With Spring in full bloom and summer just around the corner, we are seeing more than just tourists arriving here on the Emerald Coast. As is evident by the yellow dust showing up on our cars and, well, everywhere else, allergen levels are on the rise and with them often come an uncomfortable pressure in our heads and noses and itching in our throats. For some, these conditions are a seasonal nuisance, something to just grin and bear for a couple months, but for others, allergies have a serious effect on their overall wellbeing.
In patients whose allergies result in more than a slightly stuffy nose and scratchy voice, seeking help from a medical professional can minimize or completely relieve these symptoms. When it comes to the medical treatment of allergies, most people generally think of Allergists, but did you know there is another type of doctor who can help?
“Otolaryngologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the ear, nose and throat, but otolaryngology is a mouthful, so you’ll most commonly hear us referred to as ENT doctors,” explains White-Wilson ENT physician, Dr. Roger Skiles. “As specialists we are very experienced in treating any type of inflammation or discomfort in these areas and that includes those caused by allergies.”
According to Dr. Skiles, allergy symptoms can often be mistaken for other conditions. Visiting an ENT physician in cases where the symptoms last a long time or are reoccurring can help narrow down the cause.
“Especially this time of year, you will see a lot of patients coming into doctors’ offices complaining of sinus pain and itchy throats,” he explains. “They think it’s nothing but a sinus infection or cold, but many times, there is a greater underlying cause – allergies. We are able to administer tests to patients, exposing them to common allergens and determine which triggers a response. Once we know what is causing the allergic reaction, we can make a plan to offer long term relief or, potentially, prevent symptoms from returning.”
Today, we have more treatment options than ever before, so just because symptoms are reoccurring, doesn’t mean they have to be. If you are experiencing repeated allergy or sinus issues, Dr. Skiles recommends you first talk to your primary care provider so that they can recommend a specialist that is best suited for your needs.
Dr. Roger Skiles is a fellowship-trained Ear, Nose and Throat specialist caring for patients at the White-Wilson Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic in Fort Walton Beach. Dr. Skiles is board-certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and has more than 40 years of experience caring patients. Learn more about Dr. Skiles and his approach to patient care here.