Facial pressure, nasal congestion, sinus pain, runny nose, itchy and watery eyes can all be symptoms of an underlying allergy or sinus condition. Other symptoms may include rashes or difficulty breathing.
At SCENT, we treat a number of allergy and sinus conditions to help our patients to regain their quality of life.
Our allergy specialists use a range of testing to help pinpoint exactly what you might be allergic to so that precise treatment can be determined. Two of the most commonly used methods are skin testing and blood testing.
Skin testing works by exposing the skin to suspected allergens and then observing the skin to see if there is a reaction. Your doctor may use a type of skin testing known as a skin prick test, which can check for many different types of allergens – such as pollen, mold and pet dander – at once. These tests are not painful and only use needles that barely penetrate the skin’s surface. In certain situations, skin testing may not be right for you, in which case your doctor may use RAST resting instead.
Radioallergosorbent testing, or RAST, is a blood test that looks for specific allergen-related antibodies in your blood in order to identify your specific allergy triggers.
When an individual isn’t breathing properly or not getting enough air, pulmonary function testing can be used to find out why. Spirometry, for example, is one of the most common of these tests and is used to measure how much air you can inhale and exhale. Your doctor may use spirometry to help diagnose asthma and other breathing problems.
Immunotherapy – or allergy shots – is often recommended for those suffering from chronic or severe allergies. Shots are usually given at regular intervals, and can take up to three to five years to be effective.
For patients with mild to severe nasal allergy symptoms, pharmacotherapy – or medical treatment – can often help. Treatment regimens can vary but are tailored to the individual’s needs based on symptoms and the severity of their condition.
Rush immunotherapy provides patients with the benefits of allergy shots but at an accelerated pace. For some, rush immunotherapy is an option if they have a life-threatening allergy to a particular insect venom and cannot wait for traditional shots to become effective or cannot get to their physician’s office often. Rush immunization does not always work and is not effective for everyone, which is why it is important to talk to your allergist about this therapy.