Paula Riva fell in love with Florida after moving from Massachusetts for her husband’s job. She started working in a gift shop and enjoyed exploring beaches and getting to know her new home.
During her years living in the Northeast, Paula developed sinus problems, and doctors could not figure out why. “I would get several sinus infections a year. Every time I was tested for allergies, the results always came back negative. They couldn’t find anything.”
Unfortunately, Paula’s coughing and frequent sinus infections didn’t subside once she moved to a warmer climate.
“I was coughing, coughing, coughing all of the time. My nasal passages were constantly blocked,” she laments. “It became a way of life. I couldn’t speak to anyone on the phone without them thinking I was sick with a cold.”
At one point, Paula’s coughing became so bad that she went to the emergency room. The ER doctor suggested she see a physician that specialized in ear, nose and throat conditions and gave her a list of nearby specialists.
“I chose Atlantic Ear, Nose and Throat. I have to tell you, it’s the best thing I have ever done,” shares Paula.
He found it!
Paula consulted Daniel Rothbaum, MD, a board-certified otolaryngologist with Atlantic Ear, Nose & Throat. He ordered testing to determine whether allergies were at the root of her sinus trouble. The results showed she was allergic to 17 substances common in her environment, including plants, trees, flowers, mold and dust.
Dr. Rothbaum recommended allergy drops for Paula, rather than allergy shots. The advantage of drops is that they provide relief in a shorter period of time and can be taken at home. Shots are given in a doctor’s office.
The drops work through allergy immunotherapy that helps slowly build immunity to whatever substances are causing allergic reactions.
Every day, a specially formulated serum containing small doses of allergens is placed under the tongue. Over time, the body becomes desensitized to those allergens and symptoms start to decrease.
The treatment can be used on children as young as five and works for all types of environmental allergens, including pollen, pets and plants.
“The body treats allergens as if they were pathogens or germs when they’re not. With allergy drops, you’re training the immune system to be less reactive,” explains Dr. Rothbaum.
“You have to be patient,” he adds. “This is a long-term strategy and a natural approach to retrain your body. Sometimes, our bodies take time to become desensitized.”
He Fixed It
Paula is ecstatic that Dr. Rothbaum uncovered the cause of her sinus problems and had a solution.
“After being so sick for so long and finally getting some answers, I decided to give allergy drops a try,” relates Paula.
In less than three weeks of using allergy drops, she began to notice an improvement. She used her medicated nasal spray and inhaler less frequently to control her symptoms. She no longer uses the spray or inhaler.
After a year of taking allergy drops daily, Paula had a follow-up allergy test. Instead of reacting to 17 allergens, as she had earlier, her immune system reacted to only seven.
“It’s been over two years since I started taking allergy drops, and I’ve never felt better in my life. The only time I cough or sneeze is if I get a cold like anyone else,” she marvels.
“This has been life-changing for me. I can’t imagine where I’d be now if I hadn’t gone to Dr. Rothbaum. My quality of life wasn’t good before seeing him. Now, I feel absolutely wonderful.”