Allergies are prevalent in the United States, with millions of Americans developing at any age. The condition is often inherited which centers around the immune system reacting to something ingested or inhaled. Symptoms can range from nasal drainage, congestion, itchy eyes, watery eyes, with an itchy throat and sneezing. There could even be confusion between allergies and chronic sinus conditions. Sonoran Ear Nose and Throat has the expertise of Otolaryngic Allergists to diagnose and treat disorders of the ear, nose, throat, and upper respiratory tract. As Otolaryngologists, Dr. Kang and Dr. Lara will be able to concomitantly diagnose other disease processes of the sinuses and nose.
Testing for specific allergens of Southern Arizona is the goal of skin testing at Sonoran Ear Nose and Throat. Testing comes in the form of noninjection testing (prick testing), and injection testing in select patients (intradermal testing), which gives very specific diagnoses of your allergies, and thus very specific treatment. This is called in vivo testing, as it is your body’s specific reaction, versus in vitro testing (i.e., RAST blood testing), which defines more potential for allergies. Testing typically takes less than an hour in office, with restriction of pretesting medications.
There are basically three modalities to allergy treatment:
- Avoidance (of the offending allergens; the things to which you are allergic) – sometimes difficult to avoid specific allergens in your area to which you are exposed to daily.
- Pharmacotherapy (medications) – multiple medications can be used ranging from antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, to decongestants. Many of the therapies are palliative and not treating underlying allergy conditions.
- Immunotherapy (allergy shots or sublingual [under tongue] desensitization) – Desensitization actually alter the body’s hyperactive response to allergens, by changing the patient’s immune system. This treatment is performed via weekly allergy injections in office, versus drops regularly under the tongue (SLIT) at home. This is similar to vaccination for infectious diseases such as the flu. A majority of patients undergo changes to improve symptoms and decrease need for allergy medications/avoidance therapy.