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  • Tejas Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic 512-255-8070
  • Tejas Hearing Aid Center 512-733-8821
  • Tejas Allergy Department 737-210-8507

Breathe On. Sleep. Live On.

ALLERGY AND SINUS

*ALLERGIES ON THE UPSWING*

ALLERGIES CAN DEVELOP AT ANY POINT IN A PERSON’S LIFETIME, but physicians and patients have noticed their increase over the past few years. For respiratory allergies, rising global temperatures caused by climate change are leading to longer allergy seasons and worsened air quality. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, warmer temperatures in the United States between 1995 and 2011 have increased the pollen season by 11 to 27 days. This change allows more common plant-based respiratory allergens, including ragweed and tree pollens, to have a longer growing season, throwing more pollen into the air.

Thanks in part to this uptick, allergies are a common and growing concern:

  • Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. (1)

  • More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. (1)

  • Twelve million physician office visits each year are caused by allergic rhinitis. (2)

  • Allergies cost the United States more than $18 billion annually. (1)

  • Of school-age children worldwide, 40% to 50% are now sensitive to one or more allergens. (3)

  • Immunotherapy decreases symptoms in about 85% of people who have allergic rhinitis. (1)

Sources. 1) American College of Allergy Asthma & Immunology; 2) U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 3) American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

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Allergy Department Hours :

Tuesday - Thursday
9am – 12pm
12pm – 1pm CLOSED
1pm – 4:30pm
***Allergy Shots cannot be given any later than 4:30pm.

Allergy and sinus issues are two of the most common problems impacting individuals across the globe. From sneezing, watery eyes and scratchy throats, to aching or swollen sinus cavities, your allergy and sinus health can have a detrimental impact on your quality of life if not treated. 

How Do I Know My Symptoms Are Allergy Related?

People often think of allergy as only “cedar fever” with sneezing, a runny nose, nasal stuffiness and itchy, watery eyes. However, allergies include a multitude of symptoms.

Some Allergy Symptoms Consist of…

  • Chronic Sinus Problems
  • Excess Nasal and Throat Drainage (Post Nasal Drip)
  • Head Congestion
  • Frequent Colds
  • Hoarse Voice
  • Eczema (Skin Allergies)
  • Recurring Ear Infections
  • Hearing Loss
  • Dizziness
  • Chronic Cough and Asthma
  • *Stomach and Intestinal Problems as well as Excessive Fatigue can be Symptoms of Allergy.

Symptoms of Ear, Nose, and Throat Allergies May Include…

  • Repeated Sneezing
  • Nasal Itching and Rubbing
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Runny Nose
  • Dark Circles Under the Eyes
  • Crease Across Bridge of Nose
  • Frequent Throat Clearing
  • Mouth Breathing
  • Diminished/Lost Sense of Smell/Taste
  • Recurrent and Unexplained Nose Bleeds
  • Recurrent Ear Infections
  • Recurrent Sinus Infections
  • Fluctuating Hearing Loss
  • Chronic Fatigue

Symptoms can range from minor to severe. The greater the frequency and/or amount of exposure to allergens, the more likely the susceptible person will develop an allergic problem that will require treatment.

TESTING WE OFFER AT TEJAS

Skin Prick Multi Testing – A Multi-Test is a sterile, disposable, plastic multiple test head applicator used to administer allergen to the skin. It provides a quick, convenient, and standardized procedure for initial screening. This deposits a small 4mm size drop of allergen onto the skin. There are 9 sets of different aeroallergens on each multi-test that will be placed on the forearms or on the back for smaller or pediatric patients. The sensation is a mild prick and does not break the skin. This will only last for a few seconds and the allergen will stay in place for 30 minutes.

For those patients that cannot remain off of antihistamines, sleep aides or cough suppressants 3-5 days prior to the allergy test, we can offer blood testing for best results.

**We steer more to environmental testing rather than food testing since we can actively treat environmental allergies with medications or immunotherapy. Allergy staff are trained in food allergy and can refer and educate at visit.**

How We Treat Allergies at Tejas :

  • Medication – Various medications can improve or relieve allergy symptoms. This includes over the counter medications, prescription pills, or nasal sprays. Side effects are possible and can be discussed with your physician. Medications may be needed life long, or as long as symptoms persist, but many patients report decreased medication use after immunotherapy begins.
  • Immunotherapy – The only way to change underlying allergic disease is immunotherapy or desensitization, which builds your immune system’s tolerance to allergens over time.  Your treatments are custom formulated based on the results of your allergy tests. This treatment can be administered in 2 forms: allergy injections and sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT).

Immunotherapy We Offer at Tejas:

Allergy Injections: For patients age 6 and over, a series of injections are given weekly for typically a multiple year period. Consistency is critical. Patients are asked to wait a minimum of 20 minutes after receiving injections before leaving the office. Most insurance companies cover injections and the medication vial(s), though co-pays may apply depending on your plan.

Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT): Allergy drops work much like allergy shots, slowly desensitizing you to what causes your allergic reaction/symptoms. They are delivered under your tongue in a liquid form that you can safely take at home. As with allergy shots, most patients taking allergy drops find their treatment takes a few years to complete. Most patients will only need a few office visits each year to assess progress. Because of their safety profile, allergy drops can be an option for all patients including young children. Most insurance companies will not pay for allergy drops.
 

**MUST BE AN ESTABLISHED PATIENT IN ORDER TO RECEIVE ALLERGY TESTING AND TREATMENT**

 

MEET OUR ALLERGY DEPARTMENT SUPERVISOR

Jamie Garcia

Jamie Garcia
Allergy Department Supervisor

Jamie is a certified mixer for immunotherapy and supervises everything within the Allergy Department at Tejas Ear, Nose and Throat, P.A.. She is originally from San Francisco, California and moved to Austin, Texas in 2009 to pursue training in the medical field. Jamie started working at Tejas in 2018 from a practice where she trained alongside board certified allergists for several years. She has extensive experience in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Additionally, she has great experience with PFT and Asthma work up, Medication Allergen Challenges, Food Intolerance vs. Allergy Challenges, RAST, Skin Prick Testing for Food and Environmental Allergens, Intradermal Testing, Crisis Training, and attends AAOA Allergy meetings yearly for the most updated information in Allergy. In her time away from the allergy department she loves exercising, doing yoga, and spending time with her friends and family.

 

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