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Allergy Testing at Frederick Breathe Free

Your allergies may be the true cause of your sinus issues

If you are dealing with chronic sinus issues, allergies are an important thing to address. This is because allergies can cause worsened sinus symptoms and an increase in the frequency of sinus infections. Allergies can cause congestion, inflammation, coughing, shortness of breath, and more. When they go untreated, allergies can cause a reduced quality of life and poor health.

The best way to find out if your allergies are contributing to your chronic sinus issues is to have them tested. This will allow you and your ENT to better understand your allergy profile so that you can get successful treatment. To fully understand your allergies, you need an ENT that will perform an allergy test in conjunction with a review of your medical history and full examination.

Your allergies can cause debilitating sinus symptoms. Take our sinus quiz to see how your quality of life is being affected.

Your unique allergy profile deserves a unique treatment plan

While the signs and symptoms of allergies may be similar on the outside, all allergy profiles are unique. Allergies can react differently for you than they will for someone else. This is why it is important to see a professional ENT when thinking about having your allergies tested.

At Frederick Breathe Free, we guide you through the fully comprehensive testing process and then work with you to develop the best treatment plan for you.

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What is an allergy test?

Testing for allergies involves exposing your body to allergens in some way to see how the body reacts. The two main types of allergy testing are skin testing and blood testing.

Allergy Testing Procedure

Skin Testing

The skin prick test is the most widely used allergy testing technique because it can identify your body’s reaction to the most common allergens. During the test, we will see how your body reacts as well as the severity of the reaction. The skin test usually tests for the most common allergens that you find around your home, office, or outside including:

  • Dust Mites
  • Pet Dander
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Common food allergies

Skin prick tests are not painful, and they are usually administered on the arm. The location can be changed based on your age and level of comfort. Skin testing for allergens has been around for over 100 years and it continues to prove safe and accurate. Modern skin testing does not penetrate the skin or cause bleeding because they are like a fingernail scratch.

Child enjoying the benefits of allergy drops

Before the skin test starts, the skin is cleaned using alcohol so that all foreign substances are removed. Small marks are then made around the future location of each prick. The pricks are then made and a solution containing a small amount of the allergen is introduced to the pricked area. After that, you will be pricked two more times as a control group. The first control prick contains a saline solution that should not cause a reaction and the second prick contains a histamine solution that will cause a regular reaction. These pricks allow us to compare your normal reaction to an allergic reaction.

Every allergen that is introduced to your skin may react in different ways and the degree of the reaction can be measured based on the skin’s response. “Wheals” and “flares” on the skin will allow us to determine if you are allergic to any of the pricks. A “wheal” is a small bump on the skin that may be accompanied by a red area around it called a “flare.”

We will then use the wheals and flares to compare the pricks containing allergens to the control pricks. This allows us to determine how the body reacts to the allergens we are testing.

Skin testing is accurate, and it allows for us to learn about your allergies and put together a unique comprehensive treatment plan.

Intradermal Skin Testing

An intradermal skin test is appropriate when testing for certain allergens that will not show up on a regular skin test. During an intradermal skin test, the foreign substances are introduced just below the skin's surface using a small needle to get a reaction from the body. The injection may cause mild discomfort, but it will allow us to accurately determine your allergies. Some allergens that may require an intradermal skin test include:

  • Penicillin and other medication related allergies
  • Insect venoms like wasp, hornets, or bee sting

This test is perfectly safe and is monitored closely to ensure safety.

Blood Testing

Allergy tests need to be customized to fit the needs of the person being tested. This means that in some cases a blood test may be the only option. Blood testing is not as common as skin testing but it may be needed based on your health conditions, allergy issues, and medical history.

A blood test may be needed if:

Your medication reacts with the skin test - If medications you're taking interact with skin testing you may need a blood allergy test. However, your doctor may be able to pause your medication for a short period so that you can receive a skin test.

You have a skin condition - Some skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema can interfere with a skin test and make it hard to get accurate results.

You have severe allergic reactions - If your allergic reactions are severe and deemed unsafe then a blood test may be suggested as a safe alternative.

At Frederick Breathe Free we will work with your whole medical team to make sure that your allergy testing is done safely.

Allergy testing types at Frederick Breathe Free

Are there risks associated with getting allergy testing and treatment

The short answer is yes. Your allergy testing will only be as good as the place you get the testing done. An allergy test needs to be fully comprehensive so that the true cause of your sinus symptoms is not missed.

The rising popularity of allergy testing has led to the development of allergy testing centers everywhere. Some of these places only test for allergens and do not perform comprehensive examinations. A comprehensive exam is important because it will allow your ENT to rule out any other sinus problem causes like a deviated septum or nasal blockage. At Frederick Breathe Free, our professionals can perform a comprehensive exam that will allow them to truly identify the root cause of your issues.

Our ENT professionals also have the knowledge and skills to accurately measure your unique reactions and identify false positives and negatives. We can then develop a comprehensive treatment plan that is unique to you. Your treatment plan may include:

Allergy Medication

Medications like antihistamines, sprays, or over-the-counter medications can help to control your symptoms depending on the severity of your allergies. Medications won’t treat the underlying causes of your allergies, but they are a good tool to use while getting treatment for your allergies.

Immunotherapy (Allergy Drops or Shots)

Immunotherapy is a long-term solution for your allergies. During immunotherapy, you are slowly introduced to your allergens over 3-5 years to retrain your body. Over time, your body will learn to react normally to your allergens.

This is the only long-term treatment that gets to the cause of your allergies rather than just treating the symptoms.

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Medical Procedures

If you suffer from allergies, then there is a good chance that you also suffer from sinus issues that make your allergies even worse. Conditions like sinus infections, sleep disruption, and other ENT issues may need treatment that goes hand in hand with your allergy treatment plan to get the best results.

Frederick Breathe Free is your place for allergy testing.

Our medical professionals at Frederick Breathe Free understand allergies. They have the knowledge to make sure that your allergy testing is fully comprehensive and that you get a treatment plan that is unique to you.

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