From environmental and seasonal elements to food and pet triggers, allergies can be caused by a variety of elements, especially when it comes to children's allergies. While over-the-counter medications and avoiding triggering materials can relieve mild symptoms, severe and potentially life-threatening allergies will require medical treatment and management. Fortunately, Dr. Pankaj Gupta of Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists & Wake Sinus Center in Cary, NC, offers allergy testing and treatment to all of his patients—read on to learn if you should come into the office for a visitation.
Q: What causes allergies?
A: An allergic reaction occurs when the body identifies common allergens like mold, pollen, dust, or pet dander as a threat and issues an immune response to "attack" the invader. The release of chemicals like histamines in response to allergic triggers causes the familiar symptoms like sneezing, congestion, itchy/watery eyes, or difficulty breathing in severe cases. While allergic reactions are caused by exposure to specific triggers like food or high pollen counts, it is not clear what the underlying cause for developing allergies may be. Although many allergies develop in childhood, anyone can develop allergies at any time.
Q: How are allergies treated?
A: Treatments vary depending on the type and severity of the allergy, and can range from over-the-counter anti-histamines to allergy shots and inhalers for asthma.
Q: When should I see a doctor for allergies?
A: Allergy tests from our Cary office can help to identify specific allergies and their triggers. They also help your ENT doctor to develop the best treatment plan for your situation. Generally, it is recommended to see a doctor if your allergy symptoms persist for more than a few days or reoccur frequently throughout the year. You should also schedule an appointment with an ear, nose and throat specialist if you have difficulty breathing (seek emergency treatment for severe allergic reactions, as they may be life-threatening), or if you suffer from chronic sinus infections.
Find an ENT Doctor in Cary, NC
For more information about allergy testing and treatment, contact Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists & Wake Sinus Center by calling (919) 851-5636 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gupta today.
Hearing plays an important part in our lives—it helps keep us vigilant to our surroundings and contributes to our ability to enjoy activities, such as listening to music and watching movies. Unfortunately, hearing loss currently affects about 48 million Americans according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. If you are struggling with this issue, an ENT here at Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC, can help develop a treatment plan just right for your situation. Read on to learn more!
What Causes Hearing Loss?
If you’ve ever put on a pair of headphones and tried to turn up the volume on your device, you may have received a warning message about the importance of protecting your hearing—and for good reason! Many people have reduced hearing from continued exposure to loud sounds and music, two common causes of tinnitus. In other cases, hearing quality is reduced by an ear infection, obstruction, or the presence of water in the inner part of the ear. Hearing loss is prevalent in children because their ears are in the early stages of development, making them more susceptible to damage. Additionally, some patients are born with partial or complete hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Treatments
Signs that you may be experiencing hearing loss include muffled sounds, inadvertently turning the radio or TV up to excessively high volumes, and constantly requesting that others repeat themselves. Treatments for hearing loss here at Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC, include:
- An audiometry test to evaluate hearing.
- Hearing aids (a number of different modern devices are available).
- Cleaning or clearing the ear of foreign matter that could be causing hearing problems.
- Antibiotic therapy to clear up an ear infection.
Dealing with Hearing Loss
Though hearing treatments provided by your ENT doctors can help improve your ability to process sounds, you may still have to deal with some level of hearing loss. Here are some tips on how to deal with this issue:
- Wear your hearing aid whenever you plan to be in social settings, or when out in public for safety reasons.
- Avoid exposure to loud sounds in order to avoid more advanced hearing problems.
- Feel comfortable letting others know that you have some hearing challenges to ensure optimal communication.
An ENT Can Help
Get ahead of a hearing loss problem by seeing an ENT at Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC. Call (919) 851-5636 today to schedule a visit with either Dr. Pankaj Gupta or Dr. Casey Polcari, two doctors who have a passion for helping patients preserve their hearing health.
Find out if your daytime exhaustion and snoring could be the result of a sleep disorder.
Your partner tells you that you snore all the time and that it’s so loud that it keeps them up at night. While this might sound like an amusing story that happens to many couples, for some snorers, these symptoms are unfortunately due to a sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea which causes pauses in breath or shallow breathing throughout the night. Read on to learn whether you might have sleep apnea, and if you are concerned about having the condition, contact Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC, for treatment!
Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
It isn’t always easy to determine whether or not you are dealing with sleep apnea, particularly since symptoms only occur while you are sleeping; If your partner has noticed pauses in your breath while sleeping or that you gasp for air in the middle of the night, these are serious warning signs of sleep apnea and you should have your ENT doctor evaluate you immediately.
Other warning signs of sleep apnea include,
- Extreme daytime fatigue
- Persistent sore throat
- Headaches in the morning
- Restless sleep or insomnia
- Trouble concentrating
- Irritability or mood swings
- Decreased sex drive
While a lot of these symptoms can be indicative of other issues, if you are having trouble sleeping as well as experiencing some of these symptoms, then it’s worth a closer look into what’s going on.
Why You Should See a Doctor
If you do have sleep apnea and you don’t receive proper treatment, it can lead to some serious long-term health problems. In fact, untreated sleep apnea has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and chronic respiratory disorders. This is why you shouldn’t put off seeing a doctor if you suspect that you might have the condition.
Treating Sleep Apnea
The most common treatment option for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy (continuous positive airway pressure), where a nosepiece is worn to deliver pressurized air to keep the passages open while you are asleep. Those with mild obstructive sleep apnea may also turn to oral appliance therapy to manage their symptoms.
Concerned? Give Us a Call!
If you suspect that your symptoms may be caused by sleep apnea, then it’s a good time to call Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC, to schedule an evaluation with otolaryngologist Dr. Pankaj Gupta and audiologist Dr. Casey Polcari. Let us help you get better quality sleep, by dialing (919) 851-5636.
Hearing loss may be more common than you care to realized. The audiologists at Cary, NC, can help. The reasons behind hearing loss vary in their causes and manifestations, and happens to people of all ages. It is important to understand how hearing works before discussing causes and treatments for hearing loss though.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss (according to the CDC):
Isn't startled from loud noises and does't turn to the source of a sound after 6 months of age
Delayed or unclear speech
Does not follow directions or respond to their name, which is mistaken for not paying attention, or just ignoring
Hears some sounds but not others and turns TV volume up too high
Treatments and Evaluations:
Your Cary doctor determines the best course of action by conducting comprehensive hearing evaluations, such as tinnitus evaluations, hearing aid fittings (a time to orient to new hearing aid), hearing aid checks, usually scheduled every six months, and hearing aid evaluations to ask questions and discuss expectations.
Hearing aids are designed to improve hearing. The goal of amplifying sounds at specific frequencies where there's hearing loss can improve overall quality of life, such as the listening environment, especially when you're placed in a noisy place. Hearing aids amplify sound to make speech more intelligible, ease communication so it's less tiring and preserve nerve networks in the brain.
There are multiple hearing aids. Here are a few:
- Rechargeable hearing aids
- Discreet hearing aids in both custom and BTE styles
- Android and i-phone compatible hearing aids
- Ability to remotely program hearing aids
- Aids suitable for patients with an active, casual, or quiet lifestyle
- Automatic programming for ease of use
Hearing loss is difficult to deal with, but you don't have to be alone. The doctors can help you deal with your hearing loss dilemmas and improve your way of life. To learn and more, call (919) 851-5636 in Cary, NC.
Allergies are a common autoimmune condition. Allergies provoke overproduction of something called histamines. At Wake Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists & Wake Sinus Center, Dr. Pankaj Gupta tracks down allergic triggers with state-of-the-art testing and helps patients manage symptoms. He can help you feel better, too.
What signs show you have allergies
Sometimes, people who are sneezing, coughing, itching, wheezing or dealing with a runny or stuffy nose assume they have a cold. While the common cold virus provokes these symptoms, allergies also exhibit similar ones, but usually without the fever, malaise and sudden onset colds exhibit.
Allergic reactions happen when someone is exposed to an irritant, or allergen, which their bodies are particularly sensitive to. The allergen may be inhaled, touched, or ingested, producing common signs such as:
- Skin redness and rashes (hives)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Itchy, watery, puffy eyes
Common allergic triggers include dust, mold, animal dander, pollen, cigarette smoke, food, drugs, latex and more. Some reactions are mild to moderate. Others, such as those associated with insect vectors (bee stings), can be severe and life-threatening. These are called anaphylactic reactions and require immediate medical attention. Wheezing, extreme hives and even unconsciousness often accompany these extreme allergic responses.
Dealing with allergies
If you suspect you have allergies in one form or other, seek the advice of Wake Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists and Wake Sinus Center in Cary for an allergy consultation with Dr. Gupta and his team of experts.
Dr. Gupta will review your symptoms, possible triggers and medical history. Often he performs in-office allergy testing in the form of pin tests (scratches on the skin which expose the body to minute amounts of possible allergens). Intradermal testing, injections of suspected allergen placed under the skin, is another method of honing in on allergic triggers and their severity.
Decongestants and antihistamine medications are common treatments for allergies. Allergy shots, desensitizing shots given at regular intervals, help control symptoms as well.
Of course, lifestyle adjustments can help, too. They may include:
- Staying indoors on high pollen count days
- Wearing a particle mask when doing housework or other dusty chores
- Washing hands and face after coming in from the outdoors
- Keeping a written log of symptoms, including foods you think you may be sensitive to
- Taking your medicine with you to school, work, the gym and especially on vacation
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America states that one our of every five people in the United States have some form of allergies. So, you won't be alone in pursuing treatment and making changes in your habits to help control them.
Day to day life with allergies
You can manage your allergies, and Dr. Gupta and his team are more than happy to help you. For an individualized consultation, please call Wake Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists and Wake Sinus Center at (913) 851-5636.
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