ENT Doctor

What Kind of Doctor Should I See for Seasonal Allergies?

written by Becki Andrus
What Kind of Doctor Should I See for Seasonal Allergies?

Spring is a wonderful time of year! It feels great to see the sun shining and new flowers popping through in the garden.

While most people love the warmer weather and promise of the coming summer, spring can also be a miserable time of year for patients living with seasonal allergies. If you notice that your eyes start itching and your nose is running in the spring months, then consider a consultation with a seasonal allergy specialist.

Most Common Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies

If you have allergies, then it means that your body is responding to triggers in the environment, and you are having an immune response. In the process, you are experiencing symptoms that can range from uncomfortable to life-threatening in serious cases.

Seasonal allergies can cause a variety of symptoms affecting the upper respiratory system.

  • Scratchy throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itching, watery eyes

Some patients have only one or two of these symptoms. Other people have multiple symptoms happening at the same time. Also, the severity of symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the pollen count and your exposure to specific allergens.

Doctors Who Can Treat Seasonal Allergies

A primary care physician might provide a recommendation for allergy medication that can help to alleviate these symptoms. But there are times when the medication isn’t enough and you need to visit an allergy specialist.

In most cases, your primary care physician will likely suggest that you visit with a seasonal allergy specialist if the initial treatments aren’t working. General doctors understand their limitations as medical generalists and know when it’s best to send patients to specialists.

Visiting an otolaryngologist, also known as an ENT specialist, is one of the best choices you will make when searching for treatment solutions for your seasonal allergies. These doctors have advanced medical training focusing specifically on the upper respiratory system. They have experience with diagnostics and treatment plans for everything from seasonal allergies to head trauma, sinusitis, and more.

Signs You Need to See a Specialist for Your Seasonal Allergies

If you think that you have allergies, then one of the best things you can do is talk to a doctor who can confirm this diagnosis. Then, they can assist with a treatment plan that will help you get through allergy season.

Not only can an allergist offer treatment recommendations, but they can also help you identify the specific allergic triggers and help you implement lifestyle strategies to avoid these triggers.

There are a few reasons why you might choose to schedule an appointment with an ENT allergy specialist.

  • Allergy symptoms, such as a runny nose and watery eyes, are lasting for three months or longer.
  • Your symptoms are severe enough that they are interfering with your ability to sleep or work.
  • Over-the-counter allergy medications aren’t enough – you need more relief.
  • Seasonal allergy symptoms often lead to secondary infections such as sinus infections, ear infections, and more.
  • You snore while sleeping because the nasal passages are blocked.
  • You have other health issues that could cause complications, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, glaucoma, and more.

How to Tell the Difference Between Seasonal Allergies and a Sinus Infection

Even though some of the symptoms are similar, there are unique distinctions between a sinus infection and seasonal allergies. It’s important that you understand the difference so you can pick the ideal treatment for the root cause of your symptoms.

If you have a head cold or sinus infection, then the symptoms usually start suddenly and you feel unwell overall. For example, you might notice that the congestion begins and you are coughing, sniffing, and blowing your nose within the first day or two.

Once the viral or bacterial infection clears up, then you start feeling better. Most people notice that their head cold or sinus issues go away within 7 – 10 days if it is an illness.

On the other hand, seasonal allergy symptoms will continue as long as you are exposed to the triggers. If you are allergic to pollen and there is pollen in the area, then you will have allergy symptoms that seem to never go away.

Additionally, there is a difference in the type of nasal discharge you are experiencing with seasonal allergies vs. a head cold or sinus infection. Seasonal allergies typically cause clear, thin discharge from the nose, while another type of infection will often cause green or yellow mucus that is thicker in texture.

Allergy Treatment: What to Expect

There are many things a seasonal allergy specialist can do to help.

  • Full Health History: During your initial consultation, an allergy specialist will ask questions to learn more about your symptoms and health history. They may want to know how long your symptoms have been going, whether the symptoms come-and-go, and if there is anything that makes your symptoms get worse.
  • Confirm the Diagnosis: One of the first steps is to confirm the diagnosis and determine that you actually have seasonal allergies. The doctor will rule out other health concerns, such as an infection. Having an accurate diagnosis is critical to ensure that you are moving forward with the optimal treatment plan.
  • Identify Allergy Triggers: It’s important to know what you are allergic to, because then you can implement strategies to avoid these triggers. Testing can be done to determine your specific triggers.
  • Design a Treatment Plan: Now that you know what you are allergic to, it’s time to design a treatment plan. The goal is to minimize your symptoms and help you enjoy each day without the discomfort of allergies all the time. Treatments might include the use of specific medications, as well as strategies to handle the situation if you have a serious allergic reaction.
  • Testing Different Medications and Doses: Under the supervision of your doctor, you can try different types of medications and dosages. Some people find that over-the-counter allergy medication is sufficient, while other people need stronger medications that are only available through prescription.

Schedule a Consultation with the ENT Allergy Specialists

Are you searching for a solution to reduce your seasonal allergy symptoms? Then it’s time to schedule a consultation with an allergy specialist. Our team of experienced ENT doctors offer services for patients in both Collin County and Dallas.

Reach out to us at Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat to book an examination at our Frisco or Plano, TX offices. We have a convenient online form you can use when you are ready to request an appointment. Feel free to call us any time when you need information about available services: (972) 596-4005.

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