Millions of people in the United States suffer from Allergic Rhinitis. At Allergy and ENT Associates of Middle Tennessee, our doctors have over 30 years of combined experience treating allergic disease. All three of our physicians are Fellows of the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy.
Allergies or Allergic Rhinitis is a disorder that occurs when the body detects foreign substances called allergens (triggers). Allergies occur because the body’s defense system mistakes harmless allergens for something potentially harmful (such as bacteria). The symptoms of allergic rhinitis occur when a substance called histamine is released into the blood. The histamine causes the most common symptoms of allergies, such as sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, itchy throat and a stuffy nose. Other less common symptoms a patient might experience include chronic sinusitis, dizziness, ear problems, rashes, hives and stomach problems.
In our newly remodeled allergy department, we provide comprehensive testing and treatment for inhalant allergens most common to the Middle Tennessee region. We utilize both skin testing and RAST (blood) tests to determine what a patient is allergic to. Our skin testing is done on the arms and involves scratches (Pricks) and placing a small amount of antigen under the first layer of skin, creating a “wheal” (Sticks). The wheal is timed for ten minutes and then measured. We test for 48 antigens routinely.
Utilizing three techniques to manage allergies, the patient will receive the maximum relief of their symptoms:
- Immunotherapy (allergy shots or sublingual drops)
The first line of therapy for allergies is avoidance. Knowing what activates allergies through allergy testing allows allergy sufferers to avoid being exposed to harmful triggers.
Medications such as antihistamines, nasal sprays, steroids and decongestants may provide temporary relief, but do not address the underlying immune problem.
Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots or Sublingual Drops)
- Immunotherapy is one of the only scientifically proven methods to control allergies for long-term benefits. Immunotherapy is ideal for those who cannot avoid their allergic triggers, have problems managing their allergies or do not like feeling “medicated”.
- Allergy shots are a once-a-week injection given in our office. You may take them in a physician's office closer to home, if needed. They have been proven to be very effective and have been used in the United States for many years.
- Sublingual Therapy is a convenient way of administering immunotherapy. They are very effective and have been the treatment of choice in Europe for many years. Drops are placed under the tongue daily at home. Insurance at this time does not cover Sublingual Therapy, and therefore is on a cash-only basis.