Information, Symptoms, Treatments and Resources


Be Prepared for Allergy Season


Question 4:

For about 45 years, I've suffered with allergies in the springtime. However, only one half of my head is involved. It is very strange — my right eye and nostril will be bright red and running constantly. My left eye and nostril will be clear and fine. Is this a common occurrence?

Dr. Lily Pien:

Have you had any x-ray studies of your nose? Sometimes a deviated nasal septum can contribute to one-sided symptoms.

Question 5:

 I have been taking allergy shots weekly for two years... the good news is that I no longer have ANY allergy symptoms but the bad news... my asthma seems to be worse than it ever was. Why is this and do you have any suggestions as to what I should do? Should I stop getting the shots?

 Dr. Lily Pien:

I am glad to hear that the allergy shots helped your allergy symptoms. Allergy shots typically help allergic asthma symptoms as well. I would suggest talking to your doctor and determining if your chest symptoms are related to asthma.

Question 6:

Would you please bring up the topic of vasomotor rhinitis — origins, causes, symptoms and how to treat them effectively. Greatly appreciate your response.

Dr. Lily Pien:

Vasomotor rhinitis is considered nonallergic in origin. We believe that some individuals have more sensitive noses than others. Symptoms can be nasal congestion and nasal drainage. Avoidance of triggers for symptoms is helpful and some nasal sprays can be used as well.

Question 7:

Do you find it helpful when patients chart their allergies using a tracker like MedHelp's Allergy Tracker? I've found it helpful, as a patient. I usually e-mail my allergy tracker to my allergist before my appointment.

Dr. Lily Pien:

I find it helpful when patients are able to identify triggers and describe their symptoms. It is also helpful to know what exposures patients have had when their symptoms are better or worse. Also, if the patients have or have not taken their medications on certain days.

Question 8:

Does elevated eosinophils and IgE always mean allergies or could this be indicative of something else? Also, are the lab allergy profiles as reliable as the test performed in an allergist office? I had the lab profiles done and they were all negative except the IgE and elevated Eeosinophils.

Dr. Lily Pien:

This is a complex question. Eosinophils are considered an allergic type cell and IgE is the allergic antibody. Depending upon the clinical symptoms, and which specific organs are involved, increased eosinophils and increased IgE can be allergic. These levels can also indicate inflammation.

Question 9:

Opinion on use of homeopathic meds or saline nasal wash for allergies?

Dr. Lily Pien:

We do advise some patients to use nasal saline rinses to help with nasal secretions. There are medical studies showing benefit with saline rinses.

Question 10:

My children have allergies and I would like to avoid giving them medication for allergy relief if possible. Do you have any suggestions?

Dr. Lily Pien:

Avoidance measures are always recommended to help decrease allergy symptoms. I would suggest determining what your children are allergic to as the first step and then implementing measures to decrease exposures.


Published April 5, 2011 



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