Treating Your Allergies. Easing Your Mind.
If you live with allergies, each day can seem full of health challenges. Staying alert to certain foods or staying indoors to avoid pollen or other allergens can disrupt your life and keep you from activities you enjoy.
And, if you also have asthma, anxiety over the possibility of life-threatening attacks can overwhelm you.
That’s why AdventHealth Ottawa, formerly Ransom Memorial Health, has created an allergy care program and a network of allergy specialists to make your life easier, healthier and safer.
We’ve Got Your Allergies and Asthma Covered
- Food Allergies
Allergic reactions to food can be mild or so serious they put your life at risk. Some food allergies result in itchy skin or tingling around your mouth, hives, diarrhea or vomiting. In the most severe reactions, swelling closes your airways making it impossible to breathe. This is called anaphylaxis.
While food allergies can’t be cured, we can help you avoid them or minimize your symptoms. If you’ve had a severe reaction to a food, our AdventHealth Ottawa doctors will prescribe a medicine called epinephrine. It’s important to keep this medicine with you at all times, since you may accidentally eat a food that causes anaphylaxis.
- Hay Fever
Allergies to pollens are often called hay fever. They happen in the spring, summer and fall when plants release their tiny grains of pollen into the air. If you have hay fever, you’re likely experiencing:
- Bouts of sneezing
- Itchy eyes
- Runny or clogged nose
As part of your care plan, the allergy experts at AdventHealth Ottawa will help you determine which types of pollen are causing your hay fever. This information will help you know how to avoid the allergic reaction. We can also prescribe medications to relieve your symptoms and treat any complications, such as sinusitis or ear infections.
- Nasal and Sinus Polyps
Polyps are small, soft growths that can develop on the lining of your nose or sinuses. They’re not cancerous, and if they’re small may not cause problems. However, some polyps become large enough to block your sinuses or nose. This can make it hard to breathe and may cause a sinus infection.
If your nose feels blocked or you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste, you may have nasal or sinus polyps. A runny or stuffy nose without having a cold is another sign. AdventHealth Ottawa’s allergy specialists will determine the best treatment for your polyps, which may include nasal sprays, allergy medicines or corticosteroids — or for very large polyps, surgery to remove them.
- Postnasal Drip
We all have mucus that moistens and cleans the lining of our nasal passages. But if you feel mucus draining from the back of your nose into your throat, you may have postnasal drip. It can cause you to clear your throat repeatedly and swallow frequently. Your speech may sound raspy and your throat can feel sore and irritated.
The allergy and asthma care team at AdventHealth Ottawa will help determine what’s causing your postnasal drip and recommend the most effective treatment. This can include medications, nasal sprays, nasal rinses or decongestants. In some cases an antihistamine can help, and most people with this condition benefit from drinking more water.
- Sinus Infections
Headache, cough and tenderness in your face are symptoms of sinus infection (sinusitis). Regardless of how you get it — from a lingering cold, your allergies or some other factor —sinus infections can impact your whole health when they become a chronic problem.
The allergy and asthma experts at our Ottawa hospital can diagnose your sinusitis quickly and prescribe medications if necessary. We’ll also explain home care that can help relieve your symptoms, such using nasal rinses and a humidifier.
Some cases of sinusitis don’t respond to short-term treatment and need more extensive care. Our ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists, also called otolaryngologists, are expert at treating these chronic sinus infections.
- Sore Throat
A sore throat is a common symptom of colds, allergies and sinus infections. But some sore throats can be more serious. You should see your doctor if your:
- Breathing become labored or you have trouble swallowing
- Ears ache
- Face or neck become swollen
- Fever exceeds 101 degrees F
- Joints hurt
These symptoms could mean you have an infection or other condition that needs to be treated. Your care team will work with you to determine what’s causing your sore throat and recommend the most effective treatment. It’s also a good idea to drink more fluids and use a humidifier in your bedroom.