Because so many people have an easily avoided food allergy or a comparatively mild airborne allergy, it’s easy to forget about the millions of people who struggle with serious and chronic allergy problems. Nasal allergies alone afflict 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children. One of the most common problems arises from the fact that pollen’s protein sequence is very similar to the protein sequence of many parasites. That said, each individual has a unique profile of allergens and allergic reactions. Some of them are quite serious and debilitating. Going too long without treatment can even cause a dangerous anaphylactic reaction. Even if you’re getting breath, the feeling that you can’t breathe is going to limit your ability to function on an everyday level.
What’s more, allergies and allergy season are getting worse as time goes on. Global warming is having myriad effects on the planet, people, and other living organisms. What tends to get short thrift is the longer growing season that a lot of plant life is now enjoying. Certainly, there are positive consequences to the longer growing season, but allergy relief isn’t among them. (Not to mention the extra generations of bugs that are spawned given the short gestation period of most insects.) More to this point, how bad allergy season is closely follows the difference between seasonal weather and long-term climate. While any particular year may not be especially bad, allergy season is definitely getting worse as an overall trend that moves in lock step with climate change.
The silver lining is that new medical technologies and health providers are stepping up to provide relief and take aim at some of the root causes of nasal allergies, sinus infections, ear infections, and other ear-nose-throat (ENT) health problems. It’s not like the study and treatment of these health problems are new exactly. Otolaryngology has been around since the 1800s. The American Board of Otolaryngology was founded in 1924, and the first generation of ENT doctors burst on to the scene not long after.
Advanced immunotherapies can help with discrete allergic reactions and long-term relief, while antihistamines, steroids, and EPI pens can be used depending on chronic or acute the reaction is that you’re trying to manage. More than advanced treatments, however, new technologies include much more efficient ways to achieve the same results. The FDA recently approved a much faster method for allergy testing.
Here in Colorado, we are home to one of the most fantastic hospitals, National Jewish Hospital, when it comes to breathing, pulmonary issues, and how allergies ties into them. A very academic institution that is recognized throughout the world and receives patients from all over the world. If you aren’t able to get in there, Rocky Mountain Urgent Care’s Allergy Care Center is a top notch local answer if you or your insurance can’t manage to get into Jewish.
It’s not just the medical technologies, either. Managed care networks and individual providers are also taking their game to the next level. Urgent care centers—which already treat a range of acute allergic reactions, ear and sinus infections, and other sinus-related problems—also provide health services for more chronic allergy sufferers. Some of these urgent care clinics have even established dedicated allergy care centers within their practice. There also an increasing number of providers who specialize in nothing but allergy, asthma, and sinus care services. BreatheAmerica is one example with locations in Albuquerque, NM, Shreveport, LA, and Bossier City, LA.