Persistent cough, sinus pressure, itchy and watery eyes… if these symptoms sound familiar, you might have allergies.
How do you know it’s time to see an allergy specialist in Northern Virginia? What if you need an ENT instead? Here’s what you need to know to make the right decision for your health.
Allergists vs. ENTs: What’s the Difference?
An allergist, also known as an immunologist, is a physician that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of both common and rare allergies, immunologic disorders, and asthma in all ages. While allergies can be harmless and resolve naturally, there are times where they become serious or persistent, requiring medical attention.
An ENT is an ears, nose, and throat surgeon, specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions relating to these areas, as well as the head and neck. They are also able to treat both common and rare conditions in all ages.
Often, ENTs and allergists are paired together in your care team when facing sinus issues, allergies, ear-related conditions, and other conditions. Ultimately, you should see an allergist first for the least invasive treatment options.
What Are Signs You Should See an Allergist?
While an allergist and an ENT will often cross paths, they’re responsible for different conditions at the end of the day. If you’re still not sure which one is right for you, then it’s time to see an allergist for these reasons:
- Allergy testing
- Asthma, shortness of breathing or wheezing
- Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
- Changes in voice, especially hoarseness
- Chronic cough
- Chronic or recurring sinus infections
- Difficulty breathing through nose
- Ear fullness or popping
- Ear, sinus or facial pressure
- Food allergies, suspected or confirmed
- Itching in back of throat or ears
- Itchy, watery, and / or red eyes
- Nasal congestion
- Persistent sneezing
- Recurrent bronchitis
- Recurrent throat clearing
- Runny nose or post nasal drainage
- Seasonal allergies
These are just a few of the issues your allergist can assist you with. Even if your concern is as simple as over-the-counter allergy medicine no longer working, it can be life changing to see how an allergy specialist can help.
What Are Signs You Should See an ENT?
Can’t relate to the reasons you’d need to visit an allergist but still have some concerns relating to similar areas? Here’s what an ENT can help you with:
- Any allergy issues that may be resolved with surgery when conservative methods have failed
- Balance issues
- Cancer or tumors in head or neck
- Chronic sinusitis
- Cleft palate
- Deviated septum
- Difficulty breathing with nose and / or mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
- Ear infections, recurring or otherwise
- Issues with hearing
- Nerve injury, pain, numbness, or other problems in ears, nose, or throat
- Nosebleeds, especially persistent
- Speech disorders
- Sleep disorders, especially sleep apnea
- Swimmer’s ear
- Voice problems
Whether your problems are better suited for an ENT or allergy specialist in Northern Virginia, what matters is that you’re taking control of your health and playing it safe rather than sorry. If an ENT is unable to help, they’ll refer you to an allergist, and vice versa.
Choose the #1 Allergy Specialist in Northern Virginia Today for Help With All of Your Allergy Needs!
Not certain if an ENT or allergist is right for you? You’re in luck! ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery covers a wide range of issues, ranging from audiology to allergies to ears, nose, and throat care. We even offer aesthetic services such as cosmetic rhinoplasty!
We take pride in offering both surgical and non-surgical solutions for our patients of all ages, including pediatric and eldery care. Schedule your appointment with our expert team today by calling 703-448-0005!