Allergy & Sinus Comprehensive Care Program
Get to the root of your sinus and allergy problems. Meet with our Allergists and ENT physicians in a single visit
Allergies and sinus-related problems (sinusitis, sinus infections) can produce very similar symptoms. Both conditions are associated with nasal congestion, post nasal drip, sinus pain and pressure, headaches, sleep difficulties, and other issues. In some cases, allergies can exacerbate sinusitis.
When patients have both allergies and chronic sinusitis, these conditions can impact each other adversely affecting their quality of life. The Allergy & Sinus Comprehensive Care Program at Penn Medicine Becker ENT & Allergy in Philadelphia, PA, was created to serve adults and children with nasal, sinus and allergy problems by providing comprehensive, interdisciplinary care in a professional and caring environment. As a collaborative effort between our board-certified allergists and ENT physicians, our goal is to provide individualized, evidence-based medical care in order to create an effective, tailored management program for each patient’s individual allergy and sinus-related issues.
- Common signs and symptoms of allergies and sinusitis
- Why Choose the Becker Allergy & Sinus Comprehensive Care Program
- Collaborative Healthcare
- Tailored Solutions
- Meet our Directors
- Comprehensive Care for All ENT and Allergy Needs Under One Roof
- What To Expect at Your Appointment
- Location and Hours
- Frequently Asked Questions
It is often difficult to distinguish allergy symptoms from symptoms of sinusitis. It is also fairly common for patients to have one, the other, or both, making it hard to find the proper diagnosis and treatment.
According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, more than 50 million people in the U.S experience various types of allergies each year, which are caused by an immune overreaction to certain allergens, like dust, pet dander, mold, insect stings, as well as some foods and medications.
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the lining of the sinuses. The sinuses are hollow cavities located within the skull, between and above the eyes and behind the cheekbones. They are responsible for making thin, clear mucus that helps keep the inside of the nose moist and protected against foreign agents, like allergens and pollutants.
Typically, healthy sinuses are filled with air, but certain conditions, such as chronic allergies or the common cold, can lead the sinuses to produce extra mucus that may not drain. This, in turn, can cause the sinus passages to become blocked and filled with fluid, triggering an overgrowth of germs and bacteria.
Common signs and symptoms of allergies and sinusitis
Why Choose the Becker Allergy & Sinus Comprehensive Care Program
Anyone who’s ever struggled with allergies or sinus infections knows how miserable they can make you feel. In addition to affecting your ability to breathe easily, both allergies and sinusitis can cause debilitating headaches, drowsiness, congestion and fatigue. For some patients, symptoms can be so severe that they interfere with their work, concentration, social interactions, daily activities, sleep, and more.
Many people are able to manage minor allergies or sinusitis at home without seeing a doctor. Common home treatments that can help reduce symptoms of seasonal or acute allergies include saline nasal irrigation, over-the-counter medications, and the use of air filters and humidifiers to improve air quality at home or work. Mild cases of sinusitis, which shouldn’t last longer than 10 days, typically improve on their own and can be managed with many of the same remedies.
For patients whose symptoms do not respond effectively to conventional medications or that last longer than a few weeks; however, it is important to seek a doctor specializing in the treatment of sinus problems and allergies to determine the nature of the problem and find a more appropriate solution.
The physicians at the Becker Allergy & Sinus Comprehensive Care Program understand how disruptive allergies and sinus issues can be. That is why we are committed to delivering cutting-edge care and a wide range of options to help patients breathe better and live a happier, more comfortable life. These are just a few reasons why patients from Philadelphia and beyond choose the Becker Allergy & Sinus Comprehensive Care Program.
Meet our Directors
The Allergy & Sinus Comprehensive Care Program at Penn Medicine Becker ENT and Allergy is directed by Kenneth Rosenstein, MD (Otorhinolaryngologist) and Elias Akl, MD (Allergist) who are directly involved with the care of most patients in the program.
Comprehensive Care for All ENT and Allergy Needs Under One Roof
From severe allergies to chronic sinusitis, by meeting with both an allergy specialist and an otorhinolaryngologist (ENT doctor) during the same appointment, patients can benefit from a comprehensive, coordinated care plan that’s fully customized to their specific needs and unique situation without having to commute to several different locations.
What To Expect at Your Appointment
Each visit to the Allergy & Sinus Comprehensive Care Program at Penn Medicine’s Becker ENT and Allergy begins with a comprehensive discussion about your medical history and current concerns. You will be asked to stop some specific medications prior to your visit, as some medications interfere with allergy testing. Medications to stop are listed on this handout. During your initial appointment, you will meet with our board-certified allergist Dr. Akl and our board-certified ENT doctor, Dr. Rosenstein, to talk about your symptoms and treatment goals. Depending on the types of testing you need, the entire visit can last anywhere from 2 to 3 hours. Testing will include a full ENT and Allergy examination possibly including allergy testing, pulmonary function testing, nasal and laryngeal endoscopic examination all in one visit. Once your testing and examination is complete, the 2 physicians will meet to present a comprehensive, tailored treatment plan to address your individual needs.
- Patients who have symptoms that could be related to allergies or sinusitis, such as nasal congestion, postnasal drip, scratchy and itchy throat, runny nose, facial pressure and pain, chronic headaches
- Patients who have been treating allergies or sinusitis with trial and error of OTC meds with no luck
- Patients who have been on multiple treatments for allergies (antihistamines, steroids, etc.) or who get repeated sinus infections
- Patients whose symptoms persist despite evaluation by an ENT provider or an allergist
Location and Hours
Hours of operation
|Monday||8:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Tuesday||8:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Wednesday||8:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Thursday||8:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Friday||8:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
Frequently Asked Questions
Allergies and sinusitis share many of the same symptoms, so it’s not uncommon to mistake one for the other. In fact, when a patient’s allergies are active it may exacerbate sinusitis symptoms, and vice-versa. One key difference is that sinusitis doesn’t usually cause itchy or watery eyes, but allergies can. If you are unsure about your symptoms, though, the best thing you can do is to schedule an appointment with a specialist.
No, sinusitis is not usually contagious. Sinusitis, or sinus infection, typically forms inside the nose due to an overgrowth of germs or bacteria. However, sinus infections can sometimes be brought on by a virus, in which case they can be potentially contagious.
No. Sinusitis and rhinitis are both common respiratory issues, but they are not the same condition. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses, and rhinitis is an inflammation of the inside of the nose.
Sinusitis that goes untreated for weeks or months on end may worsen, causing persistent symptoms, which could end up causing serious complications. On rare occasions, acute sinus infections can spread to the eyes or brain, the latter being potentially life-threatening.
Yes and no. Research suggests that the tendency to develop allergies can be hereditary, which means that they can be passed down from parents to their children. However, not all children of parents with allergies will develop the same allergies. Environmental and lifestyle factors also play a role in the development of allergies.
Yes, it is possible to outgrow allergies. In fact, many children outgrow food allergies naturally as they get older. However, the potential to grow out of allergies depends on a myriad of factors, including the type of allergen and the severity of the reaction.