Allergens Are Everywhere
Allergies are the immune system’s response of controlling contaminants that enter our bodies. When breathing in an allergen, such as pollen or pet dander, the nose will begin to produce extra mucus to flush it out of the nasal passages. The eyes react in a similar way, tearing up in an effort to rid the eyes of similar irritants. There are other more serious immune responses, like swelling or anaphylaxis, to contaminants that may be ingested or even touched. In many patients, allergens are unavoidable as they can be present indoors, outdoors, and even in foods.
Treating Allergies as a Medical Concern
In some cases allergies are a nuisance to everyday life, and in others they pose life-threatening concerns. The continuum of reactions is sometimes unknown, as people may be exposed to an allergen for the first time, or may progressively build antigens that eventually cause a serious reaction. Patient safety should be every doctor’s primary concern, and Dr. Rubinstein feels it is of utmost importance to address these concerns prior to undergoing an allergy treatment or facial plastic surgery.
The doctor can arrange for patients to undergo a two-part allergy test that will be performed through a series of injections, introducing them to indoor, outdoor, airborne, and food allergens. Once Dr. Rubinstein recognizes what the patient is allergic to, he can set up a treatment plan to include allergy shots. This is referred to as immunotherapy, and the injections will be performed on a weekly basis for about one year. Each week, the allergen will be injected at a higher dose than the previous week, until the body produces blocking antigens. At the end of treatment, patients will find that their allergies have mostly or completely subsided. As maintenance, patients may require continued shots every two to four weeks until determined otherwise. The effects of allergy shots are similar to those of a vaccine, where the body is introduced to something harmful and trains the immune system to attack the invading agent without producing the symptoms of an attack.
The majority of patients – 80% – are fully treated and require no additional shots after just a few years. Allergy shots tend to be more effective than medications, which can cause side effects like sleepiness or dizziness, and patients may eventually become immune to medication. Because allergy shots are tailored to address the individual’s specific allergens and the treatment plan is cumulative, this method is medically preferred.
When undergoing allergy shots, it is important that patients are able to adhere to a shot schedule. By remaining regular, the body operates on the immunotherapy system and consistently builds up a tolerance of the injected allergens. In the same way birth control, insulin, and other injections are performed on a scheduled basis, the same consideration is important for allergy sufferers.
Other Allergy Treatments
Doctor Rubinstein, a prominent facial plastic surgeon of the Hudson Valley, New York, area, also specializes in a number of other treatments. The doctor has a desire to treat patients’ health to alleviate medical concerns, while also beautifying areas of the face they seek to improve. It was through septoplasty that the doctor recognized how variations in anatomy could pose serious health problems for patients.
Septoplasty is one surgery that merges patient health with facial plastics. Often, a deviation in the bone and cartilage separating the two airways creates breathing issues and causes recurring sinus infections, regular snoring, and a host of other health concerns. Because the septum can be moved off-center through physical trauma, and commonly is, the exterior of the nose may appear crooked or asymmetrical. A combined septoplasty surgery and rhinoplasty surgery effectively straightens the septum, alleviating some or all of these health issues, while also repairing the structure and shape of the nose.
The doctor was the first in the Hudson Valley to perform balloon sinuplasty nearly a decade ago. This minimally invasive treatment widens the sinus cavities and flushes them with a sterile solution. While this may be effective in treating some patients, others benefit from the long-term approach of immunotherapy. It is an effective cleanse of the sinuses, but will not prevent future allergy attacks from recurring.
About Dr. Rubinstein
Doctor Rubinstein has been a staple in the Hudson Valley medical community for nearly two decades. The doctor is an expert in cosmetic laser treatments, facial plastic surgery, and nasal and sinus disorders. He incorporates his artistry and medical abilities to provide patients with improved features, often in both appearance and function. Doctor Rubinstein is double board certified through the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. He is a member of the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery, and is an Assistant Professor at New York Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.
Visit his websites below:
The Hudson Valley Sinus Center – focusing on patient sinus and nasal disorders, as well as treatment plans
Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists, PC – the doctor’s cosmetic practice, dedicated to patient aesthetics