During your initial visit, your physician will carefully review your health history and current symptoms as well as your family’s health history. Routine skin testing is generally used to diagnose your allergy symptoms so your doctor can provide the most effective form of treatment. In certain cases, a blood testing must be used instead of skin testing.
Allergy testing can be performed in a variety of ways. Blood tests can be sent for evaluation, however, the doctors of ENT Specialists have had greater success for the treatment of allergies with the use of skin testing. During this testing a skin prick device is used to screen for potential allergies. We then check exact sensitivities with the use of small needles (painless). This provides an immediate assessment of the patient’s allergies and gives a very good idea of how allergic the patient is. This testing then allows for the preparation of an allergy vaccine which will be created specifically for each patient and can be used in allergy treatment.
Preparations for Allergy Testing
When your appointment is scheduled, you will be given instructions on how to prepare for allergy testing. It is important to discontinue all antihistamines 48 hours prior to testing. We will test for 30 different allergens including pollens, dust mites, molds, and pets.
Method of Testing
We utilize skin prick testing with the ComforTen device. This is an easy and comfortable solution for allergy testing. With these results we then check for allergen sensitivity with intradermal testing. This is typically performed on the arms, therefore, it is advisable to wear a short sleeve shirt.
Despite the advances in allergy care during the past several decades, there are still only three basic, accepted approaches to allergy care:
1. Avoidance: The first most basic treatment step, once an allergen has been identified, is to eliminate or avoid contact with it, if possible. Unfortunately, avoiding some allergens (such as pollen, dust, mold, and animals) is often difficult and thus allergen avoidance alone may not be effective.
2. Pharmacotherapy: Medications can frequently control allergy symptoms. These may include antihistamines, decongestants, prescription nasal sprays, leukotriene inhibitors and other types of products.
3. Immunotherapy: When allergen avoidance and medications do not successfully control allergy symptoms, and Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist can alter the body’s overactive response by carefully challenging the patient’s immune system through regular injections of the actual allergens to which a patient is sensitive. This treatment can be given after allergy testing has revealed what it is that a patient is allergic to.
Over time, it may be possible to actually alter a person’s allergic reactions to these environmental allergens, and both improve symptoms, as well as decrease the need for medications, allergen avoidance, or allergy shots for many years.
Why Seek Allergy Treatment from an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist? Nasal Allergies
An ENT Specialist is able to diagnose and treat disorders of the upper respiratory tract (ear, nose, throat, etc.) caused by allergic conditions.
To diagnose and treat your allergy problems, the ENT Specialists at Sound Health Services use methods that have been shown to not only identify specific allergens, but also to achieve effective control of allergies quickly.
When to See an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist
The following represent circumstances under which allergy sufferers should seek consultation with an ENT Doctor:
- When the diagnosis of an ear, nose, or throat allergy or cause of an ear, nose, or throat symptom is uncertain.
- When allergy or ear, nose, or throat symptoms are not adequately controlled.
- When special diagnostic allergy tests are needed.
- When specialized treatment such as immunotherapy is needed.
- When other related ear, nose, and throat medical problems, such as chronic sinusitis, nasal polyps, fluid in the middle ear, chronic ear infections, deviated septum, vocal disturbances, or enlarged adenoids or tonsils may be present.
- When complications associated with treatment or difficulty in controlling allergy symptoms are affecting the patient’s quality of life.