Allergy Testing FAQ
WHAT ARE THE TYPICAL ALLERGEN SEASONS?
- Weeds: Pollinates in late July, peaks from August through October, and continues until the first hard freeze.
- Grasses: Pollinates from March through September, peaking from May through June.
- Trees: Pollinates in February, and continues through June.
WHAT ARE COMMON PERENNIAL (YEAR-ROUND) ALLERGENS?
- Dust Mites: Microscopic organisms that thrive on human skin cells, found on pillows, mattresses, and carpets.
- Molds: Live and thrive indoors and outdoors in moist dark areas.
- Animals & Insects: Dander and protein found in waste and/or saliva may cause irritation.
Paperwork & Instructions
- Allergy History Form
Required for all allergy testing patients.
- Allergy Testing Consent Form
Required for all allergy testing patients.
- Instructions Prior to Allergy Testing
Follow these instructions prior to your appointment for allergy testing.
- Instructions and Consent Forms for SLIT
Follow these instructions prior to your appointment for allergy testing and SLIT.
What Are Allergies?
When a person comes into contact with a trigger (whether pollen, mold, or something else), the body starts to create a protein called IgE. This latches onto the allergen, which releases histamine and other chemicals into the blood. In turn, this leads to the symptoms that the person starts to notice. The antibodies identify the allergen as harmful, even though it typically is not, which causes the symptoms. Allergy symptoms depend on the substance, but typically affect the airways, sinuses, nasal passages, digestive system, and skin. Common triggers include airborne allergens, foods such as peanuts or soy, insect stings, medicine, and certain substances such as latex. Symptoms can often be relatively mild, but in many cases may be more severe, if not life-threatening. Hay fever generally includes sneezing and runny nose, while food allergies tend to cause tingling in the mouth, hives, or swelling of the throat, tongue, face, or lips. Allergies to drugs can cause wheezing or hives, among other symptoms, and insect sting allergies can lead to excessive swelling or chest tightness. The first time you notice such symptoms, it is important to contact an ear, nose & throat (ENT) doctor immediately. Get quick answers to your questions in our Allergy FAQ.
While some allergic reactions may be very mild, having an allergy does increase your risk of other medical problems. Anaphylaxis becomes an increased risk, as it is an allergy-induced reaction. Patients who suffer from allergies are also more likely to have asthma or sinusitis which means it is important to see an ear, nose & throat (ENT) specialist. When you see our providers at Clear Lake Medical Center, we will obtain a detailed medical history and conduct a full examination, carefully evaluating your symptoms. We may run tests, including possibly skin allergy tests and allergy blood tests, to aid in tailoring your treatment.
Allergy Testing Device in Use
Magnified Allergy Testing Site
If you cannot avoid allergens, many medications can assist in controlling the symptoms, with the most common being decongestants and antihistamines. In general, there is no cure for allergies, but drugs can be used to ease, treat, and effectively manage the symptoms. There are several options available such as oral antibiotics, oral steroids, nasal steroids, oral antihistamines, nasal antihistamines, decongestants and several other pharmacologic agents both over-the-counter or prescription. It can be overwhelming for a patient but your ear, nose & throat (ENT) specialist will work closely with you to help ascertain which treatment plan works best for you to reduce side effects and improve your quality of life.
Allergy Immunotherapy in Webster
Instead of a cure, immunotherapy helps adjust the body to allergens and triggers. Much like a vaccine, immunotherapy is a form of treatment that tries to correct the incorrect response of your immune system. This is often recommended if medication does not provide enough relief and symptoms last for a significant amount of time. Immunotherapy involves gradually increasing until it reaches the maintenance dose. Currently immunotherapy is administered in both injected and oral drop form.
Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT)
Another method to help with allergies that does not require needles is sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). This preventative and safe treatment works by putting customized medicated drops under the tongue, and helps decrease the body’s sensitivity to triggers. These drops are usually administered by the patient at home daily which makes SLIT both a convenient and desirable option. Learn more about SLIT by visiting our SLIT FAQ.
Get Allergy Relief
If you or a loved one is suffering from symptoms such as nasal congestion, postnasal drip, runny nose, facial pain or pressure, and/or headaches, contact us at Clear Lake Medical Center. Our ear, nose & throat (ENT) providers will work closely with you to find an effective treatment plan to provide allergy relief as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you. When you do make an appointment, be sure to visit our allergy testing and treatment instructions and paperwork page to get a head start.
For more information, give us a call at (281) 332-4575.
Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) Testing
Medications such as antihistamines and nasal sprays treat allergy-related symptoms, whereas immunotherapy induces a natural immunity or tolerance to the allergen. The purpose of immunotherapy is to decrease sensitivity to allergy-causing substances so that exposure to the offending allergen results in fewer and less severe symptoms. It is not a substitute for avoidance of known allergens or for the use of allergy medications — it is a supplement to these treatment measures.
SLIT Testing FAQ
Allergy drops have been proven safe and effective for over 30 years, they are endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO), and extensive research has been done to show the safety and effectiveness of this method.
Ready to Get Started?
Our ENT and audiology specialists work to diagnose the cause and severity of your condition and provide the treatment you need to get back to good health.