Posts for category: Allergies

By West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat
April 13, 2022
Category: Allergies
Tags: Allergy   Allergy Testing  

Allergens can come from pollen, food, dander from pets, bee stings, dust mites, latex, mold, and more. If you are allergic to one of these and exposed to it, your immune system goes into overdrive by producing specific antibodies. These may not be released in someone else's body when exposed to the same thing. These antibodies release chemicals that cause an allergic reaction. It's good to know what may trigger an allergic reaction so you can better prepare for and manage it. The doctors here at West Coast Ear, Nose, Throat, and Neck Surgery provide allergy testing in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard, and Camarillo, CA.

How does allergy testing work?

There are multiple ways to perform an allergy test, the most common being skin testing. However, depending on your case, another kind of test may be ordered.

Skin test

The skin test involves a pinprick with a needle that has a tiny amount of the substance that your doctor or you think that you may be allergic to. Intradermal skin testing is another method. In this type of test, a small amount of the suspected allergens are placed right underneath the skin using a small needle. After either type of skin test, results will be available in about 15 minutes.

Blood test

Sometimes, an individual will not make an appropriate candidate for a skin test. This is usually the case with individuals who are on medications that may affect the results of a skin test. In this case, a blood test may be ordered. Your blood will be tested for how it responds when exposed to potential allergens. A higher number of antibodies and white blood cells may determine that you have an allergy to something.

Other tests

There are other, lesser-used allergy tests. These include a patch test which involves the wearing of a patch on your skin containing a small amount of potential allergen. After 2 days, you will return to the office and your provider will determine your level of allergy to the substance. There is also something called a Challenge test which must be conducted under medical supervision. This test involves swallowing a small amount of food that is a suspected allergen and watching how your body reacts.

How can I better manage reactions to my known allergens?

Some things that you can do to manage allergies in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard, Camarillo, CA are:

● Avoid allergens, particularly ones that cause a strong reaction
● Taking a daily antihistamine or other allergy medication
● Allergy shots dampen the response of the immune system when exposed to allergens.
● Carry a medical alert card and epinephrine pen with you for severe reactions.

Contact us

Schedule an appointment for allergy testing at West Coast Ear, Nose, Throat, and Neck Surgery in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard, Camarillo, CA by calling one of 4 locations:

● Thousand Oaks - (805) 379-9646
● Simi Valley - (805) 527-7320
● Oxnard -  (805) 983-0395
● Camarillo location - (805) 484-5929

By West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat
February 19, 2020
Category: Allergies

Struggling with allergies? Here at West Coast Ear, Nose, and Throat in Oxnard, CA, our physicians are committed to helping patients alleviate symptoms that are negatively altering precisely those body parts—the ears, nose, and throat. Read on to learn how we can help treat your allergy symptoms.

What is an Allergy?

Your immune system is the body's defense system against germs. When it becomes weak, it creates an overactive response to foreign substances that may not bother most people. Allergies can come in many different forms, and approximately affect 50 million Americans. Fortunately, the physicians here at our Oxnard office can order diagnostic testing to pinpoint what's causing your allergies and then develop a treatment plan best suitable for your specific symptoms.

What's Causing My Allergies?

While some patients may understand what poses a severe threat to their skin, sinuses, airways, or digestive system, others might be clueless because the symptoms emerged out of nowhere. Possible hypersensitivities include:

  • Mold
  • Dust mites
  • Types of foods - peanuts, shellfish, dairy
  • Medications - antibiotics, penicillin

How to Ease Your Allergy Symptoms

Allergy symptoms result in sinus congestion, itchy/watery eyes, asthma, ear infections, and other irritations. Stomach and intestinal problems can also occur, such as skin rashes, frequent headaches, and fatigue. The type of treatment our physician recommends will depend on specific indicators, as well as your concerns. We may suggest prescription-strength nasal spray to relieve pressure in the sinuses, topical lotions to alleviate inflamed skin, or shots to reduce allergy attacks.

Need Relief? Give Us a Call

An allergy can develop and disappear at any age. When one or more overstays its welcome, the physicians here at West Coast Ear, Nose, and Throat can discuss treatment options that may include medicines, injections, and avoiding the allergens that cause you discomfort. For more information about the conditions we treat and the services we provide, visit our website. To schedule an appointment at our Oxnard office, please call (805) 983-0395.

By West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat
February 19, 2020
Category: Allergies
Tags: Ears   nose   Throat  

Your allergies cause a variety of seasonal symptoms. But, did you know that your allergies may affect the health of your ears, nose and throat? At West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat Head and Neck Surgery in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Oxnard, and Thousand Oaks, CA, allergy problems are our business. Our seven board-certified otolaryngologists not only diagnose and treat allergies, but they also help patients manage the conditions allergies influence.

What are allergies?

At West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat Head and Neck Surgery, our doctors see numerous patients who suffer from allergies. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that 50 million people have known allergies, and 25 million have asthma. Some of these asthma symptoms (wheezing and shortness of breath, as examples) may be closely linked to allergies.

Allergies are the body's hypersensitive reaction to ordinary environmental substances. These substances are known as allergens or allergic triggers. The most common are:

  • Plant mold and pollen
  • Animal dander
  • Some foods such as milk, wheat, shellfish and peanuts
  • Medications such as penicillin
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Dust mites
  • Insect bites and stings

The American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology reports that allergic symptoms appear in the patient's ears, nose, throat, the roof of the mouth, skin and more. GI symptoms may include acid reflux, abdominal pain, and vomiting. Skin allergies include rashes, itching and hives. Upper respiratory symptoms are sneezing, watery eyes, itching on the roof of the mouth and more.

Sustained effects of allergies

While immediate symptoms of untreated allergies may subside or be relieved with antihistamines and other medications, long-term effects are more difficult to deal with. Many allergic people experience something called anaphylactic shock. This life-threatening condition happens when the a person contacts an allergen he or she is especially allergic to. Insect venom is a common example. Symptoms of a severe reaction include:

  • Widespread, intensely itchy hives
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Swelling of the tongue and constriction of the throat
  • Shock
  • Fainting
  • Anxiety
  • Racing or slowed heart rate

Besides this dangerous condition, people with untreated allergies may have:

  • Numerous ear infections (especially children)
  • Headaches
  • Vertigo
  • Conductive hearing loss
  • Meniere's disease (vertigo and progressive loss of hearing)
  • Headaches
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
  • Repeated sore throats
  • Sinusitis

Getting help

Get real help from the professionals at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat Head and Neck Surgery. Our otolaryngologists perform skin prick, challenge and blood tests to determine what substances trigger your symptoms and offer lifestyle changes and medications that provide real relief for the long term. Call us for a consultation. We have four locations for your convenience. In Oxnard, CA, phone (805) 983-0395. In Simi Valley, call (895) 527-7320. For the Thousand Oaks office, call (805) 379-9646. At our Camarillo location, reach us at (805) 484-5929.

By West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat
March 06, 2019
Category: Allergies
Tags: Allergies  

Have you been sneezing and coughing for weeks? Your persistent cold might actually be caused by an allergy. Luckily, the ear, nose and allergiesthroat (ENT) doctors at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Camarillo, Oxnard, Simi Valley, and Thousand Oaks, CA, offer treatments that can ease your symptoms.

 

But I've never had allergies before!

Allergies can occur at any time in your life. No one is sure exactly why allergies develop when they do, but the unpleasant symptoms can affect you whether you're 10 or 45.

Allergies occur when your body overreacts to a normally harmless substance like pollen or pet dander. Your body releases antibodies that begin to attack and destroy the substance. Unfortunately, this response tends to cause sneezing, watery eyes, hives, nasal congestion/runny nose, or gastrointestinal symptoms if you're allergic to a food.

 

How can I tell what's causing my allergy?

If your Camarillo, Oxnard, Simi Valley, or Thousand Oaks ENT suspects that you have allergies, they may recommend allergy testing to determine which allergens trigger your symptoms. Common allergens include:

  • Dust mites
  • Mold
  • Cockroaches
  • Pollen
  • Pet dander
  • Medications
  • Metals
  • Insect stings
  • Latex
  • Foods

 

What can I do about my allergies?

Your ENT can offer treatments that prevent allergy symptoms from occurring when you're exposed to allergens. Depending on the type and severity of your allergies, you may benefit from prescription antihistamines, decongestants, nasal corticosteroid sprays, oral corticosteroids, allergy shots, or epinephrine auto-injectors.

Making a few changes to your home may also be helpful in reducing allergy flare-ups. If you're affected by seasonal allergies, you may want to buy an air purifier and avoid opening the windows or using fans during allergy season. Air-conditioners are much better for you than fans, given that they filter out allergens.

Vacuuming or mopping floors regularly and removing carpeting can also reduce allergens. Do you have a pet? Although you may not be outright allergic to your furry friend, they can still carry allergens inside after spending time outdoors. Washing your dog often not only decreases dander but also removes allergens.

If you have food allergies, it's also important to remove any foods that trigger your symptoms.

 

Need relief? Give us a call!

If you think you may have an allergy, schedule an appointment with the ENTs at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat by calling (805) 484-5929 for the Camarillo, CA, office, (805) 983-0395 for the Oxnard office, (805) 527-7320 for the Simi Valley office or (805) 379-9646 for the Thousand Oaks office.

By West Coast Ear, Nose and Throa
March 05, 2019
Category: Allergies
Tags: Allergy Symptoms  

Say goodbye to nasal congestion, facial pressure, and other allergy symptoms.

Millions of Americans battle with allergies; fortunately, there are many over-the-counter medications that can be used to help control Allergiessymptoms when they flare-up. Of course, it’s also important to know when it’s time to turn to one of our Thousand Oaks, CA, otolaryngologists for treatment. Here are the common types of allergies and their symptoms, as well as the warning signs of when it’s time to see a doctor,

 

Common Types of Allergies

When someone has an allergy to something, this simply means that the body’s immune system mistakes a harmless element within your environment to be posing a threat. People can have an allergic reaction to just about anything, but the most common types of allergies include:

  • Food
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Dust mites
  • Insect stings or bites
  • Medicine
  • Latex
  • Pet dander

 

Signs and Symptoms of Allergies

The symptoms you experience will depend on the type of allergy you are dealing with. Common allergy symptoms include:

  • Runny or stuffed nose
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Rash
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea or vomiting

As you might be able to guess, allergies to pet dander, pollen, and mold often lead to nasal symptoms, while food allergies are prone to causing gastrointestinal issues. If you are dealing with any of these symptoms regularly, you could have undiagnosed allergies.

 

When to See a Doctor

It’s important to know when it’s time to visit our Thousand Oaks ENT practice for allergy treatment. While many people can get their allergy symptoms under control with simple over-the-counter medications, if your symptoms are severe or aren’t responding to at-home care, then you should heavily consider turning to us for more effective medication. It’s particularly important to see us if your allergy symptoms are occurring regularly or if they are adversely affecting your quality of life. We offer many treatment options, including:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Eye drops
  • Epinephrine (in severe cases)
  • Immunotherapy (allergy shots)

 

West Coast ENT Head & Neck Surgery is ready to provide you with the allergy relief that you’ve been looking for! Call (805) 379-9646 today to schedule an appointment in Thousand Oaks, CA, (805) 527-7320 for Simi Valley, (805) 983-0395 for Oxnard, and (805) 484-5929 for Camarillo!