Allergies Specialist

Petoskey Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists

Audiology & Otolaryngology located in Petoskey, MI & Gaylord, MI

Allergies represent the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States, leading to symptoms that range from unstoppable sneezing and the misery of a stuffy nose to life-threatening anaphylactic reactions. The team at Petoskey Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists is uniquely qualified to perform allergy testing at their offices in Petoskey and Gaylord, Michigan, and provide treatments that include immunotherapy and helping you learn to avoid allergens. For allergy relief, call Petoskey Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.

Allergies Q & A

What causes allergies?

Allergies start when your immune system tags a substance as a danger to your health even though it’s harmless. Every time you come in contact with that substance, which is now an allergen, your body releases chemicals that cause an allergic reaction.

Some of the most common allergens include:

  • Airborne allergens: mold spores, dust mites, and tree, grass, and ragweed pollen
  • Contact allergens: poison ivy, soap, latex, and nickel
  • Insect stings: bees, wasps, and hornets
  • Medications: penicillin, aspirin, ibuprofen

When it comes to food allergens, eight types of food account for 90% of allergies: peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, shellfish, fish, wheat, and soy.

What symptoms develop due to allergies?

Hay fever and allergies caused by airborne allergens generally affect your eyes and nose, while contact allergies such as eczema and allergic contact dermatitis cause skin rashes.

In general, the potential symptoms caused by allergies include:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Itchy nose, eyes, or mouth
  • Skin rashes, hives, or eczema
  • Fatigue
  • A headache
  • Abdominal pain, nausea, or diarrhea (food allergies)

Some allergies, especially those to food, latex, and medications, can cause a life-threatening reaction call anaphylaxis. The symptoms of anaphylaxis include shortness of breath, feeling faint, and loss of consciousness.

How are allergies diagnosed?

When you come to Petoskey Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists for allergy testing, you’ll have a two-hour skin testing session with their allergy nurse. To perform skin testing, the nurse places small amounts of potential allergens on your skin, then pricks the area to let the allergen get under your skin. If you’re allergic, you’ll develop a small skin reaction in about 20 minutes.

During your skin test, you’ll also receive extensive counseling about allergies, their symptoms, and treatment options.

How are allergies treated?

The team at Petoskey Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists help you with all aspects of allergy treatment. That includes creating a plan to avoid your allergens, prescribing medications if needed, and administering immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy works by injecting a very small dose of your allergen, then gradually increasing the dose until your body builds up enough tolerance to diminish or stop your allergic reaction.

To receive expert allergy testing and treatment, call Petoskey Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.