If you have allergies, you may have been hearing about how immunology is a way of treating an allergy possibly for a lifetime. This sounds very appealing if you experience bothersome sneezing, congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, or rashes just from being exposed to certain allergens.
Let’s talk about how an allergist can also function as an immunologist to help treat your allergies, and how you may be able to conquer your allergies once and for all with the help of an expert ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor in Georgetown, Texas.
Allergist vs. Immunologist
Allergy treatment and immunology are usually a combined specialty today, in which a physician is highly trained in both subspecialty areas. ENT doctors also function as allergists/immunologists who can diagnose and treat allergies, which are conditions in which the immune system overreacts to a foreign but inconsequential substance – such as pollen and pet dander.
The immune system is supposed to react to actual foreign attackers, such as harmful viruses and bacteria. If the doctor determines that you are a good candidate for immunology to treat your allergy, the physician will slowly introduce the allergen into your body so that it can develop a tolerance to it, so it should not give you the bothersome reactions anymore.
Immunology is not a treatment that works for people who have severe allergies which may cause life-threatening allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis. An example of this is a peanut allergy.
What Can They Treat?
An allergist or immunologist specializes in diagnosing and treating the following immune-related conditions:
- Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
- Anaphylaxis (a medical emergency causing sudden swelling, shortness of breath, low blood pressure, and lightheadedness)
- Contact dermatitis
- Allergic conjunctivitis (causing itchy, watery, reddish eyes and swollen eyelids)
- Urticaria (hives)
- Eosinophilic esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus)
What Do Allergists and Immunologists Do?
An allergist/immunologist will evaluate the patient’s medical history and ask questions about symptoms, medications, previous treatments, exposure to environmental toxins or allergens, and family medical history.
- Skin prick test
- Patch test
- Antibody test
- T-cell test
After making a diagnosis, the allergist/immunologist will plan the best course of treatment. Common treatments for allergic and immunological issues include:
- Topical corticosteroids (medicated skin creams)
- Nasal decongestants
- Epinephrine injections (to treat sudden and severe allergic reactions)
The allergist/immunologist will also educate the allergy sufferer about their condition and provide them with valuable tips on controlling symptoms and avoiding exposure. They will also conduct follow-up appointments in which they will ask the patient whether there is any new or worsening symptom or side effect related to their treatment.
Experienced Allergist in Georgetown, TX
Here at Georgetown ENT, our own Dr. Scott Franklin is a highly experienced and caring ENT physician who is thoroughly versed in allergy treatments, immunology, and sleep medicine. Dr. Franklin can conduct a comprehensive evaluation, diagnosis, and effective treatment of your allergies. He also offers immunotherapy, which is a great way to reduce the severity of your allergic reactions by gradually desensitizing your body to your specific allergen.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Franklin, call our friendly staff today at (512) 869-0604 or fill out our convenient appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you!