There have been many advances in allergy care during the past several decades, but there are still only three basic, accepted approaches to allergy care:
- Avoidance of the offending allergens (the things to which a person is allergic)
- Pharmacotherapy (medications)
- Immunotherapy (desensitization by injections or topical drops under the tongue)
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 dust, molds, and animals) is often difficult and thus allergen avoidance alone may not be effective.
Medications can frequently control allergy symptoms. These may include antihistamines, decongestants, prescription nasal sprays, leukotriene inhibitors and other types of products.
When allergen avoidance and medications do not successfully control allergy symptoms, the Otolaryngologist can alter the body’s overactive response by carefully desensitizing the patient’s immune system through regular injections of the actual allergens to which the patient is sensitive or allergic. This treatment, very similar to the vaccination for infectious diseases such as the flu, 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 excessive response to these environmental allergens, and both improve symptoms, as well as decrease the need for medications and allergen avoidance for many years.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN TESTING?
We can safely and efficiently test your skin (or sometimes your blood) using tiny amounts of commonly troublesome allergens.
We will skin test you for environmental allergens (pollens, dust mites, dust, animal dander, molds) and food allergies using the Multi-test II Skin Test Applicator applied to your forearm. The results will be obtained within 20 minutes. Allergy tests are designed to gather the most specific information possible so that your doctor can determine what you are allergic to and provide complete preventive and therapeutic care of your allergies.
Treatment of allergies is a combination of avoiding the offending allergen, medicating the symptoms of allergies and immunizing the patient against the offending allergens. Our physicians recommend the most effective combination of treatments based on the individual needs of the patient.
WHY SEEK THE CARE OF AN OTOLARYNGOLOGIST (ENT) FOR ALLERGIES?
An Otolaryngologist is able to diagnose and treat disorders of the upper respiratory tract (ear, nose and throat) caused by allergic conditions. Because the Otolaryngologist is an ear, nose and throat surgeon and specialist, other non-allergic diseases of the upper respiratory tract can also be efficiently diagnosed and treated. To diagnose and treat your allergies, the Otolaryngologist uses methods that have been shown to not only identify specific allergens, but also achieve effective control of allergies quickly.
WHEN TO SEE A SPECIALIST?
The following represent circumstances under which a patient should seek consultation with an OTOLARYNGOLOGIST (ENT):
- 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 (allergy shots) 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.