Advanced Sinus and Allergy Center
Nadia Caballero, M.D.
Sinus Specialist located in Park Ridge, IL
Sneezing? Coughing? Runny nose? Wouldn’t it be nice to be free of seasonal allergies for good? Dr. Nadia Caballero of Advanced Sinus and Allergy Center specializes in lasting treatments like immunotherapy to reprogram your immune system so that you no longer have allergic symptoms when exposed to tree, grass and weed pollen, dust mite, molds, and animal dander. She even offers an allergy treatment you can perform in the convenience of your own home. If you’re ready to get rid of your allergy symptoms, call or schedule a consultation online with Dr. Caballero at the Park Ridge, Illinois, office.
Seasonal Allergies Q & A
What are seasonal allergies?
Seasonal allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to something in the environment. Seasonal allergies cause sneezing, coughing, post-nasal drainage and a runny nose. This commonly happens in the spring, summer, or fall when certain trees and plants pollinate. Some allergy symptoms can occur all year round. These are called Perennial Allergies and occur as a result of dust mites, molds, cat and dog dander, and even cockroaches.
Not all cases of sneezing, coughing, and runny nose are caused by allergies. Some patients may have Non-Allergic Rhinitis, which is caused by environmental agents like cigarette smoke, smoke from campfires and fireplaces, spicy and hot foods like soup and cold temperatures.
How are seasonal allergies treated?
Dr. Caballero begins by taking a detailed medical history, examining you, and evaluating your symptoms. Next, she may recommend a skin test or a blood test to determine what type of allergen is causing your symptoms.
The first step in allergy management is avoidance. Dr. Caballero will develop a personalized avoidance plan for you and outline measures you should implement to decrease exposure to the specific allergens that cause your symptoms.
Dr. Caballero will also prescribe medications, such as topical steroid sprays like Nasonex ® or Rhinocort®, topical antihistamines like Astelin® and leukotriene modifiers like Singulair® to reduce symptoms like a stuffy, runny nose and sneezing. For lasting relief, she may suggest immunotherapy to build up your body’s own tolerance to allergens.
What is immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy is a treatment option for allergies that is based on exposing your body to small amounts of the antigen you are allergic to (like dust mites and pollen), and gradually increasing the amount to reprogram your immune system. Traditionally, Subcutaneous Immunotherapy (SCIT), commonly referred to as allergy shots, were the only available form of immunotherapy. However, more recently other modalities have been developed, such as Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) tablets and drops. Advanced Sinus and Allergy Center offers all immunotherapy options and will work with you to choose the best treatment option for you.
- Subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT): allergy shots are administered during a weekly visit to Advanced Sinus and Allergy Center. After the shot, you’ll wait in the office 20-30 minutes before going home. The shots are safe and effective, with a 90% success rate at relieving allergic symptoms. Symptoms usually improve within 12 weeks. You will need 3-5 years of treatment to achieve lasting benefits.
- Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT): This allergy treatment is performed at home, and it is given as tablets or drops under your tongue. SLIT is just as effective as SCIT and safer since it is associated with 10 times less the risk of anaphylaxis when compared to SCIT. It works on all the same allergens, including weeds, grass, trees, and dust mites. With the drops, you’ll typically begin with one drop the first day, increasing to five drops on the fifth day. You will stay at five drops per day to maintain the effectiveness of the treatment. Some of the tablets are taken all year round, while others are started 3-4 months before that, particularly during allergy season. Similarly to allergy shots, the drops and tablets need to be taken for 3-5 years to be effective.
If seasonal allergies are affecting your quality of life and you are ready to breathe better and enjoy life again, call or book a consultation online today with Advanced Sinus and Allergy Center to be free of allergy symptoms.