Understanding the Hidden Health Impacts of Seasonal and Perennial Allergies

By Victor M. Da Costa, M.D.

If you deal with relatively mild seasonal allergy symptoms, like sneezing, congestion an itchy throat, or watery eyes, you might not give much thought to how they affect your overall health and quality of life.

Perhaps you see these symptoms as more of an inconvenience, and think to yourself, “How much harm can they really do?” Worse yet, you might consider them “normal symptoms” that you just have to deal with.

However, from a medical perspective, it is important to understand that your allergies, rather than just being a nuisance, may be a disease that needs treatment to prevent additional negative effects.

As an ear, nose and throat (ENT) physician who sees patients dealing with various impacts of allergic disease every day, I would caution anyone not to ignore their symptoms or try to ride them out. This is equally true whether your respiratory allergy triggers are trees or blooming plants in the spring, fall allergens like ragweed, or year-round irritants like dust and molds.

Even if you consider your allergies mild or moderate and you currently do not deal with more serious symptoms like asthma attacks or eczema, the reality is that allergies can affect your overall health in ways you might not expect. Here are just a few of those potential impacts:

  • More frequent sinus infections and migraine headaches
  • Decreased cognitive function and productivity
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances, which can contribute to a wide range of general health issues such as high blood pressure, weight gain, or mental health issues

Here’s the good news: a growing number of my patients are discovering the remarkable benefits of shot-free allergy treatments  also known as sublingual immunotherapy. After a fast, simple skin test in our office to identify your triggers, I can devise a treatment plan tailored to your specific allergy needs.

Like allergy shots, this treatment helps train your immune system to not overreact to the substances, such as pollens or dust, that cause your allergies. The difference is that, with sublingual immunotherapy, there is no need for frequent injections or the numerous office visits that go with them. Tablets and/or drops that you can take at home may be all you need. You may notice results as soon as two to three months after starting treatment.

Since these treatments have been endorsed by the World Health Organization as a safe and viable alternative to allergy shots for children and adults, you can choose this approach to allergy care with peace of mind.

By getting your allergy care with an ENT physician, you would also be able to learn about the various surgical and in-office procedures that can help alleviate allergy symptoms.

To learn more, visit our allergy treatment webpage, then request an appointment online or call (717) 394-5088 to schedule a consultation. I look forward to helping you find long-awaited, long-term allergy relief, with the added potential of improvements to your overall health.

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