also well after as the chemicals stick around. For a useful guide on allergy-friendly cleaning products, visit “Home Cleaning Tips for Allergy Sufferers” on the Everyday Health website.

Not sure what is causing your symptoms or looking for relief from them once and for all? Make an appointment at CT Sinus Center today and see what our expert physicians can do for you. When you come in, we’ll sit down and discuss your symptoms before we start a series of diagnostic procedures to figure out exactly what is triggering your allergies. Once we get answers, we’ll develop a treatment plan that is right for your specific lifestyle.

Now are we telling you that once you find relief you no longer have to spring clean? Again, no, sorry; but at least you will feel much more comfortable while you do it.

Call 860-BALLOON today and make your appointment at one of our four conveniently-located offices and add your sinus cavities to your cleaning list.

For more information on sinus– and allergy-related conditions and treatments, visit the CT Sinus Center website and blog.


The Real Costs of Allergies: Medications

Medication CostsNot long ago, in our blog “The Real Costs of Allergies,” we examined the hefty price that people who suffer from allergies pay. This cost includes anything from copays, to lost wages, to depression. In fact, in our previous blog “Say ‘No’ to Lifelong Sinus Medication,’” we shared a study by the Academy of Allergy and Asthma in Primary Care stating that (combined) per year, sinus sufferers spend $17.5 billion on health costs, lose 6 million work and school days, and make 16 million visits to the doctor. Those statistics themselves are depressing, but let’s break them down a little further and talk about the specific costs of the typical medication used to treat allergy symptoms. Please keep in mind that these prices are averages per month (unless otherwise stated) and vary based on whether they are brand name or generic, prescription or over-the-counter, out-of-pocket or covered by insurance deductibles or copays.

Sure some of these costs aren’t bad if you only have symptoms once in awhile. However, if you are like most sufferers, you have them year-round, and those costs can really add up, even with insurance. And that is not even taking into account the rest of the costs you face when you have allergies as we mentioned above.

If you could, wouldn’t you want to put an end to your sinus and allergy suffering and the costs inherent in it? You may be able to at CT Sinus Center. Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our expert physicians to see what we can do for you. When you come in, we will sit down with you and discuss your symptoms before doing thorough diagnostic testing to see exactly what is triggering your allergies. Next, in easy-to-understand language, we’ll explain our findings and treatment options. Finally, we’ll develop an individualized treatment plan that will free you from your symptoms. You may even be a candidate for one of our two outpatient procedures, both of which will permanently end your suffering in around an hour:

  • Balloon Sinus Dilation, which will reshape your nasal passages, promoting draining and natural healing
  • Turbinate Reductions, in which the tissue in the nose that supports the nasal passages is decreased, decreasing the size of the turbinate and quickly increasing airflow

Call 860-BALLOON to schedule an appointment at one of our four conveniently-located offices, and start spending your hard-earned money on things that you really want to buy.

For more information on sinus– and allergy-related conditions and treatments, visit the CT Sinus Center website and blog.