The effective management of allergy symptoms can not only improve a patient’s outcome, but also prevent the recurrence of symptoms over time.
New Patient Visit
Patients suffering from sinus and sleep issues with an allergic contribution usually express symptom flare ups during certain times of the year. Their sinus(Sinus Pressure) and sleep issues(Snoring) typically worsen during allergy season. At your initial visit, a focused review of your symptoms, duration and medical history is carried out to arrive at a presumptive diagnosis.
In cases of high suspicion for underlying allergy, allergy skin testing is performed to asses your response to various airborne allergens. This is the gold standard in diagnosing allergy. Further evaluation using nasal endoscopy may also be performed to characterize the anatomy of your nasal airway. Patients with allergic findings causing their nasal congestion may have “pale, boggy” inferior turbinate as well as nasal polyps. Lastly, diagnostic imaging with a CT scan may be recommended to further characterize the anatomy of your sinus region.
After arriving at an accurate diagnosis based on your medical history and testing, medical or in-office treatment is discussed. Medical therapy with antihistamines, saline irrigations, and leukotriene inhibitors may assist in symptomatic reduction. In cases where medications are not effective, oral or injection immunotherapy may be discussed to further symptom control. Procedures may assist in reducing allergy symptoms, but they do not change the underlying allergy. Therefore, most patients are treated with a combination of medical and procedural options.
What is an allergy?
An allergy occurs when you react to things like pollen or cats that don’t affect most people. If you contact something you are allergic to (called an allergen), you may have symptoms such as itching or sneezing.
How are skin tests done?
At GNO Snoring and Sinus we perform scratch testing. A tiny drop of an allergen is placed into the skin. This is the most common type of skin test.
What can I expect during a skin test?
Various allergens unique to our environment will be tested. It takes about 5 minutes to place the allergens on your skin. Then you will wait about 15 minutes to see if a small red bump appears where any of the allergens were placed.
What do the skin test results mean?
If you’re sensitive to an allergen during the scratch test, a small red bump appears on the skin where that allergen was placed. The larger the bump, the more sensitive you may be to it.
These results are called positive skin tests and mean that you may be allergic to the allergen tested.
How should I prepare for the test?
Tell your provider about all medicines you’re taking, including over-the-counter medicines.
Don’t take antihistamines for 3 days before the test.
What happens if the skin test shows I have allergies?
Your provider will create a plan for controlling your allergies. This means preventing and treating symptoms.
- Avoid or limit contact with your allergens. For example, if you’re allergic to dust mites, reduce the clutter in your house, which collects dust.
- Take medicine to relieve your symptoms. Your provider may prescribe medicines such as anti- histamines, decongestants, leukotriene inhibitors, nasal sprays, or eye drops
- Allergy shots: Some people need them when they can’t avoid an allergen. The shots contain a tiny but increasing amount of the allergen you’re sensitive to. The small increases over time in the amount of your allergen – things like dust, pollen, mold and pet dander – cause the immune system to become less sensitive to it. That reduces your allergy symptoms when you come across the allergen in the future.
- Ofﬁce Procedures: Nasal procedures do not treat the underlying allergy, but do treat symptoms of nasal congestion, post nasal drip. For patients in whom medications fail to control these symptoms, ofﬁce procedures are an effective means of providing symptomatic relief.