Posts for tag: Allergy
Allergens can come from pollen, food, dander from pets, bee stings, dust mites, latex, mold, and more. If you are allergic to one of these and exposed to it, your immune system goes into overdrive by producing specific antibodies. These may not be released in someone else's body when exposed to the same thing. These antibodies release chemicals that cause an allergic reaction. It's good to know what may trigger an allergic reaction so you can better prepare for and manage it. The doctors here at West Coast Ear, Nose, Throat, and Neck Surgery provide allergy testing in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard, and Camarillo, CA.
How does allergy testing work?
There are multiple ways to perform an allergy test, the most common being skin testing. However, depending on your case, another kind of test may be ordered.
The skin test involves a pinprick with a needle that has a tiny amount of the substance that your doctor or you think that you may be allergic to. Intradermal skin testing is another method. In this type of test, a small amount of the suspected allergens are placed right underneath the skin using a small needle. After either type of skin test, results will be available in about 15 minutes.
Sometimes, an individual will not make an appropriate candidate for a skin test. This is usually the case with individuals who are on medications that may affect the results of a skin test. In this case, a blood test may be ordered. Your blood will be tested for how it responds when exposed to potential allergens. A higher number of antibodies and white blood cells may determine that you have an allergy to something.
There are other, lesser-used allergy tests. These include a patch test which involves the wearing of a patch on your skin containing a small amount of potential allergen. After 2 days, you will return to the office and your provider will determine your level of allergy to the substance. There is also something called a Challenge test which must be conducted under medical supervision. This test involves swallowing a small amount of food that is a suspected allergen and watching how your body reacts.
How can I better manage reactions to my known allergens?
Some things that you can do to manage allergies in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard, Camarillo, CA are:
● Avoid allergens, particularly ones that cause a strong reaction
● Taking a daily antihistamine or other allergy medication
● Allergy shots dampen the response of the immune system when exposed to allergens.
● Carry a medical alert card and epinephrine pen with you for severe reactions.
Schedule an appointment for allergy testing at West Coast Ear, Nose, Throat, and Neck Surgery in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard, Camarillo, CA by calling one of 4 locations:
● Thousand Oaks - (805) 379-9646
● Simi Valley - (805) 527-7320
● Oxnard - (805) 983-0395
● Camarillo location - (805) 484-5929
Is it an allergy or sinus trouble or both? For the most accurate therapies, consult West Coast ENT Head & Neck Surgery in Thousand Oaks. The team of seven otolaryngologists can differentiate between the conditions which cause your symptoms and get you the relief you deserve.
Which is it?
The American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy states that people who suffer with allergies, and the resulting overproduction of histamines, may also have sinus problems--repeat infections, structural problems, and continual inflammation. Additionally, one condition may be confused the other.
The doctors at West Coast ENT Head & Neck Surgery can sort it all out. They perform complete ear, nose, throat examinations, note patient symptoms, do imaging, and endoscopic examination of the sinuses and often recommend allergy testing. With their findings, they formulate the right sinus and allergy therapies for their Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, Camarillo, and Simi Valley patients.
There are many therapies to help people deal with the sneezing, runny nose, itching and watery eyes characteristic of allergies. One of the most important is identification of triggers. What things does a person ingest, breathe in, touch or just live with which may precipitate the body's overproduction of histamine?
Common triggers are pet dander, mold, pollen, peanuts, shellfish, milk, and tobacco smoke. Carefully noting symptoms helps identify triggers, but allergy testing in the office renders more accurate results.
Other therapies can include:
- Allergy shots (minute amounts of allergens injected to desensitize the body's immune response)
- Decongestants (oral or nasal sprays)
Sinus infections may be acute or chronic (repeated again and again) and feature symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, sneezing, headache, fatigue, and runny nose. Your ENT doctor may advise antihistamines and decongestants or something simple called nasal irrigation (saline water washed through the nose with a Neti pot).
With active infection, antibiotics may help, although physicians are wary of their overuse. While most sinus conditions do not require surgical intervention, some do. Examples are nasal polyps and deviated septum.
We can help
Please don't suffer with allergy and sinus symptoms. At West Coast ENT Head & Neck Surgery, we pinpoint the problem and get you on the path to wellness. Call (805) 379-9646 for our Thousand Oaks, CA, office, (805) 527-7320 for our Simi Valley, CA, office, (805) 983-0395 for our Oxnard, CA, office, or (805) 484-5929 for our Camarillo, CA, office.
With allergy season upon us, you may notice yourself sneezing and sniffling more often than normal. However, allergies come from more sources than just pollen or grass. But how do you know if you have an allergy? Find out with your doctor at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Camarillo and Oxnard, CA.
Signs and Symptoms of Allergies
If you find yourself sneezing or itching your eyes more than usual, you could be suffering from allergies. Unfortunately, allergies can develop at any age, even if you have never suffered from them before. Allergies may differ depending on the allergen, but symptoms usually include:
- watery eyes
- red eyes
- runny nose
- clear nasal discharge
- itchy throat
- symptoms which continue longer than two weeks
Allergy tests are your best bet for diagnosing exactly what triggers your allergic reaction. A skin test involves placing small amounts of various allergens onto the skin, then scratching the skin and watching its reaction to the allergen. If the skin reacts to an allergen, you are allergic to that particular thing. A blood test looks for the number of antibodies, the body’s natural reaction to an allergen, in the blood to determine an allergic reaction. The results of a blood test take several days to come back from the laboratory while the skin test’s results are immediate.
Allergy Treatment in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Camarillo and Oxnard
Treatment for your allergies depends on the results of your tests as treatments vary with different allergens. Over-the-counter or prescription antihistamine medication helps relieve the symptoms of allergies. Nasal sprays help flush pollen or other allergens out of the nasal cavity. Eye drops can help calm itchy or irritated eyes. Allergy shots administered several times a year help relieve the symptoms of allergies from the inside out.
For more information on allergies, please contact your doctor at West Coast Ear, Nose, and Throat in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Camarillo and Oxnard, CA. Call to schedule your allergy test today!