Topic of the Month
by Charles V. Klucka, DO
Allergies affecting the
nose and/or eyes (allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis) affects about
20% of the population.
It causes millions of lost work days and school days annually, and is associated
with both indirect and direct treatment costs in the billions.
The Primary symptoms of allergic rhinitis are 1) sneeze, 2) itch, 3) watery
drainage, and 4) stuffiness (congestion).
The diagnosis of allergy can be made by blood testing (rast) or skin testing
(allergist office). Skin Testing is recommended by the Academy of Allergy; it is
generally more thorough, quite safe, and yields immediate results.
are a good fist start for treating many nasal symptoms, especially itch, sneeze,
and watery drainage, they do little for stuffiness or sinus pressure. Side
effects or antihistamines can be dry mouth or drowsiness, but the newer agents
have far fewer side effect.
decongestants (Sudafed) help stuffiness and sinus pressure, but can aggravate
high blood pressure, heart disease, or prostate problems.
Nasal steroid sprays
are the one (prescription) drug which can prevent all four primary symptoms of
allergy quite well when used regularly.
Ask you doctor for a
referral to see us if you:
* Have uncontrolled allergy symptoms despite using medication.
* Cannot take a medication regimen due to side effects, or simply want to know
all your alternatives.
* Want to know exactly what items to which you may be allergic and how to avoid
* Wish to consider an alternative treatment such as allergy injections, or
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