or call us at: (832) 699-9265
Allergies aggravate one in four Americans, causing mild to overwhelming discomfort. People who suffer from allergies are familiar with the symptoms, and are well aware of how quality of life can be affected by allergies.
When an allergen enters the body, the immune system kicks in to counter to the effects. In most cases, the immune system produces histamine, which causes the symptoms typically associated with allergies and hay fever, including headaches, sneezing, watery or itchy eyes, nasal congestion and scratchy throat. Allergies can be caused by pollens or pollutants.
Technically the easiest way to treat allergies is to reduce exposure to the allergen and take medication, often antihistamines and nasal decongestants. For more severe cases, allergy shots may be needed to build up the body’s immune response to the allergen over time. Unfortunately, removing the allergen may not be feasible in some cases, forcing patients to take anti-histamines or simply suffer in silence.
A non-medical treatment that could help is steaming your nasal cavities: “Steam your stuffy sniffer with a washcloth soaked in the hottest water you can stand. Lay it across your nose and sinuses for a while. It’ll loosen things up so you can breathe freely.”
Another option is flushing your nose with a neti pot. Studies have shown that neti pots are very effective at reducing allergy symptoms. “They definitely help if you’re congested and symptomatic,” according to James Sublett, MD, FACAAI, a clinical professor and section chief of pediatric allergy at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and managing partner of Family Allergy and Asthma in Louisville, KY.
“But they’re just rinsing the mucus and irritation out of your nose. They’re not actually removing the pollen, which is causing the symptoms in the first place.”
According to Dr. Sharon Orrange: “In 2013, pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts estimated that the United States wasted $418 billion on “bad medication-related decisions”—with $55.8 billion alone on high-priced medications when more affordable drugs could have been used instead.”
Dr. Orrange provides an extensive list of the most expensive allergy medications and a comparison of their generic brands, with many of the generics having fewer or less serious side-effects as their more expensive counterparts. The relevant drug here is Pataday, eye drops that “are used for red, itchy eyes related to allergies. Patanol and Pataday are expensive brand name eye drops in this class which includes azelastine (Optivar) as a good generic option that is much cheaper. Pataday carries the advantage of once daily dosing compared to twice a day but is it worth the cost?”
As an ENT doctor, Dr. Nguyen has specialized in allergy treatment, and utilizes the latest equipment and medicine in order to assess and treat patients. His comprehensive approach involves treating the cause of the allergies, in addition to the symptoms, and believes in natural and healthy solutions wherever possible.