Forty-five million Americans suffer from allergies. The specialists at the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic of the Northwest can offer patients relief from chronic or seasonal allergies like hay fever through the most advanced diagnostic, testing and treatment methods. Treatment can help relieve the symptoms caused by allergies, such as itchy eyes, stuffy nose, sinus congestion and difficulty breathing. Treatment for allergies at the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic of the Northwest is personalized to each patient's specific needs.
Ear, Nose and Throat Allergy Management
Allergy management can include avoidance of allergens and the prescription of a variety of medications, including nose sprays and antihistamines. In more difficult cases, immunotherapy, or allergy shot may be necessary. Specialists at the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic of the Northwest can determine the best course of treatment and management for patients' allergy problems.
Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots)
While treatments with nose sprays and antihistamines tackle the symptoms of allergic disease, like nasal congestion and itchy eyes, immunotherapy is the only available treatment that can modify the course of allergic disease by reducing sensitivity to allergens. Immunotherapy can result in long-term remission of allergic symptoms in patients with highly specific or debilitating allergies. Immunotherapy requires precise diagnosis of a person's allergic response. This is done most commonly with skin testing, or in patients who can't tolerate skin testing (young children or adults with certain skin conditions), a blood test called RAST.
There are two major allergy tests that the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic of the Northwest performs, known as skin endpoint titration testing and RAST. Both tests can help to determine appropriate immunotherapy treatment. In a skin endpoint titration test, a series of shots along one or both arms are submitted just below the skin. The injections are allowed a short period to swell (no larger than a mosquito bite). The area of swelling is measured to decide on the correct dosage for immunotherapy.
RadioAllergoSorbent Test, or RAST, uses a sample of blood to mix with certain substances known to cause allergic reactions. Once mixed, the level of allergen antibodies is measured within the blood. This measurement will determine the steps taken in immunotherapy.