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Allergy and Asthma in the Greater Columbus Area

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Allergy Tips from our Columbus Allergists

Allergies can make life difficult, and it’s important to develop habits that reduce your exposure to allergens. Our Columbus allergists have put together a collection of tips so that you can help to avoid allergens.

Handling Symptoms: When suffering from allergy symptoms, taking some time to handle the symptoms can make the rest of your day easier.

  1. Allergy symptoms can take a big toll on your well-being. If you’re having trouble with allergies, go inside and rest; overdoing it and running around when you feel bad will only make you feel worse.
  2. Gargling with salt water can soothe a sore or scratchy throat, treat your nasal allergies to decrease mucus drainage and sore throat.
  3. Try a saline nasal rinse (either with a neti pot or rinse bottle), which helps clear allergens that collect in your nasal membranes, minimizing symptoms. ONLY USE DISTILLED WATER. Don’t use water straight from the tap- it's not safe!
  4. Antihistamines come in pill, liquid or nasal spray form. They can relieve sneezing and itching in the nose and eyes. They also reduce a runny nose and, to a lesser extent, nasal stuffiness.
  5. Decongestants are available as pills, liquids, nasal sprays or drops. They help shrink the lining of the nasal passages and relieve nasal stuffiness. Use decongestants for no more than a few days, if you need them longer, see your Columbus allergist
  6. Nasal corticosteroids are a type of nasal spray. They reduce inflammation in the nose and block allergic reactions. They are the most effective medicine for hay fever because they can reduce all symptoms, including nasal congestion.

General Allergy Tips:

  1. Good allergy treatment can include three different treatment strategies: avoidance of allergens, medications, and/or immunotherapy (allergy shots). If you find yourself unable to avoid allergens, you may need medication. If medication isn’t helping enough, you may want to look into immunotherapy.
  2. If your allergy is seasonal, start taking your allergy medication before the season begins. Most allergy medicines work more effectively this way.
  3. You can live a normal life despite having allergies. If you’re not sure what to do, see your Columbus allergist for treatment and guidance.

Pollen Allergies: A sensitivity to pollen is one of the most common allergies our Columbus allergists see. If you are allergic to pollen, we recommend some specific tips.

  1. Remove your shoes outside the door and throw your clothes in the hamper after you spend time outside on a high pollen day.
  2. Shower at night to wash off any lingering pollen from your body and hair before you get into bed.
  3. Have a dog or outdoor cat? Wipe their paws and fur when they enter your home too, since pollen can cling to them.
  4. Check pollen counts in the morning and try to stay indoors when they're high.
  5. If you're allergic to pollen, keep your windows closed and run an air conditioner.
  6. Use central air conditioning with a HEPA filter attachment. This applies to your home and any vehicle.
  7. Wash your bedding with hot water once a week to prevent allergens from collecting there each night.
  8. Wear sunglasses and a hat. This will help keep pollen out of your eyes and off your hair.
  9. Dry your clothes in a clothes dryer, not on an outdoor line.
  10. Pollen counts are usually highest in the morning, between 5:00am and 10:00am, so limiting your outside exposure during those times can be extremely helpful for diminishing your allergy symptoms. Limit exposure on mornings that are especially warm and dry; these will usually be the high pollen count days.

Nasal & Sinus in Columbus, OH

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Nasal & Sinus 

The ENTs at Ohio ENT & Allergy Physicians are experts in nasal and sinus treatment. We diagnose and treat sinus disease, nasal polyps, nasal obstructions, stuffy and runny noses, nose bleeds and much more.

Sinusitis and Sinus Surgery

If you suffer from cold or allergy symptoms that won’t go away, you may have sinusitis. Sinusitis can be painful. An ENT surgeon can work with you to determine the cause of your sinusitis and how to handle it. In some cases, you may need sinus surgery.

Nasal Polyps

Nasal polyps can occur from chronic inflammation due to a wide variety of circumstances. Larger growths or groups of nasal polyps can block your nasal passages or lead to breathing problems, a lost sense of smell, and frequent infections. Nasal polyps are usually treated with medication, but sometimes sinus surgery is necessary to remove them.

Get the Best Nasal & Sinus Treatment

If you’re suffering from a cold or allergy symptoms that won’t go away, you could be suffering from sinusitis – a painful, disruptive condition that can affect your quality of life. This is a very common health condition that our ENTs treat. If you’re in need of sinus treatment or sinus surgery, visit one of our ENTs at Ohio ENT & Allergy Physicians in the greater Columbus, OH area.

Ears & Hearing Care in the Greater Columbus, OH area

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How an Ear Specialist Can Help You

Whether you are having troubles hearing, losing your balance or are suffering from a painful ear infection, an ENT and/or audiologist is the ear specialist you need from Ohio ENT & Allergy Physicians. An ear specialist can assist you by treating ear infections, testing for a hearing loss, clearing excessive ear wax, treating tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and more.

Sleep Disorder Treatment in the Greater Columbus, OH Area

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PHONE: (614) 827-0010
FAX: (614) 885-3975
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Sleep Disorder Treatment in Ohio

Do you have trouble getting a full night of sleep? Have you been told that you snore? You could have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Those with OSA have airways that repeatedly collapse when throat muscles relax during sleep, blocking the flow of air. The disease causes snoring and choking or gasping during sleep. Because sleep is interrupted, people with OSA usually are sleepy during the day and sometimes feel irritable, forgetful, unable to concentrate or less alert. Often people with OSA don't know they have the disorder.

Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.

If you are concerned that you have a sleeping disorder, please request an appointment with one of our Specialists today!

Welcome Dr. Andrew J. Tompkins, an ENT at our Grove City location!       Welcome Dr. Scott Kramer, an ENT at our Bethel Road location!        For the most up-to-date local pollen levels click here        All of our physicians are accepting new patients… (Click here to schedule)       Click here for the latest News & Updates

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Spring is a great time of year; the snow melts and the temperatures finally start to rise. However, not all aspects of springtime are great – there are both positives and negatives to the changing of the seasons. If you are among the millions of Americans who notice a runny nose, a tickle in the throat, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, itching and/or postnasal drip this time of year, then you may be experiencing symptoms of seasonal allergies known as rhinitis. Seasonal allergies occur when a person’s immune system becomes sensitized and overacts to an environmental factor like pollen and mold spores.

Helpful Tips for Spring Allergy Sufferers

Luckily, there are ways to make symptoms more bearable. By visiting our Allergists in Columbus, Ohio you can find out exactly what allergens are causing your symptoms and work with your Allergist to find the best treatment plan.

  • It’s important to wash your sheets regularly, vacuum your floors, and clean any surfaces that could easily collect pollen.
  • Keep your windows closed. Your AC unit will help filter out the air, keeping mold, pollen and dust from your home.
  • Remove your shoes and change your clothes when you get home from being outdoors. Your clothing and shoes are excellent vehicles for tracking pollen around your home. Wipe your dog’s paws when you get back indoors so they don’t track pollen inside either.
  • If you like to spend time outside, exercise outdoors, or walk your dog, make sure you do it at a time when pollen counts are low. Mornings and evenings have the lowest pollen counts, utilize these times of day.
  • Try using a neti pot. Neti pots are a great drug-free remedy that can help to reduce swelling, clear out your sinuses and loosen and remove mucus.

If avoiding your allergens isn’t helping to control your symptoms, our Allergists in Columbus, Ohio suggest these treatments.

  • Antihistamines – Oral or nasal medications that help to reduce sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes.
  • Nasal Corticosteroids – Nasal sprays that help with a stuffy, itchy nose and postnasal drip.
  • Antihistamine Eye drops – Great to use for itchy, watery and red eyes.

Finally, it may be time to see one of our Allergists in Columbus, Ohio. It’s important for your quality of life to visit an Allergist-Immunologist if you’re suffering from allergy symptoms. Our allergists can help you to determine exactly what you are allergic to and then can provide you with the best treatment plan. Our Allergists in Columbus, Ohio provide immunotherapy (allergy shots) if OTC medications aren’t helping to relieve your symptoms.

Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots)

Immunotherapy is a preventive treatment for allergic reactions to substances such as grass pollens, house dust mites and bee venom. Immunotherapy involves giving gradually increasing doses of the substance, or allergen, to which the person is allergic. The incremental increases of the allergen cause the immune system to become less sensitive to the substance, probably by causing production of a "blocking" antibody, which reduces the symptoms of allergy when the substances is encountered in the future. Immunotherapy also reduces the inflammation that characterizes rhinitis and asthma. Immunotherapy can be “disease modifying”, meaning in many instances we can eliminate or cure the allergy.

Before starting treatment, the physician and patient identify trigger factors for allergy symptoms. Skin or sometimes blood tests are performed to confirm the specific allergens to which the person has antibodies. Immunotherapy is usually recommended if the person seems to be selectively sensitive to several allergens, and if medications are not effective or causing side effects.

Consider visiting our Allergists in Columbus, Ohio if you are suffering from spring allergies.

For many of us, food allergies are just a fact of life. Aside from hoping to outgrow a food allergy, the only way to prevent an allergic reaction to a food is by avoiding it. But if there is a food that you or your children love, and it contains an allergen, what can you do?

Fortunately, plenty of people around the over have worked on substitutions for common food allergens that get used as ingredients. We have collected some suggestions for these below.

Substitutions for Corn Allergies

Corn kernels themselves are easy to remove from recipes, but corn is also used to create a wide variety of different ingredients, including:

  • Corn oil
  • Corn syrup
  • Cornstarch
  • Baking powder
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract

For both corn oil and corn syrup, we recommend seeking out alternative oils / syrups for your food. Olive oil is a common substitute for corn oil in meals, and honey is a simple substitute for corn syrup. If you want to go simple with your syrup replacement, you can instead dissolve 1/4 cup of sugar into 1 cup of water and use that instead.

Cornstarch is used to thicken foods, which is part of the reason it is included in both baking powder and powdered sugar. In general, you will want to replace cornstarch with a different kind of starchy ingredient. Most of these ingredients aren’t as strong as cornstarch, so you may need to add additional cook time and/or more starch. Some common inclusions:

  • 2:1 potato starch, rice starch, or tapioca starch
  • 1:1 arrowroot starch (the food may need to be cooked slightly longer)
  • 3:1 wheat (the food should be cooked much longer, or it will taste like wheat)

You can get 1 cup of powdered sugar substitute by mixing 1 cup of granulated sugar with 1 Tbsp of potato starch in a food processor. You can also switch out 1 Tsp of baking powder for 1/4 Tsp of baking soda along with 5/8 Tsp of cream of tartar (you can use a generous 1/2 Tsp instead if 5/8 is too hard to measure out).

Vanilla extract is also commonly laden with corn. Corn-based alcohol is used to dissolve the extract in liquid form, while vanilla powder is usually laced with cornstarch. Some vanilla extracts are even sweetened with corn syrup. A store near you may sell corn-free vanilla extract, but this isn’t common. The simplest route is just to sweeten your food with a little sugar in lieu adding vanilla flavor.

Substitutions for Egg Allergies

Eggs play a key role in the preparation of many baked goods, and they are very good at what they do. Most replacements can only compensate for one aspect of the egg, which means you need to be tactical when choosing your egg substitutes. We have broken down our egg replacements into three categories: binding, leavening, and browning.

The binding properties of eggs are useful when making dense foods, such as brownies and drop cookies. These properties can be replicated with other thick liquids. We recommend the following substitutes for 1 egg:

  • 1/4 cup of pureed fruit. Unsweetened applesauce is a common candidate. You can also use mashed bananas. It takes about 1/2 of your average banana to make 1/4 cup of fruit.
  • 1/4 cup of pureed tofu. Tofu is essentially flavorless, but makes the resulting product denser than most other substitutes.
  • 3-1/2 Tbsp of prepared gelatin. Create the gelatin from powder and then use that as your binding agent – Don’t pour in 3-1/2 tablespoons of powder!
  • 1 Tbsp of finely-ground flaxseed alongside 3 Tbsp of water. Stir these ingredients together and let them sit for a minute or two before you use them. Flaxseed gives a nutty flavor which isn’t always popular.

Eggs are also useful as leavening agents, helping baked goods such as cakes rise during the cooking process. For this, substitutes like applesauce and tofu aren’t going to help you. We recommend the following substitutes for 1 egg.

  • 1 Tsp of baking soda and 1 Tbsp of white vinegar, mixed separately
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil, 1-1/2 Tbsp water, and 1 Tsp baking powder mixed together.
  • 1 Tsp yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup of warm water.

Unlike egg, these substitutes will start reacting immediately. Once you add them to your recipe, get the mixture into the oven as quickly as possible so that leavening can occur while your food is cooking.

Lastly, eggs can be used for browning (also called glazing). A recipe may call for eggs whites to be brushed onto a baked good before it is cooked, which gives the food a golden brown color. You can replicate this using the same quantity of melted margarine.

Commercial Egg Replacements

There are also egg replacements available in grocery stores. The most popular egg replacements is   Ener-G, but other brands are starting to join in. Make sure to check the ingredients on your egg replacement before you buy it – some are just intended to be healthier alternatives to eggs (such as just the egg white), as opposed to truly egg-free products. These egg replacements are generally mixed with water, and can be used as both binding and leavening agents. The proteins in these replacements lose their usefulness after they are activated, so make sure to put them in your recipe as soon as you prepare them!

Substitutions for Milk Allergies

Substitutions for Nut Allergies

Substitutions for Soy Allergies

Substitutions for Wheat Allergies

Why Should I Get an Allergy Skin Test?

Allergy testing by an Allergist is very important if you feel you or your child has a possible food or environmental allergy. Allergy tests allow us to determine whether someone is allergic, and what they are allergic to. With information like this, your doctor can make suggestions to help you or your family member avoid allergens and/or over the counter or prescription medications to take in order to control allergy symptoms.

The most common, safest, and accurate allergy test is the allergy skin test. This is a time-tested practice that dates back over 100 years. Over the last 20 years, allergy skin testing has become much less uncomfortable. Allergy skin tests have no needles and most patients barely feel it at all. If they have an allergy they may be itchy at the spot of the test.

What is Allergy Skin Testing?

Allergy skin tests allows you to know immediately if you have an allergy. A skin test is usually complete in under 30 minutes. Allergens will be placed on the skin using a small plastic tool designed specifically for skin testing.

After the allergens are applied, you or your child will need to wait as your body processes each one. This can take 10-15 minutes, and by the end of the process each spot with a substance you are allergic to will have a slightly raised red bump. The doctor will be able to look at the results and determine if you have any allergies. This allows you and your Allergist to immediately discuss therapies.

If you want to learn more about skin testing, and/or immunotherapy (allergy shots), visit our website about what to expect during allergy skin testing.

Up to 15 million people across the U.S. have food allergies. Around 4% of adults live with a food allergy, and about 8% of children have one. Because of how busy and interconnected our world is, it can be difficult to deal with these allergies day-to-day. Our team of Columbus Allergists have put together a guide for managing food allergies.

Allergies at Home

Food allergies are easiest to manage at home. If you or your child has serious allergic reactions to foods, you may choose not to bring these allergens into your home. Our Columbus Allergists recommend taking your time to read food labels, and make sure to avoid cross-contamination of foods when other family members eat.

Make sure to wash dishes and kitchen surfaces before preparing meals. Having your family only eat in one area of the house, like the kitchen, can help keep allergens from accidentally getting spread. Make sure to keep labels with your food, and separate out foods that contain allergens from those that don’t.

Allergies at School or Work

Outside of the home, there are more opportunities for interacting with potential allergens. When your child goes to school, make sure the school understands your child’s allergies and is ready to treat an allergic reaction. Your Columbus Allergist may prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector in case of accidental ingestion of your child’s allergen(s). Having an epinephrine auto-injector and an anaphylaxis emergency plan at school will help keep your child safe in case of a life-threatening reaction. Classroom teachers should also know how to avoid your child’s food allergies. Stay up to date with events in class that may include food. You may be able to help by giving your child’s teacher safe alternative snacks and/or offering to volunteer at events.

At work, you should make sure your supervisors and coworkers know about your food allergy. Ideally, you should teach them to recognize signs of an allergic reaction and where you keep your epinephrine so they can help you. At meetings, outings, or parties where allergens may be present, make sure to talk to organizers so that they understand your needs. For day-to-day meals, bring food from home and keep it in a sealed, labeled container. It may also be possible to get a dedicated space for you to put food in an office refrigerator or cabinet.

In order to serve you better, we would like to offer you a choice of where you will receive shots.

974 Bethel Rd., Entrance C, Columbus, OH 43214 – (614) 459-4949

Monday 8:00 - 12:00p
1:00 -   4:00p
Tuesday 8:00 - 12:00p
1:00 -   4:00p
Wednesday   8:00 - 12:00p
1:00 -   4:30p
Thursday 8:00 - 12:00p
1:00 -   4:00p
Friday 8:00 - 12:00p

477 Cooper Road, Suite 480, Westerville, Ohio 43081 – (614) 891-0550

Monday   1:00 -   6:00p
Tuesday 10:00 -   6:00p
Wednesday     8:30 - 11:30a
  1:00 -   4:00p
Friday   8:30 - 11:30a
Saturday
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  8:30 - 11:00a

801 OhioHealth Blvd., Suite 220, Delaware, OH 43015 – (614) 891-0550

Friday 8:30 - 11:00a
1:30 -   4:00p

6670 Perimeter Dr., Suite 270, Dublin, OH 43016 – (614) 766-4903 

Monday 9:00 - 11:30a
1:30 -   4:30p
Wednesday   9:00 - 11:30a
1:30 -   4:30p

1110 Beecher Crossing N., Suite C, Gahanna, OH 43230 – (614) 933-0312

Tuesday 8:00 - 12:00p
1:00 -   4:15p
Wednesday   8:00 - 12:00p
1:00 -   4:15p
Thursday 8:00 - 12:00p
1:00 -   4:00p
Friday 8:00 - 12:00p
1:00 -   4:00p

2526 London Groveport Rd., Grove City, OH 43123 – (614) 273-2223

Monday 8:00 - 12:00p
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Tuesday 8:00 -   1:00p
2:00 -   4:00p
Wednesday   8:00 - 12:00p
1:00 -   4:00p
Friday 8:00 - 11:00a