SAVANNAH, Georgia (WTOC) –

Since many people equate their “allergies” with nasal congestion, they often consult an ENT doctor. An ENT‚ or otolaryngologist, is a surgeon trained to treat diseases of the ears, nose and throat. We probably removed your tonsils or put tubes in your daughter’s ears. If your congestion is caused by nasal polyps rather than an allergic condition, this is definitely the way to go.

However, if you are one of the 50 million Americans with allergies, you should be evaluated by a board-certified allergist and immunologist. For the same reason that many over-the-counter medications won’t relieve allergy symptoms, the basic approach of treating only nasal allergens won’t either. Allergic diseases are not only multifaceted, affecting several organs, but it is also one of the most common chronic diseases. It is commonly associated with asthma, a life-threatening respiratory disease, and causes the majority of absenteeism in schools and businesses.

Allergic reactions are the body’s immune response to something it has come into contact with. Typical “hay fever” is a common response to pollens, but one can also be allergic to animal dander, insects, dust mites, foods, drugs, latex. To complicate matters, these allergens often trigger asthma attacks and, in extreme cases, cause life-threatening anaphylaxis. Other related allergic disease states may manifest as eczema or urticaria, hives. Given the complexity of properly diagnosing and treating all aspects of allergic disease, there is a medical subspecialty known as allergy, asthma, and immunology. A board-certified allergist has completed a 3-year residency in either internal medicine or pediatrics with cross-training in the other and completed 2-3 years of additional training in treating only allergies, asthma, and of immunology.

If you need help with your allergies, call Southern Allergy & Asthma at 912-303-9355

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