More than 40% of the population suffers from allergy of one form or another during their life-time. With advances in allergy diagnosis and treatment, we may be able to say good-bye to allergies. The answer may lie in Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT).

One may be unaware of the allergies because allergy is called by different names when it affects different parts of the body. For example nose (allergic rhinitis), eyes (allergic conjunctivitis), lungs (asthma), skin (eczema, urticaria).

Many put up with the suffering thinking nothing can be done for it. The advance in allergy treatment has changed all this. By identifying the trigger (allergen) of the allergy, much can be done to relieve the symptoms.

Dust mite can trigger allergy in the eyes, nose, lungs (asthma) and skin. After confirming dust mite allergy, one can reduce the exposure by changing the environment. If this is not sufficient, then medication such as antihistamine and nasal spray will help. Newer generation of these medications have much less side effects than older ones. The medication provides a good control of the symptoms. However, the problem can recur after cessation of medication.

Now with the use of immunotherapy (SLIT), we can target the cause of the allergy ie the dust mite. Given as drops under the tongue, this acts like a vaccine protecting your body against the dust mite. Studies have shown long term relief of up to 10 years even after stopping the SLIT.

With accurate diagnosis and appropriate management, one need not surrender or suffer the effects of allergies.

Snoring: More than a Social Nuisance

Snoring is part and parcel of sleeping. While one may deny it, snoring happens in every individual. While snoring is not abnormal, loud snoring may indicate a more sinister underlying medical problem.

Snoring when associated with apnoea is linked to high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes and strokes. When apnoea (stop breathing) takes place repeatedly during sleep, the oxygen in our body drops. This deprivation results in effects on the brain and heart. The resulting symptoms are tiredness in the day, lack of concentration, increase blood pressure; frequent toilet visits during sleep, periodic limb movements amongst others. In the US, those with severe sleep apnoea has been linked with an increase mortality of 30% when followed up over 9 years.

By making an early diagnosis, one can modify the long-term outcomes. A consultation with an ear, Nose & Throat doctor will determine the cause of your snoring. Some of the causes can be managed medically such as allergies and sinusitis.

Endoscopy of the nose and throat is performed in the clinic to determine the structure of the upper airways and the possible potential area. If needed a home-based sleep study will be organized. The latest sleep studies equipment are comfortable and easy to use.

In recent years, newer minimally invasive techniques such as Radiofrequency treatment to the nose, palate, & tongue, Pillar implant, Palate reshaping under local anesthesia in clinic has brought relief to patients with snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnoea. In individuals with more severe apnoea, surgical intervention may be necessary. For some, CPAP machines can also bring about relief.

Snoring may not be as benign or just a nuisance as it sounds. If severe, do encourage your spouse or bed partners to have an evaluation and treatment to avert medical complications in future.

Book an appointment with HealthSense Specialist Dr. YT Pang to look at your ENT problems and get cured.