Allergy Testing & Treatment
Allergies originate in your immune system. If you have an allergy, your body will react by releasing immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to fight the trigger that is viewed as an invader. The antibodies cause the release of histamine and other chemicals that result in allergy symptoms. Allergic reactions can range from mild to life-threatening (anaphylaxis).
Our ear, nose and throat doctors in Phoenix have helped thousands of people get lasting relief from their chronic allergy symptoms.
Symptoms of Allergies
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath
- Watery, itchy eyes
- Swollen lips or tongue
- Dry, cracked skin
There are two types of test that can be performed to determine your specific allergy:
- Blood (Immunoassay) tests
- Skin prick/scratch/puncture tests
Allergy blood tests involve taking blood samples to identify allergen-specific antibodies in your blood. Test results take a few days to get back from a laboratory.
In contrast, skin prick tests offer more immediate results. During these tests, your body is exposed to allergens by injecting different types of allergens into your skin to see if there is any reaction. A red, itchy bump that forms on the injection spot will suggest an allergy to the particular allergen.
- You may be tested for more than one allergen during a single visit
- Reactions typically appear within 20-40 minutes
- Some reactions take several days to appear
Skin scratch tests will show how your body reacts to scratching histamine and glycerin or saline on your skin. The results provide an allergy baseline from which to analyze your skin prick results. Your skin should respond to histamine but not cause a reaction to glycerin or saline.
Possible Causes of Allergies
There are many possible reasons why your body may be releasing chemicals to fight certain triggers. Our team will assess your condition to identify if any of these underlying conditions are causing your allergies:
- Rhinitis (hay fever)
- Animal dander
- Drug reactions
- Other causes
Our Services/Treatments for Allergies
Our ear, nose and throat doctors in Phoenix will make a treatment recommendation after we have fully assessed your condition and identified the source of your allergens. Treatments may include:
Control of symptoms: Over-the-counter medications such as antihistamine creams and steroid creams for eczema and antihistamine pills for nasal symptoms that include rhinitis. More serious conditions can be treated with inhalers for asthma, skin creams for eczema and auto injectors for anaphylaxis resulting from insect bites without having identified whether the condition is truly an allergy.
Avoidance of allergens: This approach is used mainly for allergies caused by food, drugs, venom, latex and animal dander. This can also include occupational allergies, asthma, rhinitis and eczema. When using allergen avoidance, it is important to know that there may be interactions resulting from cross reactions between latex and fruits and vegetables as well as tree pollen and fresh fruits. While it may appear simple, avoiding allergens may be difficult to achieve, costly and may not be completely successful.
Rescue medications: This approach is often part of an emergency self-treatment plan for acute attacks such as for acute tongue swelling or anaphylaxis that can result from insect bites.
Immunotherapy: By administering an allergen either via a beneath the skin (subcutaneous) injection or under the tongue (sublingual) an allergist or immunologist can try to reintroduce a patient’s immunological tolerance to a particular allergen. These procedures are typically used to treat allergies caused by pollen rhinitis, venom, asthma and cat allergy. On occasion, the use of drugs to desensitize a patient to a particular allergen can also be used.
You Have Questions: We Have Answers
When you come in for your appointment, we’ll cover commonly asked questions about sinus issues. We are trained to help answer such questions as:
- Am I allergic to something?
- Are allergies serious?
- How is allergy testing done?
- Why do I have allergies?
- And many more
More importantly, we can offer treatments for relief.
Our team at Biltmore ENT is ready to help you live a better quality of life by offering treatments for allergies in Phoenix. Contact our office today at (602) 956-1250 or click here to request an appointment.