Allergy Testing and Treatment
Allergy Testing and Treatment in Tuscaloosa
Although allergies are a common occurrence among patients of all ages, not many people understand why allergy symptoms occur. When an allergen enters the body, it causes the immune system to fight back with the production of histamine. Histamine is the body’s response to allergens, which can cause an array of symptoms.
Allergy Causes and Symptoms
When it comes to allergies, there are different types with different symptoms. Environmental allergies are the most common, with symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and watery eyes, nasal congestion, runny nose, asthma, sinus pressure, headaches, and fatigue. Most patients with environmental allergies are sensitive to pollen, dust mites, molds, and animals.
Patients can also have a penicillin allergy, which can interfere with the ability for doctors to treat them with penicillin or other antibiotics. Patients who experience the following symptoms after taking penicillin may have a penicillin allergy: hives, itching, rash, wheezing, throat closing, lip swelling, and anaphylactic shock.
Testing for allergies is the first step towards diagnosing and treating an allergy or related symptoms. Skin testing is an easy process that takes place in-office. Patients five years and older are eligible for testing.
Skin testing involves placing a small amount of allergy formulations on the skin. This is commonly done on the forearms, but can also be done on the back. Another form of testing, Intradermal Testing, consists of a small amount of the allergen extract being injected under the skin. If you react the any of the allergens, minor swelling, redness, or itching will occur in the treatment spots.
Although total avoidance of an allergen would be optimal, it is not always realistic. Medications can be prescribed, including antihistamines or nasal steroid sprays, to help relieve symptoms. For more severe allergies, allergy drops or shots can alter the body’s immune system to become more familiar with the allergen. This can help to reduce or even eliminate symptoms.
At Tuscaloosa ENT, we offer allergy testing and treatment to help address your allergy concerns. Our main concern is your safety and we take all precautions to conduct safe and reliable allergy testing. If you are interested in learning more about allergy testing and treatment, contact us today to schedule an appointment.