Get to the root cause of your sinus and allergy issues
You can’t breathe free until you can identify and treat the underlying cause of your sinus condition.
For those suffering from chronic sinus infections, allergies are a particularly important issue to address. Allergies often complicate and contribute to sinus breathing issues with symptoms such as congestion, inflammation, coughing, shortness of breath, and more. Uncontrolled allergies can contribute to poor overall health and reduced quality of life.
Allergy testing is the first step to understanding your unique allergy profile and taking control of your allergy health. It is important that allergy testing is done in conjunction with a detailed review of your medical history and sinus issues to ensure that you get the custom treatment plan that you deserve.
Take our sinus quiz to see how your sinus issues are impacting your quality of life. Let’s take a look at how allergy testing can help you breathe free!
Discover Your Unique Allergy Profile
According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation, when it comes to seasonal allergies Richmond is the most challenging city in the entire country. Our city’s lush landscapes and mild temperatures contribute to high spring and fall pollen and residents of the greater Richmond area report higher levels of allergy issues compared to other places in the country.
More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergy issues and Virginia is home to many of these allergy sufferers.
Your allergy profile is as unique as you are. Although a sneeze or cough may sound the same, each person’s allergies interact with their body and other health conditions in distinctive ways. It is important to seek out medical professionals that will treat you as an individual and take the time to fully understand your allergy issues.
Let the team of professionals at Virginia Sinus Center walk you through the allergy testing process and get to the root cause of your allergy issues.
What is Allergy Testing?
Our board-certified team uses the most advanced allergy testing procedure to ensure accurate results. Modern allergy testing types are safe and result in little to no discomfort. Various allergies from seasonal to food and medicine allergies may involve a unique allergy testing procedure. Our process ensures that your allergy test results are precise and thorough.
We take the time to review your medical history and ensure that we provide a comprehensive testing plan to address all of your underlying issues. It is important to understand the full spectrum of your allergies to put a highly effective treatment plan into action for you.
Skin Prick Testing
Skin prick testing is a familiar screening process that quickly identifies the most common allergies found in your environment. Test results will show the presence and severity of your allergic response to allergens that may be found in your home, office, and outdoor spaces. These include:
- Dust mites
- Pet Dander
- Common foods
Skin pricks are safe and are generally not considered painful. Testing is usually done on the arm but can be adjusted depending on issues like age and comfort level. Doctors have been using allergy skin tests for more than a century and technological advancements have made them safer and more accurate than ever. Today’s skin pricks are tiny micro-incisions that simply scratch the skin’s surface much like a fingernail scratch and do not break through the skin or cause bleeding.
As with all allergy testing, accuracy is critical. Before testing can begin, the skin is thoroughly cleaned with alcohol to ensure that there are no allergens or other foreign substances on the surface. Small circles or marks are then drawn around each prick where the allergen is introduced into the skin. This solution is a safe extract that contains a trace amount of a specific allergen. It is controlled and monitored to ensure your safety and comfort at all times. Two final pricks are used as comparisons to measure the amount of allergic reactions for the other areas. One of these control areas will have a simple saline or glycerin solution that should cause no skin reaction. Another control area will introduce a histamine solution that should result in a normal skin reaction.
Each allergen that is introduced will respond uniquely. The severity of the reaction can be measured by the size of the skin’s response. An allergic reaction will be indicated by the presence of a small bump known as a “wheal”. This bump will be accompanied by a larger area of red discoloration that is known as a “flare”.
By comparing the wheals and flares of the known allergies to the saline and the histamine response, we can determine specific allergies that your body is reacting to as well as the degree to which that allergen is contributing to your overall allergy problems.
Skin Testing for Unique Allergies
Not all allergens result in a reaction on the skin’s surface. These specific substances must be introduced below the skin for the body to respond. To identify and measure these unique allergens, an intradermal skin test is required. Specific allergy types that may require intradermal testing include:
- Penicillin and other medication allergies
- Insect venom (wasps, hornets, bees, etc)
As with skin prick testing, these solutions are safe and are used in conjunction with close monitoring to ensure your safety and comfort at all times. The intradermal skin test procedure uses very small needles and only results in a very short period of mild discomfort.
Blood Testing for Allergies
Allergy testing can be customized to meet unique needs based on individual health conditions, allergy issues, and medical history. Blood testing for allergies is not as common as skin testing, but there are situations in which this is an appropriate method.
An allergy blood test may be a necessary alternative in the following circumstances:
- Medication Reaction - Some medications that are used to treat other medical issues may interfere with accurate skin testing. In some cases, your physician can safely pause these medications before testing, but there are situations when pausing medication would be unsafe.
- Skin Reaction - Some skin conditions may make it difficult to obtain accurate skin testing results. Conditions such as severe psoriasis and eczema may result in the decision to avoid skin testing.
- Allergic Reaction - When testing for particularly strong allergies it may be necessary to avoid skin testing. Your safety is our primary concern and if a specific testing situation is risky, blood testing may provide a safe alternative.
We will work with your entire medical team to find the safest and most accurate allergy testing
Virginia Sinus: From testing to treatment
Your allergy treatment plan is only as good as your allergy testing results. As allergy testing has become more popular and widespread, more people have entered the allergy testing “business”. For our board-certified professionals, high quality allergy testing is a critical part of your overall health plan. We are not in the “business” of allergy testing, we are dedicated to putting decades of extensive medical training to work so that you can breathe free and enjoy all that life has to offer.
Allergy testing is so much more than a few pricks and an allergy solution. It is understanding how your body is responding to each allergen, knowing how to measure and quantify your allergic reaction, and put together a treatment plan that can reduce or even eliminate your allergy problems. There are rare possibilities when the body responds to something that you are not allergic to (false positive) or when you don’t respond to something that you are allergic to (false negative). There are even times when an allergy is accurately identified even though that allergy does not have a negative impact on your body. This is why you should only trust the most highly-trained professionals for your allergy testing needs. We know how to test, but even more importantly we have the experience to understand the results and customize your treatment plan.
Your unique allergy treatment plan will be designed with your needs in mind. Depending on your goals, our team can design a plan that includes a blend of any of the following treatments.
- Allergy Medication - Depending on the severity of your symptoms and your overall goals, it is possible to manage your allergies with over-the-counter or prescription medications. It is important to understand that medication does not treat allergies, but it can effectively control symptoms and improve quality of life.
- Allergy Immunotherapy (allergy shots or allergy drops) - If your long-term goal is to get to the underlying issues that are causing your allergies then you may want to consider allergy shots or allergy drops. These treatment plans retrain your body to identify harmless allergens and can significantly reduce or eliminate allergic reactions. Unlike other treatment options, this is the only solution that treats the fundamental allergies that you are suffering from.
- Medical Procedures - Often your allergy symptoms are made more difficult as it interacts with other serious medical issues. Allergy sufferers often struggle with sinus infections, sleep disruption, and other issues that impact the ear, nose, and throat (ENT). There are safe, affordable, and non-invasive ENT solutions for all of your medical needs. These solutions work hand-in-hand with your allergy treatment plan to provide a comprehensive long-term solution.
Allergy Testing: Virginia Sinus Center is your trusted solution
Don’t trust your important medical decisions to just anyone, look to the professionals at Virginia Sinus Center. Our extensive medical training allows us the unique ability to understand how your allergies, sinuses, and other medical conditions all work together. We review your allergy test results and medical history to customize a plan that is based on your individual goals. Only a trained ENT can connect all of the pieces to ensure a safe and highly effective long-term treatment plan.
From allergy testing to sinus symptoms, we have you covered throughout the entire process. Virginia Beach may be the most challenging city for seasonal allergies, but it doesn’t have to be the most challenging city for you. Call us today and let’s work together on an allergy testing action plan. We will ensure that you are breathing free and living life to the fullest!Request Your Allergy Consultation