Paul E. Lapco, MD
Otolaryngologist located in Pompano Beach, FL
More than 7% of all children and adults suffer from hay fever. When you add other types of allergies to the numbers, they add up to allergies being the sixth-leading cause of chronic illness. At Dr. Paul Lapco, ENT, in Pompano Beach, Florida, you receive personalized allergy care. From allergy testing to immunotherapy, Paul Lapco, MD, customizes your treatment to provide relief from your allergy symptoms. To schedule an appointment, call the office or use the online booking system today.
What causes allergies?
Allergies begin when your immune system mistakenly labels a safe substance as something that’s harmful. Every time you encounter that substance, it triggers an immune response. Then your body releases chemicals like histamines that cause your allergy symptoms.
Some of the most common allergens include:
- Pollen (grasses, trees, flowers, weeds)
- Poison ivy, poison oak, and sumac
- Mold spores
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
- Food proteins
- Insect venom
Many medicines can also cause allergies, including penicillin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
What symptoms do allergies cause?
Your specific symptoms depend on the type of allergen. The most common include:
- Runny nose
- Congested nose
- Red, watery eyes
- Itchy nose and eyes
- Scratchy throat
- Skin rash
Airborne allergens such as pollen, mold, and dust primarily affect your nose, eyes, and throat. However, allergies to insects, latex, and medicine may cause a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.
Symptoms occur rapidly during an anaphylactic reaction, causing swelling in your tongue and throat, difficulty breathing, dizziness, and fainting. Anaphylaxis requires immediate, emergency medical care.
How do ENT specialists diagnose an allergy?
Dr. Lapco begins by reviewing your medical history and symptoms and performing a physical exam. If your symptoms suggest an allergy, he does a skin prick test to identify your specific allergens.
During your test, Dr. Lapco places a small drop of several allergens on your arm and pricks the skin below each one. You wait in the office for about 15 minutes. During that time, you develop a minor skin reaction if you’re allergic to any of the allergens.
Skin prick tests are quick and accurate. But in some cases, Dr. Lapco may do another type of test such as a blood test.
How do ENT specialists treat an allergy?
Allergy treatment begins by creating a plan to limit exposure to your allergens. You may also need to take over-the-counter medicines such as antihistamines and nasal decongestants to relieve your symptoms.
If your allergies cause problems like chronic sinusitis, an in-office procedure like balloon sinuplasty provides long-lasting relief.
When your allergy symptoms don’t improve or are severe, Dr. Lapco may recommend allergy shots. Allergy shots contain a precise dose of your allergen. As you get a series of allergy shots, your immune system gradually stops reacting to the allergen. Over time, your allergy symptoms significantly improve or disappear.
If you suffer from allergy symptoms, call Dr. Paul Lapco, ENT, or book an appointment online today.