Jain ENT Hospital has started an Allergy Clinic for the diagnosis and treatment of allergy problems. In this age of increasing pollution and rising use of chemicals and pesticides,the incidence of allergic problems has steadily increased. An allergy is a hypersensitivity to foreign substances which are normally harmless but which produce a violent reaction in the allergy sufferer. Allergies are generally the body’s effort to eliminate something it considers unsuitable. Typical allergic reactions are hay fever, migraine, asthma, allergic rhinitis, digestive disturbances, conjunctivitis, urticaria, eczema, recurrent sinusitis and ear infections. Almost any substance can cause allergy in an individual. Common allergens include pollen, dust, moulds, cosmetics and different food items. Jain ENT Hospital has set-up a comprehensive allergy management clinic to help in the diagnosis and treatment of allergy problems. Central to this clinic is the introduction of the Prick test which is now considered to be the standard test for determining the cause of allergy. Once the cause of the allergy is identified it is easy to treat and control the symptoms of the patient. The ideal way to manage an allergy is to avoid the substances that cause the allergic symptoms. It is, therefore, very important to first identify the substances (allergens) causing the allergic reaction. A combination of accurate history, diagnostic tests and treatment modalities, including avoidance of the allergens, medication and immunotherapy will lead to far greater control of this common problem. Most people cannot control the dust conditions where they work or spend their daytime hours, but to a large extent everyone can reduce the dust load from their bedroom. This is the single most important and effective step in treatment. When symptoms suggest an allergy to dust mites, it will be less expensive to see an allergist for testing for the specific allergen than to entirely refurbish the bedroom on the suspicion that dust is at fault.
Methods to control exposure to dust at home:
- Remove any rugs and carpets. For dust-sensitive people, bare hardwood or vinyl floors are preferable. If it is impossible to remove carpeting, a low pile is recommended.
- Clean regularly. Most people spend a third of their lives in the bedroom; therefore, it is necessary to put on a dust mask and vacuum the room vigorously every day, and clean thoroughly every week. Throw rugs are better than carpeting, because they can be washed weekly in hot water. Products that kill mites are available and include benzyl benzoate to decrease the presence of the allergen in carpets.
- Keep humidity low. Avoid humidifiers, because dust mites multiply in a humid environment.
- Dust-proof the bedding. The bed should have mite-proof covers that completely encase the mattress and pillows. This is necessary even if the bedding is new. The pillows and mattresses should be made of fiber or coir rather than cotton.
- Discard any feather or down pillows or quilts. Hypoallergenic pillows and washable blankets are preferable.
- Eliminate other dust-catchers. If possible, remove all upholstered furniture, drapes, old books and newspapers, stuffed animals, even knickknacks. Use wooden or metal chairs, and lightweight fabric curtains.
- Mattresses contain the highest concentration of dust mites, whose primary food source is flakes off human skin. The tiny creatures are also found in pillows, clothing, carpeting and upholstered furniture.