How to Manage Your Summertime Allergies

There’s no reason an entire season should be spoiled by certain types of pollen. Many people dread summertime due to their allergy symptoms, but avoidance measures and antihistamines are only one part of allergy management. With the help of a specialist, you can identify exactly what’s causing the reaction and begin building a tolerance against it. 

At SLENT, with locations in Mandeville, Slidell, and Hammond, Louisiana, our otolaryngology specialists provide help for children and adults with allergy symptoms. With spring in full swing, allergens abound, but allergies don’t have to make you miserable.

Understanding your allergies 

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is one of the most common complaints in the world. Allergens are everywhere: blowing in the breeze, disturbed by dusting, hiding in carpets and rugs. Even pets can be the source of flaky skin dander, a notorious allergen. 

Exposure to allergens is what causes allergic rhinitis (AR). Symptoms include: 

It’s not unusual for people to mistake their symptoms for an infection, like COVID, the flu, or the common cold. The most notable difference is that allergies can’t be defeated by your immune system — they’re caused by it. 

With enough time, research, and self-awareness, you might be able to ferret out your specific allergen(s) on your own, but that’s an arduous process. You’re better off undergoing proper allergy testing in a controlled environment, for a big picture look at how your body responds to different allergens.

What a specialist can do to help

If you’re tired of constantly cleaning, staying inside, changing clothes, and trying to avoid exposure to summertime allergens, it might be time to consult a specialist.

At SLENT, we offer allergy testing to quickly and accurately pinpoint specific allergens. We either do a skin test, marking off a grid on your back and pricking each square with a known allergen, then waiting to see if there’s irritation, or a blood test that’s less invasive and returns a complete report in just a few days.

Depending on the types of things you’re allergic or sensitive to, we can train your body to be less reactive. People sensitive to pollen, animal dander, dust mites, and bee venom might benefit from immunotherapy. This is a form of exposure therapy that gradually desensitizes your immune system to specific triggers. Over time, your reaction to those triggers becomes less extreme. 

Types of immunotherapy

Exposure can be done in one of two ways. Typically, patients receive a series of allergy shots over the course of a few weeks. This method, known as subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT), is the most effective, lasting 3-5 years and even preventing the development of asthma or new allergies. 

At SLENT, we also offer sublingual immunotherapy. Doses are placed under the tongue, where they’re quickly absorbed into your bloodstream. Depending on the severity of your allergies, this might be more comfortable. 

Curious about immunotherapy? Our team can diagnose your allergies and determine whether it’s right for you. To schedule a consultation, call the location closest to you, or visit our contact page for more information.

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