What is an Allergy?
An allergy is when a person’s immune system detects a substance as a threat and as a result causes symptom such as an irritated throat, runny nose, watering eyes, skin rashes, and in extreme cases anaphylaxis, which causes the throat to swell and close up. The most common allergies include pollen, mold, dust, medicines, pet hair, and foods such as peanuts, shellfish, and various tree nuts to name a few.
Common Allergy Symptoms
Nasal, Sinus, and EyeA patient with rhinitis (inflammation of nasal passages) may encounter symptoms such as a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, itching, and dribble. Eye side effects regularly go with rhinitis and may incorporate itching, watering, and redness.Most patients with rhinitis have a hypersensitivity or affectability to dust, pet dander, and pollen. Treatment of rhinitis side effects and may include medications, or immunotherapy (allergy shots or drops) or simply avoiding the allergen.
Sensitivity Testing – Pollen, Pet, Mold, Dust, Food, and Drug
At Princeton Eye and Ear, we offer a few kinds of allergy testing in order to properly diagnose the potential allergic reaction. Every treatment plan is customized according to the patient’s history and in some cases, multiple testing methods will be necessary.
The most widely recognized kind of allergy test is known as “prick” testing. During this type of testing, the skin is scratched or gently punctured, and a little drop of every potential allergen is conveyed to the territory. The skin will then hint at a response if the patient is adversely affected by a given allergen. Patients who are interested in this type of allergy test must maintain a distance from antihistamines for 5-7 days. Over-the-counter allergy medications frequently containing antihistamines must also be avoided in order to obtain an accurate result.
This test is best for those who would like to identify an allergy related but not limited to dust, pet hair or dander, pollen, and certain types of food.
Because some patients may have skin sensitivities, blood testing serves as a common alternative to the aforementioned “Prick testing”. Blood testing is also commonly used for patients who have a history of food allergies since this type of testing can accurately identify if an individual may have outgrown an allergy.
In diagnosing contact dermatitis, patch testing can decide the reason for the skin response. Since something as basic as an allergic reaction from hand soap can cause contact dermatitis, it’s critical to perform testing to recognize all conceivable allergens. With this form of testing, allergens will be set and secured with therapeutic tape. Patients should abstain from showering, exercising, or anything that will cause the patch to not keep its position and thus washing off the allergen that is being tested. After a period of 48 hours, the patient will come back to the center and have the underlying outcomes assessed. A third appointment 24-48 hours is commonly the last step although in some cases a fourth and final appointment may be necessary.
Consulting with our Professionals at Princeton Eye and Ear
If you have an allergy than you probably already know how aggravating it can be to your day when not properly adhered to. Millions of people suffer from seasonal, food, and pet allergies to name a few and while it may not be possible to entirely eliminate an allergy there are treatments that can make them more bearable to live with. Our board-certified ENT experts will help you identify these allergens, which in return will help improve your quality of life.