Allergy Testing and Treatment
More than 50 million people in the United States have allergies. Finding out what you are allergic to is an important first step to effective allergy treatment. ENT & Audiology Associates offers in-office allergy testing and the most popular treatment, option Sublingual Immunotherapy.
What are Allergies?
An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system determines a foreign substance to be harmful and attempts to destroy it. The substances that cause allergic reactions are allergens.
What are Allergens?
When the immune system reacts to an allergen, it releases an antibody to destroy the allergen. This antibody produces a chemical by-product that causes the allergic reaction.
The most known chemical by product is called histamine. Histamine causes tightening of the muscles, including those in the airways and the walls of blood vessels. It also makes the lining of the nose produce more mucus.
What are the Symptoms of Allergies?
The most common allergy symptoms are watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, rashes or hives. More serious allergy symptoms, like trouble breathing and swelling in your mouth or throat, may be a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.
How are Specific Allergens Diagnosed?
After reviewing your medical records and discussing your personal life, environments, behaviors, etc your doctor will recommend an allergy test. Allergy testing involves having a skin or blood test to find the specific substance, or allergen, that is responsible for triggering an allergic reaction. Most often skin testing is used because the results are quick, less expensive than blood allergy testing and reliable.
What are the Treatment Options for Allergies?
The specific allergy treatment is unique to the identified allergens, medical history and severity of your symptoms. Patients can choose to avoid these allergens, take over the counter medications, receive allergy shots or they can take sublingual immunotherapy drops.