Spring is here! You find the weather is warmer, the flowers blooming, and your trees, plants, and grass are flourishing: all in a beautiful picturesque fashion. However, if you are one of the estimated 40 million to 50 million people in the United States affected by allergies, the spring season can also bring.
- Runny nose and sinus infections
- Watery eyes
- Painful ears and ear infections
- Itchy skin
- Nagging cough
- Lack of sleep
- Attention deficit and lack of concentration
- Worsening wheezing and asthma
Airborne allergens also can trigger asthma, a condition in which the airways narrow, making breathing difficult and leading to even worse cough, wheezing and shortness of breath.
Tree pollen is one of the worst allergy offenders and is first to releasing their pollen as early as January. These trees produce light, dry, pollen carried by the wind for miles. When an allergen (allergy-causing substance) like tree pollen is inhaled, the body’s immune system reacts abnormally and produces allergic symptoms.
A prompt referral to an allergy and asthma physician is recommended when these symptoms occur. A diagnosis and confirmation of springtime allergies involves taking a detailed history, a physical examination, and allergy skin testing. If needed, other labs and/or screening tests may be performed.
Treatment involves an appropriately customized treatment plan using environmental, dietary, medication, and immunotherapeutic modalities. Allergen immunotherapy, known as “allergy shots”, or oral tolerance immunotherapy, may be recommended for persons who don’t respond well to treatment with medications, experience side effects from medications, who have allergen exposure that is unavoidable, or desire a more permanent solution to their allergic problem. Immunotherapy can be very effective in controlling allergic symptoms.
Each person’s allergy and asthma treatment is exclusively customized based on the frequency, severity and duration of symptoms and on the degree of allergic sensitivity. If you think you have any allergy or asthma symptoms, call the Vital Allergy and Asthma Center at 713.538.1240, for an immediate appointment.
Dr. Carlos Vital is Board Certified by the American Board of Allergy & Immunology, a Conjoint Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Pediatrics. He is Clinical Faculty in Allergy & Immunology at Texas A&M School of Medicine.
Dr. Brian Tison Board Certified by the American Board of Allergy & Immunology