What are allergies?
Allergies are when your body's immune system overreacts to an allergen(s), an external harmless substance. Examples of allergens are weeds, grasses, trees, molds, dust mites, and animal dander.
There has been a "rise in prevalence of allergic diseases...in the industrialized world for more than 50 years," according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
People suffer from:
- Itchy and runny or blocked nose
- Itchy, red, watering eyes
- Wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath
- Swollen lips, tongue, eyes, or face
Types of allergies include drug allergy, food allergy, insect allergy, latex allergy, mold allergy, pet allergy, and pollen allergy.
Step One: Your Bethlehem, PA doctor asks about your personal and family medical history.
Step Two: Dr. Andrew J. Pestcoe will ask you to stop taking certain medications, like prescription and over-the-counter antihistamines, heartburn treatment medications, and tricyclic antidepressants.
Skin tests: Your doctor places an allergen on your skin, lightly puncturing the skin for further exposure to the allergen, and closely monitors how your skin reacts to the foreign substance. If allergy symptoms, redness, and swelling appear, then you're allergic to that allergen. Another form of skin test is the patch test, which involves adhesive patches containing allergens being placed on your skin for 72-to-96 hours.
Blood tests: If a skin test is too dangerous for you, your doctor uses a blood test. Your blood is tested at a laboratory to detect antibodies that fight specific allergens.
Elimination diet: This is pretty straightforward. Your doctor uses this test to determine what foods you're allergic to. He does this by removing food from your diet, then adding them back to determine which foods cause problems.
Treating and Managing Allergies
There is no cure for allergies but there are several ways to manage them. This includes allergy shots, over-the-counter antihistamines, and avoiding the allergen altogether.
Do you have any questions?
If you would like to speak with Dr. Ziv Harish, then you can reach him at his office, The Head and Neck Center, P.C in Bethlehem, PA, when you call (610) 691-2552.
Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. Although allergies are so common, that does not mean that diagnosing and treating them is a simple affair. However, medical professionals who specialize in allergies are able to perform tests that help to identify different types of allergy and provide effective treatments. Dr. Andrew J. Pestcoe is an otorhinolaryngologist at The Head and Neck Center, P.C located in Bethlehem, PA. One of his specialties is diagnosing and treating allergies—read on to learn how he can help you.
The Two-Step Process of Allergy Diagnosis
There are two essential steps to allergy diagnosis.
- Medical history: Your medical history can provide your doctor with as much helpful information as the allergy tests themselves. Important details include:
- Past and current health conditions
- Any family history of allergies
- Medications you take on a regular basis
- How long you have been experiencing symptoms of an allergy
- Allergy testing: Along with medical history, allergy skin testing is the most common method for allergy diagnosis. Your doctor will prick the surface of your skin with a tiny amount of allergen. This test can be used with common allergens such as:
- Plant pollens
If you are allergic to one of the substances, your skin will appear red at the site of the prick. If the results from the prick test are not clear, an intradermal test may be used to inject a small amount of allergen under the upper layers of your skin.
In some cases, your Bethlehem doctor may recommend an allergy blood test rather than a skin test. For example, if you are taking certain medications that may interfere with allergy test results or if you have a serious skin condition. In this case, the sample will be sent to a lab and examined for allergen antibodies.
If you live in Bethlehem and you suffer from allergies, call Dr. Pestcoe today at (610) 691-2552 to make an appointment for a consultation.
The medical specialty of otolaryngology essentially deals with conditions and disorders that affect the ENT or ear, nose, and throat region, as well as related neck and head areas. This means that if you’re having any issues with these body parts or regions, such as hearing problems, throat irritation, or allergies, you should see your ENT specialist, Dr. Andrew Pestcoe, here at The Head and Neck Center, P.C. in Bethlehem, PA.
What Do ENT Doctors Do?
ENT doctors are experts in the medical and surgical treatment of these conditions:
- Ear Conditions and Disorders: You may have to visit an ENT specialist if you’re struggling with an ear problem, including an ear infection, hearing loss, ear pain, or ringing in your ears or tinnitus. ENT doctors can likewise treat and manage congenital ear disorders or those that you were born with.
- Nose Disorders and Conditions: ENT doctors typically treat and manage issues that negatively impact the sinuses, nasal cavity, and nose. These issues could impact not only your sense of smell but your breathing as well. If you’re having any issues with your nose, such as sinusitis, nasal congestion, or allergies, you can go to your ENT specialist in Bethlehem, PA, for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
- Throat Conditions and Disorders: These negatively affect your speech, swallowing, eating, singing, and even your digestion. ENT doctors could diagnose, treat, and manage throat problems to help prevent more serious complications.
- Neck and Head Disorders and Conditions Related to the Ears, Nose, and Throat: Aside from treating throat, nose, and ear problems, ENT doctors are likewise experts in managing trauma, tumors, deformities, and diseases of the face and neck. They’re also capable of performing reconstructive and cosmetic surgery, managing issues with the neck and head nerves that control hearing, sight, facial movements, and hearing.
Do You Have Ear, Nose, or Throat Concerns?
Arrange an appointment with Dr. Andrew Pestcoe here at The Head and Neck Center, P.C. in Bethlehem, PA, by dialing (610) 691-2552.
Allergies don’t have to dictate what you can and can’t do. Get them under control now!
From visiting a friend’s house that is overrun with pets to just trying to enjoy the beautiful outdoors on a pollen-heavy day, there are so many reasons why your allergy symptoms might be acting up. The Head and Neck Center, your ENT in Bethlehem, can tell you some of the most common allergy symptoms and what you can do to make life with allergies a bit easier on yourself.
Pinpoint Your Triggers
The next time your allergies flare up, make note of what’s around you or what activities you were doing (e.g. vacuuming; gardening). Write down any patterns you notice and discuss them with your otolaryngologist to figure out what could be to blame for your allergies. Knowing what triggers your symptoms will help you avoid them altogether.
Make Changes to Your Home
It’s always a great idea to chat with your ear, nose and throat doctor about how to reduce your allergy symptoms from the comfort of your own home. After all, your home should be a comfortable abode, not an allergy-riddled lair. If Fido has you sneezing, make sure he gets weekly baths and designate certain rooms as being pet-free (particularly bedrooms). Choose a HEPA-filter air conditioner that will filter out pollen and other outdoor allergens. Keep windows closed, particularly on windy days and make sure to keep all surfaces and furniture dusted and clean.
Consider Your Treatment Options
While you can certainly make a lot of lifestyle changes to improve your allergy symptoms, in most cases you may also require medication to help keep your allergies under control. You may find the proper relief through over-the-counter nasal sprays and other medications, while those with more moderate or serious allergy symptoms will want to turn to their ENT doctor to find out what prescription medication could control your allergies (or whether allergy shots are the best option).
Whether you have questions about managing your allergy symptoms or you want to find out what medication is right for you, give your ENT specialist a call today if your allergies are becoming difficult to tackle on your own. Finding the right allergy relief is just a phone call away.
Find out if the ear problems you are having could actually be due to an ear infection.
There is nothing fun about having ear problems. Of course, it isn’t always easy to tell if the symptoms you are having are warning you of an ear infection. Knowing the symptoms and when to see your otolaryngologist, The Head and Neck Center, P.C in Bethlehem for treatment is very important so you can eliminate the infection and get your ear health back on track. If you think you have an ear infection, here are some of the signs to look for.
An ear infection often comes on suddenly. If you are an adult suffering from an ear infection it’s fairly common to experience ear pain and drainage, as well as muffled or lessened hearing. If you suspect that your child might have an ear infection here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Ear pain
- Discharge from the ear
- Lack of appetite
- Poor balance
- Irritability or fussiness
- Problems sleeping
- Tugging at ear
- Having trouble hearing or responding to others
- Fever of 100 degrees F or higher
While most people don’t immediately see a doctor the minute symptoms arise, you should go ahead and schedule an appointment with your The Head and Neck Center, P.C otolaryngologist if:
- Your symptoms last more than one day
- A child under 6 months old is displaying these symptoms
- Your ear pain is serious
- If your child is having trouble sleeping
- If you notice pus or blood draining from the ears
There are many reasons for an ear infection, whether it’s from a simple illness or swelling of the Eustachian tubes in the ears. Your doctor will talk to you about the symptoms you are experiencing and then examine your ear. If a virus is to blame (which is often the case) then antibiotics will be prescribed. We can also talk to you about other at-home measures you can take to manage your symptoms and reduce pain and discomfort.
If you are concerned that you may have an ear infection then it’s time to call an ear, nose & throat doctor that you can trust. Call our office today and let us know what symptoms you are experiencing. We will try to get you in right away.
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