Don’t suffer with allergies … help is available
Nasal allergies affect approximately 50 million Americans, and the numbers are rising. Today, allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S., affecting about 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children.
If you’re one of those allergy sufferers, you know how difficult it can be to struggle with seasonal or returning nasal allergies and hay fever – the coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat and in severe cases, rashes, hives, difficulty breathing or even asthma attacks. It can be especially challenging in the Bay Area; Houston is ranked among the top 50 U.S. “Allergy Capitals” by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
“For some people, allergies are just a temporary inconvenience,” says Falanda Limar-Troutman, DO, MS, a board-certified family medicine specialist at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital. “But for others, allergies have a definite, lasting impact on their quality of life, and with a complicating issue such as asthma, can be very serious.”
Limar says there is relief for allergic diseases.
“We have a number of treatment options available today – including both prescription and over-the-counter medications – that can make a significant difference in managing allergies,” she says. “But because it can take time to find the right combination of therapies, it can be challenging to navigate on your own. Working with your physician is the best way to pinpoint your specific triggers and identify the proper course of treatment for your symptoms.”
A common condition seen with allergies is chronic sinusitis, or inflammation/infection of the sinuses. Allergens cause inflammation in the sinuses, which often leads to a secondary bacterial infection and the resulting fever, pain, swelling, cloudy nasal discharge, coughing and sore throat.
Balloon sinuplasty is a relatively new procedure than can help relieve the ongoing inflammation and pain associated with chronic sinusitis, says board-certified otolaryngologist and surgeon Melissa Hu, MD, of Houston Methodist St. John Hospital.
“Using a flexible balloon catheter, we open up the sinus passages, enabling the mucus and fluids that have built up over time to drain more easily,” Hu says. “This is a highly effective procedure that can be performed in my office under local anesthesia. Most patients return to work in a day or two. It’s ideal for allergy sufferers who have chronic sinus pain and frequent infections.”
On Wednesday, March 28, from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m., Drs. Limar-Troutman and Hu will discuss new techniques and therapies for treating allergies and chronic sinusitis. Limar will discuss allergy symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. Hu will explain balloon sinuplasty and other procedures that may eliminate chronic sinusitis. The event will be held in the main lobby at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital in Nassau Bay. Light refreshments will be served. Please register at houstonmethodist.org/events or call 281.333.8899.