MIDWEST ENT UPDATE 9/29/2020

As we approach fall and winter, we wish to update you on your ear nose and throat health. We recommend that you have your humidifiers inspected and cleaned. If you don't have one, this may be a good time to purchase. When heaters go on, so should humidifiers. In addition, nasal saline sprays and netty pots often times aid in healthy noses and throats. It is becoming increasingly well known how important good nasal breathing is for our overall health. I am sending a link to a recent story aired on CBS News, featuring James Nestor, author of the recent book, "Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art". It is very insightful and I hope you enjoy it.

We continue to take very strict COVID precautions. We have had no cases as a result anyone coming to our office or having surgery with us at Northwestern Hospital.
Flu season is rapidly approaching and strongly encourage the flu vaccine.
We are very pleased with our results of the Inspire(inspiresleep.com)procedure for sleep apnea. This has proven to be an excellent outpatient procedure for those who are not getting good results with CPAP.
As always, we offer a full range of services for your hearing health. We provide the most current technology for testing your hearing and providing the most appropriate hearing aids for each individual.
Please feel free to call the office(312-988-7777) for further information on all of the above or to set up an appointment. You may also send individual emails through our patient portal.

Wishing you all good health and safety,

Gordon J. Siegel, M.D.,FACS
Assistant Clinical Professor
Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery             
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

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  • What Is Pet Dander and Does It Affect My Allergies?
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What Is Pet Dander and Does It Affect My Allergies?

Dander is a common allergen made up of tiny flakes and particles of skin from common household pets like cats, dogs, birds and rodents. Dander is harmless to adults and children who do not suffer from allergies, however people who sneeze and become congested around certain animals might be allergic. Pet allergies can range from mild to severe, with treatment options ranging from over the counterPet dander can cause allergy-like symptoms antihistamines, to prescription medication from an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor.

What You Need to Know About Dander and Pet Allergies

In addition to their skin, fur and feathers, animals like cats and dogs can also trigger allergic reactions in humans through proteins found in their saliva, urine and dried feces. So even the owner of a short haired or hairless cat may still experience an allergic reaction while cleaning out the cat litter or removing soiled newspaper from a dog's crate. Although many domestic animal breeds are marketed as non-allergenic alternatives, ENT specialists advise highly allergic adults or parents of children with allergies to exercise caution, given that allergens are not exclusive to fur and can still be found in the pet's saliva, regardless of their coat.

A few facts about dander and pet allergens according to the American Lung Association:

  • Americans are more than twice as likely to report allergies to cats than to dogs
  • Female cats produce more of the protein (Fel d I) associated with cat allergies in humans
  • Pet allergens tend to remain airborne longer than dust mites and other sources, and can remain in the home for weeks and months at a time, even if the animal is removed
  • Pet allergens travel easily through dust and on clothes, and can also be found in buildings and homes without pets
  • Pet allergens can trigger asthma in people with the condition

Symptoms of pet allergies:

  • Sneezing
  • Congestion and runny nose
  • Watery, itchy eyes
  • Rashes and skin irritation like eczema
  • Difficulty breathing
In some cases, allergy symptoms can linger for weeks or months at a time. Consult an ENT doctor for severe symptoms that persist or do not resolve with over the counter treatment.

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