How Allergies Affect your Ears, Nose and 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
- Swelling of the tongue and constriction of the throat
- Racing or slowed heart rate
Besides this dangerous condition, people with untreated allergies may have:
- Numerous ear infections (especially children)
- Conductive hearing loss
- Meniere's disease (vertigo and progressive loss of hearing)
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
- Repeated sore throats
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.