An allergy is an exaggerated immune response to substances that are generally not harmful. Common substances that cause reactions include pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, insect venom, and foods. When you suffer from allergies, the symptoms can range from hay fever and nasal congestion to sinus infections, ear infections, or sore throat. Allergies can also exacerbate asthma and atopic skin conditions.
ALLERGY TESTING OPTIONS
Here at NorthWest ENT, we can help you successfully identify and manage your allergic symptoms. We offer comprehensive allergy testing for both food and environmental allergens. Our preferred method for testing is allergy skin testing, which is considered the gold standard for identifying allergens. Allergy skin testing is performed in clinic and takes about 60 minutes to complete. This is accomplished with a two-step process consisting of skin pricks followed by intradermal testing. Results are available immediately following the testing, at which time you will meet with one of our providers to discuss management options.
For patients who are unable to tolerate allergy skin testing, which can be due to a variety of reasons including certain medications such as beta blockers or skin conditions, an alternative method is available. This is called RAST or immunocap testing and is performed with a blood draw in the lab. With this method, results are typically available within 1-2 weeks after testing is performed.
ALLERGY TREATMENT OPTIONS
Based on your specific symptoms and results of testing, we will work with you to come up with a custom plan to help manage your allergies. One category of treatment that we offer for environmental allergies is immunotherapy. This is an extended-duration treatment consisting of the traditional method of allergy injections, or newer sublingual immunotherapy. Patients receiving allergy injections, or subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT), come in weekly for an allergy injection. Those on sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) have the first dose administered in clinic, subsequent dosing is performed at home by placing drops of the allergen under the tongue.
For more information on Allergies and allergy treatments in the Milwaukie and Portland, Oregon areas call Northwest ENT & Allergy at (503) 513-8693 today!