Allergy Testing and Management
At Century ENT, we are committed to your well-being, and we offer specialized expertise in allergy testing and management. Allergy testing is a vital medical procedure that helps identify specific allergens responsible for allergic reactions. These reactions occur when the immune system reacts excessively to ordinarily harmless substances, such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, certain foods, or insect venom. Identifying the precise allergens is crucial for developing a personalized management plan.
Reasons for Allergy Testing
Allergy testing is usually recommended by your Century ENT physician when a person experiences recurrent or persistent nasal symptoms such as:
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
- Shortness of breath
Methods of Allergy Testing
Skin Prick Test
A small amount of allergen extract is applied to the skin, typically on the forearm or back. The skin is then gently pricked with a sterile lancet to introduce the allergen just beneath the skin’s surface. If you are allergic to the substance, a small raised bump (wheal) surrounded by redness (flare) will appear within 15-20 minutes. This process is repeated for multiple allergens and may take up to 2 hours.
Blood Test (Specific IgE Test)
This involves a blood sample being drawn from the individual, which is then analyzed to measure the presence of specific IgE antibodies to various allergens. Elevated levels of specific IgE indicate an allergy to those substances.
Allergy testing is generally safe, but some risks and considerations include:
- Discomfort at the injection site.
- Anaphylaxis – There is a small risk of triggering a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) during allergy testing. Century ENT has a treatment plan in place in case of this rare circumstance.
- Medication Interaction – you may be asked to discontinue certain medications prior to testing.
Personalized Treatment for Allergies
Once allergens are identified, the main goal of allergy management is to avoid exposure to the triggers whenever possible. Additionally, treatment options may include:
Reducing Allergen Exposure
The best protection against an allergen is exposure avoidance. Taking steps to reduce exposure to allergens, such as using air purifiers, keeping living spaces clean, and avoiding contact to allergens is the best treatment.
Over-the-counter or prescription medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, corticosteroids, and emergency epinephrine, may be recommended.
Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots)
This involves the gradual desensitization of the immune system by injecting small amounts of allergens over time. This reduces the body’s reactivity to allergens, lessening the severity of allergic reactions.
Sublingual Immunotherapy / SLIT (Allergy Drops)
Allergen extracts are administered under the tongue to desensitize the body without the need for injections, offering a convenient alternative.
Choose Century ENT for Expert Allergy Care
In conclusion, allergy testing at Century ENT is an in-office procedure that identifies allergens triggering symptoms in the nose and sinuses. Accurate testing leads to effective treatment plans tailored to your specific needs. Your well-being is our priority, and we are here to help you conquer allergies and achieve a healthier, symptom-free life. Contact us today to explore your allergy testing options and embark on the path to a brighter, allergy-free future. Trust Century ENT for exceptional care and expertise in allergy management.