Don’t let allergies ruin your ability to enjoy the glorious spring weather!
Springtime can be absolutely lovely. It’s a time to say goodbye to the cold winter weather for good, revamp your closet and open the windows. That is, if you don’t suffer from spring allergies. If you are fighting with a runny nose, congestion and watery eyes, then our Frederick and Hagerstown, MD, otolaryngologist, Dr. Kirby Scott, has ways to tackle your allergies this spring.
Know When to Go Outside
While we won’t say that you have to stay cooped up all spring (because what’s the fun in that?), you may want to avoid going outdoors on particularly blustery days or very early in the morning, particularly if you are allergic to pollen. Wearing sunglasses may also be able to protect your eyes from the nasty effects of pollen. Once you come in from your outdoor excursion, whether it’s running errands or spending time in your garden, make sure to shower immediately and put your clothes in the laundry to prevent the spread of pollen in your home.
There is some trial and error to figuring out what kinds of medications to take when allergies flare up. The allergy medications that work best for you will really depend on your symptoms. Have a runny nose? Then opt for an over-the-counter antihistamine. Suffer from some pretty serious allergies? Then it’s time to use a nasal spray. If over-the-counter medications aren’t cutting it, then it’s time to talk to our Frederick and Hagerstown ENT doctor about whether prescription medications or even allergy shots are better suited for your needs.
Turn on the Air Conditioning
While a beautiful spring day may have you desperately wanting to open the windows and enjoy the fresh air, what is blowing around in the air may just cause watery, itchy eyes and other issues. Therefore, it’s best to play it safe and just turn on the air conditioner. We know it won’t be as refreshing as the great outdoors, but your allergies will certainly thank you.
Know How to Clean Your Home
How you clean your home can also affect your allergies. When it comes to shopping around for a vacuum, make sure that you always use one with a HEPA filter. This will help trap a lot of that allergy-causing crud so that you don’t just breathe it in. Make sure to vacuum all furniture, floors, rugs and other surfaces at least once a week.
If you have questions about managing your allergy symptoms then turn to the expert at Central ENT Consultants. Don’t let your allergies get in the way of enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
Waking up one day to find yourself in the midst of an allergy attack is not the most exciting way to realize that spring is in the air. Luckily, your otolaryngologists can help you narrow down what causes your allergies, manage your symptoms, and find the best treatment option for you. Find out more about allergies and how your doctor can help with Central ENT Consultants with offices in Hagerstown and Frederick, MD.
What causes allergies?
Allergies occur when your body’s immune system mistakenly overreacts to an allergen or a substance which causes an allergic reaction. The allergens could be anything from certain foods to pollen to dust or mold. However, the body’s reaction is often the same. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- red, watery eyes
- runny or stuffy nose
- itchy eyes
- shortness of breath
- an itchy red rash (hives)
Allergic reactions to food often produce symptoms like itchy or tingling mouth, abdominal pain or discomfort, hives, swelling of the face, including the lips, throat, and tongue, and wheezing.
Allergy Testing in Hagerstown and Frederick, MD
Avoiding allergens is the best way to avoid the allergic reactions that come with them. You must, however, know exactly which allergens to avoid for this method to work. Allergy testing uses a process of elimination to determine what substances you are allergic to. Most allergy testing occurs in the form of a scratch test. This test involves placing tiny amounts of allergens onto the skin, then scratching the skin to allow it to enter. If the skin reacts to the substance, you are allergic to it. If there is no reaction, you do not have an allergy to that substance. Allergy testing can also take the form of a blood test to search for the presence of antibodies produced by your body to fight off the allergen.
Treating allergies begins with avoiding the allergen itself. For example, if your doctor finds you to be allergic to cats, avoiding homes with cats in them can keep your allergic reactions away. Since simply avoiding allergens is not always possible, especially with allergens like pollen or grass, oral antihistamines can help get your allergic reaction under control. Nasal sprays are also helpful in managing allergy symptoms.
For more information on allergies, please contact Dr. Kirby Scott at Central ENT Consultants at their offices in Hagerstown and Frederick, MD. Call (301) 739-0400 to schedule your appointment at the Hagerstown location or (301) 694-9111 to schedule your appointment at the Frederick location today!
How your ENT specialists in Hagerstown and Frederick can help
Loud snoring can be more than just annoying; it can be a sign of a serious sleep condition known as sleep apnea. If you do have sleep apnea, the condition can shorten your life, which is why it’s so important to visit your ear, nose and throat specialists if you have loud, chronic snoring. Your ENT specialists at Central ENT Consultants want to help. They have offices in Hagerstown and Frederick, MD, to serve your needs.
If you snore, you’re not alone. In fact, 37 million Americans snore on a regular basis, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Estimates from the foundation state that about 50% of people who snore loudly actually have sleep apnea.
In addition to loud snoring, you may notice additional signs of symptoms of sleep apnea which include:
- Headaches in the morning
- Sleepiness and fatigue during the day
- Waking up suddenly with a choking, gasping feeling
- Waking up with a sore throat
What happens when you have sleep apnea is that the soft tissue at the back of your throat relaxes, blocking your airway. When your airway is blocked, oxygen to your brain and vital organs is diminished or cut off completely. Your brain and organs don’t function at full capacity, leading to the possibility of:
- Heart failure
- Memory problems
- Impaired physical and mental function
There are some home remedies to lessen sleep apnea. You can try to:
- Avoid taking sedatives before bed
- Avoid drinking alcohol before bed
- Take a nasal decongestant
- Try sleeping on your side
- Give up smoking
When you visit your ENT specialists at Central ENT Consultants, they may fit you with a Continuous Positive Air Pressure machine, also called a CPAP. The machine contains a nosepiece which fits comfortably over your mouth and nose, providing a continuous flow of oxygen while you sleep.
You don’t have to let loud snoring or sleep apnea control your life. Take control of your sleep and call your ENT specialists at Central ENT Consultants in Hagerstown and Frederick, MD. Call today and sleep well!
Are you afraid that you may have an ear infection? Dr. Kirby Scott, your Hagerstown and Frederick, MD ENT doctor, shares some information about ear infections and explains what you can do to ease your pain.
More than just pain
Ear infections cause several other symptoms in addition to pain. If you have an infection, you may have trouble hearing due to mucus buildup in your inner ear. In some cases, ear infections cause the eardrum to perforate or burst. If this happens, you'll feel mucus draining from your ear. A fever of 101 or 102F is common with ear infections. Everyone doesn't develop a fever with the infection, so if you experience the other symptoms but don't have a fever, you may still have an infection.
Children tend to get more infections than adults due to smaller, more horizontal eustachian tubes. If your child is too young to share their symptoms with you, look for telltale ear infection signs, including fussiness, ear pulling and trouble sleeping. Babies and young children may not want to lie down because the position makes ear pain worse. Ear infections can cause pain when your child chews or swallows. If they aren't interested in eating or nursing, an ear infection may be to blame.
Treatment options in Hagerstown and Frederick
Doctors often use a "wait and see" approach to ear infection treatment to avoid over-prescribing antibiotics. In many cases, ear infections clear up on their own. Until they do, over-the-counter pain medication and warm compresses can reduce pain. If the pain doesn't begin to subside within a few days, your ENT will probably prescribe antibiotics.
The wait and see approach is only used in children six months or older. Babies normally receive antibiotics as soon as they're diagnosed with an ear infection. If your child has frequent ear infections or the infections no longer respond to antibiotics, your doctor may recommend placement of tubes in their ears to equalize pressure in the middle ear.
Don't let an ear infection disrupt your life. If your symptoms aren't getting better or you suffer from frequent infections, call Dr. Scott, your Hagerstown and Frederick, MD ENT doctor, at (301) 739-0400 to schedule an appointment.
Chronic sinus infections, also known as sinusitis, can disrupt your entire life. If medications haven't brought you the relief you need to function, Dr. Kirby Scott, your ear, nose and throat doctor at Central ENT Consultants in Frederick and Hagerstown, MD, may suggest a balloon sinuplasty. If you've never heard of this procedure, you've come to the right place. Discover the functions and advantages of this procedure.
What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses, the air-filled spaces in the front of the skull. People with sinusitis often have headaches, nasal drainage, a cough and a decreased sense of smell. If these symptoms persist for longer than 12 weeks, you've likely visited your ENT and have been diagnosed with chronic sinusitis.
How is chronic sinusitis treated?
Chronic sinusitis is a common condition - affecting about 15% of the population, according to the American Rhinologic Society - that often responds well to medications like analgesics, steroids or nasal irrigation sprays. However, there are people who do not find relief from these conservative methods of treatment. In the past, ENT doctors suggested sinus surgery as a way to drain and clean the sinus cavities. However, this treatment, while effective, requires several incisions and the post-operative recovery time can be lengthy. This is why many ENT doctors, including Dr. Scott in Frederick and Hagerstown, may suggest a balloon sinuplasty as way of treating persistent sinusitis that produces similar results with less side effects.
What is a balloon sinuplasty?
This is a minimally-invasive technique of treating recurrent sinus infections. Through the use of a tiny lighted tube called an endoscope, your ENT inflates a balloon-like catheter to dilate the sinuses and promote drainage. Studies have shown that patients who have received balloon dilations in their sinuses consistently show the same results as those who have had the more invasive sinus surgeries: their symptoms and activity levels improve and they are far less likely to need medication to treat any further sinus-related illnesses.
If you're dealing with chronic sinus pain, pressure and drainage, don't wait any longer. Contact Central ENT Consultants in Frederick and Hagerstown, MD to schedule a consultation with Dr. Scott today!
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