Allergy Testing and Diagnosis
What causes allergies?
People with allergies have immune systems that are overly reactive to common environmental exposures such as pollens, dust mites, and molds. While there is nothing inherently harmful about these exposures, an allergic patient’s immune system responds strongly to them, leading to symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose, swelling of the mucous membranes, itching, and sneezing.
Fayetteville Otolaryngology has been helping sufferers of environmental allergies since 1993. We offer testing and treatment to include indoor, outdoor, seasonal, and year-round allergens.
Symptoms of Allergies
Below is a list of symptoms that may indicate that you have allergies. Contact us if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Constant colds or a cough
- Recurrent sneezing, runny nose or stuffiness
- Chronic Sinusitis
- Red, itchy, or watery eyes
- Frequent sore/swollen throat
- Post nasal drip
- Symptoms of upper respiratory infections
- Recurrent ear infections
If our physicians suspect that your symptoms are due to allergies, you can be tested for allergies right in the office. Our testing methods are quick and efficient at identifying specific allergens. Skin testing takes between 1.5 to 2 hours and you will find out your results at the conclusion of the testing session. The testing consists of small injections of common allergens such as trees, grasses, molds, dust, and pet dander. The skin reaction you experience from the injection is measured to determine the severity of your allergy and the proper route of treatment.
Depending the results of your allergy test, either injection or oral immunotherapy may be offered as treatment options. Most patients with multiple positives on their allergy test are best treated with allergy injections, which involve a series of diluted allergens in serum injected into the arm. For your safety, we start at a very low concentration of these injections and gradually increase the dose over time to train your immune system to learn tolerance to these allergens. Results are usually noticeable between 4 and 6 months after the first injection.