Allergies can cause discomfort and displeasure to those who suffer from them, especially during seasons in which allergens seem to be everywhere. While avoiding the things that trigger an allergic response, those that are allergic to grass, pollen, etc. can't just stay inside dusting for the rest of their lives.
Aside from taking over the counter allergy medication during the season that triggers your allergies the most, there are long-term solutions that can relieve your symptoms and remove the thought of allergies from your mind.
Allergy shots are a form of immunotherapy, in which patients receive weekly injections that contain a small amount of the allergen. This slowly builds the patient's immunity to the allergen, so that eventually, it is no longer a concern. The treatment takes place over the course of three to five years, with doses becoming less frequent toward the end of the treatment protocol.
While the treatment itself can be very effective when the plan is properly followed, committing to the plan is a challenge. To see results, you must be willing to visit a doctor's office every week for the span of up to five years. After getting the shot, you must wait for 20 minutes before leaving the office to ensure there are no adverse reactions to the allergen. Many people fail to complete the treatment protocol and are resigned to their condition.
Allergy drops are another option for minimally invasive long-term solutions when it comes to allergy relief. Similar to allergy shots, this treatment protocol is a form of immunotherapy. Unlike allergy shots, the drops are self-administered sublingually– you place the drops under your tongue.
The main benefit of allergy drops is the accessibility. Rather than committing to traveling to a doctor's office on a weekly basis, you administer the drops yourself every day. As with taking any medication, it can be challenging to remember at first. If you go this route, be sure to keep your drops somewhere you can't miss them or set a daily alarm until you get into a routine.
Balloon Sinuplasty is another minimally invasive solution, though more substantial than taking drops or shots. During this procedure, a small balloon is inserted into the sinuses. The balloon is then inflated for a few seconds, and finally deflated and withdrawn. The procedure opens the sinuses and allows for better airflow.
As the procedure requires a local anesthetic and can cause some discomfort, patients may be required to take a few days off work. However, the procedure does not include any cutting or stitches, a general anesthetic is not necessary, and patients return to normal quite quickly. This option is great for those who suffer from continuous headaches and recurring symptoms despite medication.
Sinus and Nasal Surgery
When nothing else works, an invasive, surgical procedure is an option to consider. What takes place during sinus and nasal surgery is specific to the needs of the patient. For example, tissue removal to open the airways, septum correction, and polyp removal are some of the steps that might be taken during the operation.
Sinus and nasal surgery is an option to consider if you have had a broken nose, sleep apnea, chronic sinus headaches, and drainage issues. Depending on the extent of your procedure, you may or may not require stitches, packing, and pain medication. You may also require significant time off work. All of these concerns can be addressed with your physician before the procedure.
Life Without Allergies
By considering a long-term solution, you are working toward a life free of allergies. In the meantime, remember to take steps to purify the air in your home and avoid potential triggers. Dust the surfaces in your home on a regular basis. Consider using a humidifier to offset issues caused by dry air. Remember to wash fabrics, like curtains and blankets, frequently in hot water. These small steps will help limit the effects of your allergies until you can commit to a long-term solution.