Allergy Treatment in Phoenix, AZ
Allergies are unpredictable, and allergic reactions can present major inconveniences in the lives of allergy sufferers. However, with the right treatment from a qualified physician, allergy sufferers can manage and control their symptoms. Dr. Farhan Taghizadeh is a board-certified ENT and facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Arizona Facial Plastics, PC, and he’s one of the most sought-after allergy specialists among allergy sufferers from Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, and the surrounding communities of Arizona.
What are Allergies?
Allergies are incurable, but there are several medications and treatment methods that can effectively control allergy symptoms. Once your allergic triggers have been confirmed with an allergy skin test, Dr. Taghizadeh will create a personalized treatment plan to help you combat them. Dr. Taghizadeh may recommend allergy shots, trigger avoidance, decongestants, antihistamines, or steroid nasal sprays to alleviate your allergy symptoms and enhance your quality of life.
When pollen, dander, or dust mites trigger an allergic reaction, the body responds by producing a chemical called histamines. Histamines cause the body to overreact to allergy triggers by releasing tears and draining mucus through the nose. The body produces histamines during the inflammatory process as a defense mechanism, but this can leave allergy sufferers with annoying and uncomfortable symptoms, such as nasal congestion and itchy, watery eyes. Dr. Taghizadeh often prescribes antihistamines as the first line of defense against allergic triggers. Antihistamines prevent further allergy symptoms by blocking the release of histamines.
How Antihistamines Treat Allergies
Antihistamines provide relief from allergy symptoms by stopping or blocking histamine receptors in nearby cells of the nose, throat, and/or sinuses. While antihistamines can prevent symptoms associated with hay fever and food allergies, they do not relieve all allergy symptoms. For instance, a decongestant is more suitable for alleviating nasal congestion and swelling. However, some allergy medications do contain both antihistamines and decongestants to provide maximum relief from allergy symptoms.
Antihistamines are available both over the counter and by prescription.
Decongestants are medications that relieve allergy symptoms by shrinking swollen nasal, sinus, and throat tissues. These medications are available in a variety of forms, including pills, liquids, nasal sprays, and eye drops. Decongestants and antihistamines are usually prescribed together to provide maximum relief from allergy symptoms. Allergy sufferers can safely take decongestant pills or liquids for several days, but they run the risk of worsening allergy symptoms if they use nasal spray and eye drop decongestants too often.
How Do Decongestants Work?
When nasal cells are exposed to an allergen or allergy trigger, nasal tissues and blood vessels in the eyes tend to swell in response. This can lead to feelings of nasal congestion and cause eye redness and irritation. Decongestants reduce these symptoms by narrowing the blood vessels in the nose, throat, and sinuses.
Like antihistamines, decongestants that alleviate allergy symptoms are also available over-the-counter and by prescription.
Steroid Nasal Sprays
Steroid nasal sprays target multiple points in the nasal inflammatory process to relieve allergy symptoms. However, it’s important to use nasal steroid sprays properly to limit side effects. Prior to use, blow your nose to clear any mucus or fluid from the nostrils. Hold one nostril closed and direct the nasal applicator into the open nostril. Look down so that your face is parallel to the floor, and take a deep breath as you press the applicator to spray the steroid into the nasal cavity. Repeat these steps with the other nostril. Always shake the nasal spray before each use, and thoroughly clean the applicator after every use.
Sublingual immunotherapy, or allergy drops, are now offered by Dr. Taghizadeh as a safe, convenient way to treat the cause of your allergies and to help you build long-term tolerance to the things that once made you miserable. In the past, most immunotherapy was provided through allergy shots. That was then, and this is now! Now we have the convenience of allergy drops, conveniently tailored to your unique allergy fingerprint – and calibrated with a level of sensitivity to specific allergens, allergy drops are very versatile for almost all allergy sufferers, from those with seasonal and environmental allergies to those with more complex allergies such as mold and food allergies or associated allergic conditions like asthma.
Allergy Drops are More Convenient than Allergy Shots
Immunotherapy is not effective for all allergy symptoms, no matter whether the delivery vehicle is a shot or allergy drops. Just as allergy shots did, but now with more convenience (and no aggravating shots!) allergy drops gradually help build your body’s tolerance to an allergen. Over time, the allergy results in fewer symptoms and medication needs and can change the underlying allergic disease.
Allergy Drops Build Tolerance Against Allergens
For those who suffer from hay fever or allergies to things like dust mites, pollens, pet dander and molds, sublingual immunotherapy for inhalant allergies can help you build tolerance to these substances. If you are a person who has strong reactions to seasonal allergies, including grass, trees including mountain cedar (cedar fever) and ragweed, preseasonal allergy drops begun prior to the onset of allergy season can help to lessen your reactions during pollen season and help to build up your long-term tolerance. Sublingual immunotherapy food allergy treatment is also available to help those who experience issues with food allergies, so you can build a tolerance to offending foods, such as peanuts, and thus reduce the risk of severe reactions in case of accidental food exposure.
How Do Allergy Drops Work?
Sublingual immunotherapy works similarly to allergy shots by gradually helping your body build tolerance to the substance(s) that cause your allergies. The difference is that the antigen is placed under your tongue in a liquid form. This area under your tongue has the highest concentration of antigen/allergen presenting cells found in the body. This cell, called the dendritic cell, is the messenger that delivers antigens to the cells that enable allergy tolerance. By delivering daily allergy drops consistently to this cell, your body begins to tolerate things that cause allergic reactions. Dr. Taghizadeh recommend patients take allergy drops three times each day for three to five years. This may vary according to the severity and seasonality of your allergies, and how well you follow your treatment guidelines. Many people feel better within a few months, but continuing treatment is necessary to help you stay symptom-free after your allergy drop treatment is complete.
Who is a Good Candidate for Allergy Drop Treatment?
There are many advantages patients find with custom allergy drops, including fewer days spent for doctor visits and the inestimable convenience of taking immunotherapy at home or on the go. Because allergy drops have the potential to treat the widest range of allergic patients and conditions, they can reduce the overall need for allergy medications long-term.
Allergy drops can help your body and immune system build up a natural resistance to allergy triggers, and you can expect your allergy symptoms to gradually improve so you will enjoy the benefits of fewer allergic attacks over time.
What to Expect During Your Consultation for Allergy Treatment
Dr. Taghizadeh uses allergy consultations to identify the underlying cause of each patient’s allergic symptoms. This enables him to develop a customized course of treatment and better provide relief of those symptoms. During your initial consultation, Dr. Taghizadeh will need your full medical history and a thorough description of your allergy symptoms and the severity of your attacks. Please inform Dr. Taghizadeh of any medications or supplements that you take because certain allergy symptoms are actually a side effect of a prescription or over-the-counter medication. If necessary, he may order skin allergy and/or blood tests to better define your allergic triggers. Immunotherapy is not without its risks. The disadvantages are greatest in people with heart or lung problems or disease, so let us know if you have these kinds of issues. Taking certain medications can also increase your risk of developing serious side effects. If you have a history of serious health conditions or take any medications, you should inform Dr. Taghizadeh during your consultation.
Even though there is no definitive and long-lasting cure for allergies, Dr. Taghizadeh can help you safely and effectively manage your allergy symptoms including with convenient allergy drops. The allergy treatments offered at Arizona Facial Plastics, PC, are designed to not only provide meaningful relief but also to reduce the frequency and intensity of your allergic attacks. If you’re an allergy sufferer living in or around Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, or the surrounding communities of Arizona, contact us today to schedule a consultation for allergy treatment.