While commercials often highlight allergy season by depicting an array of green grasses, flowers and pollen floating through the air, the timing of allergy season depends heavily on an individual’s specific sensitivity and can take place throughout the year.
For Sheridan resident, teacher and photographer Tim Doolin, allergy season centers primarily around the fall archery elk season.
“Starting in my mid-30s, I began to develop quite a number of seasonal allergies,” Doolin said. “As time elapsed, those allergies began to disrupt my way of life, causing me to wake up at all hours of the night, with my nose just streaming.”
Doolin said he realized his respiratory health was being affected by the allergies and decided to seek treatment.
He began his initial appointments in Billings, as he was unaware Sheridan Memorial Hospital offered allergy testing and treatments. Dr. Cheryl Varner’s team at SMH’s Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic administered the treatments regularly to allow Doolin to stay closer to home for his care. Eventually, Doolin opted to switch, putting the direction of his allergy treatments under Varner’s team at SMH.
“The relationship that I had developed with the office, Dr. Varner, and all of the nurses in Dr. Varner’s office was something that I didn’t want to disrupt or change,” Doolin said, adding that with the help of the SMH Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic, he petitioned Blue Cross Blue Shield to cover additional allergy testing. “I had that testing done recently with Dr. Varner‘s office and was quite impressed with how thorough and comprehensive the testing was. The tests done here at Sheridan Memorial Hospital were far more thorough and extensive than those I received initially through my treatment in Billings.”
“I have high hopes that this continued treatment with a more comprehensive and refined approach to the serums I will be receiving will actually improve my allergy response even more than the benefits I have already experienced,” Doolin added.
According to SMH’s Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic, an allergy is a condition in which the immune system reacts to something eaten or in the environment that doesn’t affect most other people. People often think of allergy symptoms as sneezing, runny nose, nasal stuffiness and itchy, watery eyes.
However, allergies can also cause symptoms such as postnasal drip, head congestion, frequent “colds,” recurring ear infections, hearing loss, dizziness, chronic cough and asthma. Even stomach and intestinal problems, skin rashes, chronic headaches and fatigue can be symptoms of an allergy.
Various treatments exist for those suffering from an allergy or multiple allergies. Avoiding the allergen is often a first step when possible, followed at times by medications and immunotherapy. Sheridan Memorial Hospital’s Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic works with each individual patient to develop an allergy testing and treatment plan.
Doolin said the staff at Sheridan Memorial Hospital treats patients with care and like an extended family.
“Every week throughout the year, there are quite a number of us who receive this allergy shot therapy, and without fail, the conversations revolve around grandchildren, children, holiday and summer plans, and life in general,” Doolin said. “It really is like a small knit little family and the community is quite positive and something I appreciate.”
To schedule an appointment with the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic at Sheridan Memorial Hospital call 307.675.4646 or to learn more see sheridanhospital.org/medical-services/clinics/ear-nose-throat.