COLUMN BMH; There is more than one way to tame seasonal allergies | Community
Millions of Americans struggle with spring and summer allergies each year, and our area is known to have one of the worst looks for allergy sufferers. Of course, there are steps you can take to combat your allergies, and there’s a good chance you’ll be taking them already if you’re used to having this procedure year after year. However, there are alternatives for treating allergies that you may not have considered.
Dr Bryan Tigner, an otolaryngologist certified by the Blount Memorial Board of Directors, who specializes in nose and sinus surgery and has allergy training, says there are three main principles to the therapy allergy shots: allergy prevention, medicine, and immunotherapy (also called allergy shots).
âAllergy testing can help you identify your allergy season and specific allergy triggers,â Tigner said. âThe avoidance measures are then tailored to your specific allergy profile. Many medications are available over the counter, but there are two great new prescription therapies for people with allergies. A new nasal spray uses a new technique to get a steroid spray into the nasal / sinus cavities. Another new drug targets the very basic signaling molecules that lead to inflammation in allergy. It is intended for patients with severe allergies and nasosinus polyps., “he explained.“
Tigner says surgery is an option, but it’s not considered the first step. âI have the advantage of having many tools – some medical, some surgical – in my toolbox to help patients with nasal drainage, congestion and other allergy symptoms.
âWhen conservative measures like medication and avoidance fail, you should probably see your doctor. We have many new office procedures for treating nasal obstruction and nasal drainage. Some of these procedures only take a few minutes, and you can go straight back to work or the gym., “he explained.
âWhen a patient comes to me, I also look for structural defects that could be contributing to their symptoms, such as a deviated septum or an enlarged turbinate.
âOften the symptoms may not be caused by allergies alone, but may be due to sinusitis. Surgical options depend on the structures involved. Many patients who come in with chronic congestion have a deviated septum or turbinate enlargement, where the turbinates in your nose that filter things out are chronically inflamed and need to be surgically repaired because the drugs no longer work.
âPeople with allergies are also at increased risk for sinusitis. There are currently many minimally invasive techniques for treating sinusitis, one of which is balloon sinus dilation, which is a procedure that can be performed in the office. A patient can go home the same day and be back to work the next day, so this is a great option for patients who are good candidates for it, âhe explained.
âWe have found that patients who suffer from sinusitis for longer without receiving the appropriate treatment have poorer long-term outcomes and end up using more funds for health care. The faster we intervene and identify patients who need surgery, the better off those patients tend to be. The bottom line is that people don’t have to suffer.
Dr. Tigner is able to offer his patients an effective balance between surgical and medical treatments for sinus and nose problems to help them regain their quality of life and resume their activities as quickly as possible. For more information or to make an appointment, call 865-983-4090.