to Your Allergies
Allergies impact more than 50 million people in the United States. For many, this is simply an inconvenience – a little sniffling and sneezing and a few extra tissues lying around. But for others, allergies can be debilitating.
If you are suffering from allergy symptoms like a runny nose, itchy eyes, chronic coughing, headaches or fatigue, you’ve come to the right place. At Denver’s Advanced ENT & Allergy Center, we offer allergy treatments that work – alleviating symptoms by starting at the source of your allergies.
In our modern and clean society, we have fewer threats to our immune system on a daily basis which causes our bodies to overreact to certain non-threatening triggers, like pollen or cat dander. These overreactions are called allergies.
As weather patterns change in Colorado, data suggests that pollen counts are on the rise every spring. This means people with mild allergies are now suffering from more severe symptoms, which can make your life miserable.
At Advanced ENT & Allergy Center, our team has extensive specialty training on allergy treatment from the American Academy of Otolaryngologic Allergy. Our allergy doctors in Denver, CO were the first in the state to treat allergies with sublingual immunotherapy, and have a 20-year proven track record of helping patients find long-lasting relief. Our doctors are also ENT doctors, which means that they are specially trained in the treatment of nasal allergies and anatomy of the nose and upper airway passages. When you visit our office in Denver, or meet with us virtually online, we will take the time to understand the root of your symptoms to best alleviate your discomfort and provide a treatment plan that works for your unique situation.
– What Our Allergy Patients Say –
What Is an Allergy?
An allergy is an abnormal reaction from your immune system to an ordinarily harmless substance (called an allergen). When an allergen enters the body of an allergic person, that person’s immune system views the allergen as an invader. White blood cells of the immune system then produce IgE antibodies. The antibodies attach themselves to special cells called mast cells, causing a release of potent chemicals, which cause your symptoms – a runny nose, watery eyes, itching and sneezing.
Allergies can affect anyone. Especially in a dry, severe climate such as Denver. While it’s true that allergies are more common in children, they can develop, change, or worsen at any age. Some of the most common types include:
- Pollen allergy (tree, plant, weed)
- Dust mite allergy
- Mold allergy
- Animal dander allergy (pet allergy)
- Latex allergy
- Food allergy
- Drug allergy
- Insect Sting allergy
Do I Have Allergies?
Allergy symptoms can vary based on the trigger or allergen involved, but they tend to affect your nasal passages, sinuses and skin. Common symptoms include:
An in-office, hour-long allergy skin test is a safe and effective way to test a patient for allergies. With modern technology, patients of all ages are comfortable during the allergy skin test and receive quick, accurate results. We also offer at-home allergy testing kits which allow patients to send samples to the lab in a pre-paid envelope to determine their allergies. It’s a common misconception that allergy testing is painful and time-consuming – our allergy tests can tell us if you have allergies, what you are allergic to, and how severe your allergies are. During your initial appointment, we will determine if an in-office or at-home test is best for you.
We can test anyone over the age of three at our Denver office. If intradermal allergy testing is not the best option for you or your child, we can do a blood test to identify your allergies.
How Do I Treat My Allergies?
Once allergies are confirmed, we can help patients find ways to avoid allergens by suggesting changes in diet and lifestyle. This technique is ideal for patients who are allergic to specific animals or certain types of food.
To help reduce symptoms, we can suggest or prescribe medications (such as antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays) to limit allergic inflammation. For patients experiencing very frustrating allergy symptoms, or who don’t want to use oral medications forever, we recommend consulting with one of our allergy specialists.
In the past, immunotherapy allergy shots were the most effective way to treat allergy symptoms. However, allergy shots require patients to make weekly or monthly office visits for 4-5 years. Over the past 20 years, allergy drops have become a more popular and effective way to treat allergy symptoms. By using daily drops under your tongue, your body slowly learns not to react to allergic stimuli.
Why Choose Allergy Drops with Advanced ENT & Allergy Center?
Our allergy clinic was the first to bring allergy drops to Colorado in 2004, and has been successfully treating patients with sublingual immunotherapy for over a decade. Most of our patients are using allergy drops instead of shots, and it’s changed their lives. Allergy drops have a much higher completion rate – the drops can be taken anywhere, anytime, and with the same proven results. Office visits are required once a year to make sure the treatment is working correctly.
Frequently Asked Allergy Questions
Since a hyperactive immune system causes allergies, most people with allergy symptoms respond to allergens present in every season (trees in the spring, grasses in the summer, ragweeds in the fall, and mold in the winter).
There is a big difference in side effects for allergy drops versus allergy shots. Allergy shots have a small but not insignificant chance of anaphylaxis. This usually means that a 30-minute observation is required for any patient who receives a new bottle of shot serum. Allergy drops, on the other hand, have never had a reported case of anaphylaxis and are a significantly safer form of immunotherapy. The most common side effects for allergy drops are itchy mouth or an increase of the patients’ normal allergy symptoms.
Allergy drop treatment works by delivering a slowly increasing dose of FDA approved antigen that, over time, builds the body’s tolerance. Allergy drops affect specialized cells in the immune system. Research shows these cells are a friendly and effective route for long-term desensitization, making allergy drops an ideal option for patients who can’t receive allergy shots due to time constraints and/or medical conditions.
Sublingual allergy immunotherapy costs a comparable amount to prescription allergy medications and are often less expensive than a one-month supply of over-the-counter allergy medication. Although not all insurances cover allergy drops, we can process your drops through your health savings account or flex account.
Irregular exposure to allergens can lead to the production of antibodies (called IgE-mediated antibodies). The presence of these antibodies can lead to an allergic reaction. In allergy shots or allergy drops, we regulate exposure to the allergen. This leads to the production of blocking antibodies (called IgG antibodies) and a decrease in the level of allergic or IgE-mediated antibodies.
A pollen count or a mold count is the number of pollen or mold spores in a cubic meter of air. When pollen counts are high, people with hay fever will experience intensified symptoms. High mold count symptoms include: sneezing, itchy throat and eyes, runny nose, congestion, coughing, and dry, scaling skin.