Find the Actual Cause of Your Sinus Condition
Allergies complicate life. If you’re reacting to allergens, how can you thoroughly enjoy each day? Not only will you feel stuffed with congestion and empty of energy, you very well may be putting your long-term health and happiness at-risk.
For many sufferers of chronic or recurrent sinusitis (sinus infections) or chronic nasal congestion, allergies are a primary concern. Because of this, allergy testing has exploded in popularity to help those with sinus conditions rise above their symptoms and get the treatment they desperately seek.
However, the rise in allergy testing has led many providers to overlook the importance of providing a comprehensive exam that can determine the root of a sinus issue.
Do you have a sinus condition? Take our sinus quiz here and continue reading about how to determine if allergies are the core cause of your sinus issues.
What is Allergy Testing?
Allergy testing is the process of learning what allergens your body has an allergic reaction to, and the severity of that reaction. Common allergens tested in an allergy test include food, pollen, mold, pet dander, and dust mites. Tests are administered by an allergy specialist through a “skin prick” or one of many types of blood tests.
A skin prick test can test up to 40 allergens by pricking your skin with a small amount of that substance. Your skin’s reaction can reveal if your body is allergic to that allergen. Whether you’re given a skin prick or blood test, an allergy test may not reveal the full picture of your sinus health.
A comprehensive allergy test and discovery process should include the following:
- Asking for your entire list of symptoms
- A full exam with CT scan
- Allergy test recommendation
- Conducting allergy tests
- Discussing the results and treatment options with you
The Risks of Having Allergy Testing Outside of Your ENT’s Office
Mentioned above, there has been a rise in allergy testing. Testing locations are popping up around the country, and those believed to be suffering from sinus conditions are being referred to a testing location instead of visiting with their Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor to receive a full exam.
Without a full exam, the cause of a sinus condition may be missed. Regardless of the results of an allergy test, sinus issues, including chronic nasal congestion and chronic sinusitis, are often caused by structural problems. They can also be caused by enlarged turbinates or other issues that will not show up in any allergy test.
Until you undergo a full exam, there is no way to determine if your condition is not caused by an internal structural problem and not allergies. Dr. Gordon can offer you a comprehensive sinus and allergy testing and treatment plan that will determine the true cause of your issue, and outline how to fix it with our help.
Finding Long-Term Relief: Allergy Treatments
Once your condition is observed and diagnosed by your ENT, and if allergies are the primary cause of your issues, your treatment plan may include either allergy shots (immunotherapy) or allergy drops (sublingual immunotherapy - SLIT).
- Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy)
Immunotherapy, administered through regular shots (1-3 times a week), helps your body adapt to small amounts of the allergens your body reacts to. Over time, your body adjusts, and reactions to those allergens reduce and can disappear. Immunotherapy can be an effective treatment for allergies, but is not a treatment for food-related allergies.
- Allergy Drops
Allergy drops are sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). They are an alternative to allergy shots that can be taken pain-free at home. Drops are placed under the tongue and left to sit for 1-2 minutes before swallowing. Similar to allergy drops, over the course of months or years, your reactions to allergens can reduce and subside with consistent treatment.