Welcome to Topeka Ear, Nose & Throat

Allergy Testing & Treatment

Allergy Role in Our Practice

Allergy testing and treatment plays a very important role in your care at Topeka ENT.  Allergies (chronic or even seemingly mild allergies) can cause prolonged ear and respiratory illness that can last months, years and even a lifetime.  If poorly managed, can lead to more serious problems- including sinusitis, ear infections, and bronchitis.

Most people are aware of the classic symptoms of allergic rhinitis such as a stuffy nose, watery eyes, scratchy throat, repeat sneezing and coughing, watery nasal discharge, postnasal drip, headaches, epistaxis (nosebleed), and even recurrent sinus infections.  The ears can feel plugged and pop frequently (eustachian tube dysfunction).  Fluid can build up in the ear causing an ear infection.  Occasionally, even the inner ear can become involved, resulting in dizziness and nerve-type hearing loss.  This nasal inflammation can also affect the throat.  Thick nasal mucus can slide down the back of the nose, causing cough and throat clearing.

Continuously swallowing this abnormal mucus can make the throat sore and can even cause nausea.  Allergies can also cause symptoms in the lower airway, the vocal cords, windpipe, or the lungs.  Symptoms from these areas include prolonged sore throats, hoarseness (laryngitis), and bouts of coughing (bronchial asthma). Hidden allergies can cause a wide variety of ENT disorders, some of which may even need surgery.  This is why allergy consideration is especially important.

At Topeka Ear, Nose and Throat we make a special effort to determine what role allergies are playing in your ENT problem and we look forward to meeting and discussing your allergy and sinus problems.

Ear, Nose & Throat specialists focus on the head and neck and the complex medical conditions affecting these areas—and that naturally includes allergies. Aside from the sneezing and itchy eyes, there are actually many head and neck complaints that can be caused in part by allergies. So going to a head and neck specialist just makes good sense.

Ear problems such as middle ear problems and Meniere's disease have an allergic or immune component. What’s more, nearly every patient with chronic sinusitis or nasal polyposis has some allergic causation.

An otolaryngologist is uniquely qualified to determine the combination of both medical and surgical treatments in these complex patients. In addition, many children with upper airway issues, including adenoid and tonsil issues, have allergies that contribute to these problems.

Over the last decade or so, our specialty has come to understand that in order to treat the whole patient, one must treat the entire airway leading to the concept of the unified airway. Bottom line? When you or your family member sees one of the otolaryngologists of Topeka Ear Nose and Throat, the entire airway can be addressed looking at nasal symptoms, laryngeal symptoms, along with asthma.

Have You Heard About Allergy Drops?

Topeka ENT now offers Allergy Drops, a new and ultra-convenient form of treating seasonal and environmental allergies.

The medical term for allergy drops is sublingual immunotherapy, or SLIT, because this type of immunotherapy involves putting drops of allergen extracts under the tongue. This form of immunotherapy has been used for years in Europe, and recently has had increased interest in the United States. While it is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States, it is an extremely safe therapy with well-documented success.

How Are Allergy Drops Taken?

Generally, allergy drops are administered daily, or multiple times per week, over a period of years. The unique advantage is that you are able to self-administer the allergy drops at home. Studies have looked at giving allergy drops before a pollen season, during a pollen season, both, or year-round. Every patient responds differently.

AllergyVialsHow Effective Are Allergy Drops?

SLIT appears to be effective in the treatment of allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis and allergic asthma. Young children have been shown to tolerate and benefit from SLIT, as have older adults. Pregnant women, as is considered the general rule of thumb for allergy shots, can continue SLIT during pregnancy, but should not start the therapy while pregnant. Patients with severe asthma may need to be monitored more closely on SLIT, since asthma symptoms can worsen with SLIT.

Most studies on SLIT have focused on people with one type of allergy, such as grass or dust mite allergy. Patients with multiple allergies, such as to molds, pollens, pet dander and dust mite may not be good candidates for SLIT, given the large volume of different allergen extracts that would need to be taken.

Let's Talk About It...

Every patient's condition, health status and lifestyle needs are different. The best way to determine if allergy drops (SLIT) are right for you is to talk with your Topeka ENT physician. Let the front desk know that you want to discuss allergy drops and we'll set up a consultation at your convenience.