A Breath of Fresh Air!
Allergy is characterized by an over-reaction of the human immune system to a foreign protein substance called "allergen". These allergens can be introduced to the body in any of these ways: being breathed into the lungs, by touch, by injection or by ingestion as in a food or beverage.
This immune over-reaction can result in symptoms such as chronic coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, fatigue, and scratch throat. In severe cases it can also result in hives, rashes, lower blood pressure, difficulty breathing, asthma attacks and even death.
In general, there are two types of allergy testing; skin testing and blood testing. Here, at Ear, Nose and Throat of Warrensburg, we utilize one type of blood testing and two types of skin testings. Allergy testing, like allergy treatment, is highly individualized. Skin testing is the "gold standard" of allergy testing, as it demonstrates exactly how an individual reacts to an allergen after a direct exposure to such. The techniques used in our office are listed below.
Conventional Prick Testing
In conventional skin prick testing, allergens are introduced only into the outermost layer of the skin to give a broad sense of what in individual is allergic to. This allows us to grossly estimate how allergic they are to each allergen. We use "multi-test" needle-less device to maximize efficiency and minimize discomfort. Results are indicated by a development of raised bumps. Prick testing is very well tolerated, even in young children and takes about 30 minutes to complete.
Modified Quantitative Testing (MQT)
In MQT, epidermal prick testing and limited intra-dermal testing (the deeper layer of skin) are combined to more precisely identify the degree of reactivity to each allergen and can be completed in 60-90 minutes.
RAST (Radio-AllergoSorbent Testing) is performed on blood drawn from an individual suspected to have an allergy. The blood is drawn in our office and tested in our In-house Lab. The blood sample is mixed with different allergens to look fora chemical reaction. The reaction is recorded and analyzed by a computer. RAST testing is primarily used in young children who will not tolerate skin testing or in individuals treated with certain medications that make it unsafe to perform skin testing.
What are the Treatment Options?
Treatment methods include Avoidance of the known allergen, Medication Therapy such as nasal steroids, decongestants, antihistamines, etc..., or Immunotherapy in the form of allergy injections or sublingual (under the tongue) drops.
Our physician can evaluate and treat your allergies according to your individual results and what best suits your needs. We provide allergy consultations, testing and immunotherapy courses of treatment. The better informed you are about your allergies, the more proactive you can be in your treatment.