Do you need allergy testing? Here’s what the process will look like.
If you are battling allergies, you are all too familiar with how your immune system overreacts when it comes in contact with an otherwise harmless substance. You may blow your nose constantly, or your eyes may be so itchy they might drive you crazy. If you don’t know what’s causing these symptoms to flare up, our San Antonio, TX, board-certified otolaryngologist Dr. Christine Gilliam may recommend allergy testing.
There are Three Main Types of Allergy Testing
When you come in for your consultation at our San Antonio, TX, practice, the first thing Dr. Gilliam will do is learn more about your symptoms. From there, she will discuss the different kinds of allergy testing she offers and determines which one will help uncover which substances you’re allergic to. The two most common types of allergy testing are skin tests and blood tests.
Skin Tests are the Most Common Allergy Testing
In most instances, our San Antonio, TX, team will recommend skin tests to test for allergies. This involves barely pricking the skin with needles that contain a minimal amount of certain allergens to test your skin’s reaction. This is often performed to check for environmental and food-related allergens; however, this may not be the best approach if someone has a severe food-related allergen.
Results Usually Appear Quickly with Skin Tests
If you’re undergoing a skin prick test, most reactions occur within the first 15 minutes after injection. We will monitor and evaluate your skin the whole time to look for raised, itchy bumps. Once we’ve detected a reaction, we will clean the skin thoroughly to eliminate the welts. Most people will experience symptoms for a few hours after their skin prick test, but you may choose to take an antihistamine after leaving our office.
Severe Allergies May Require a Blood Test
If you are prone to a severe and even life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, our ENT team may recommend that you undergo a blood test over a skin test. A blood test may also be a better option if you’ve been diagnosed with a skin condition like psoriasis. Instead of exposing someone to an allergen like a skin prick test, a blood test will look for the presence of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in your body. It usually takes a few days after your blood test to get your results.
Talk to Us About Your Medications
Our team must know precisely what OTC or prescription medications, supplements and herbs you take, as they could interfere with your allergy test results. Before your test, you may need to stop taking antihistamines, heartburn medications, or tricyclic antidepressants. During your consultation, Dr. Gilliam will be able to tell you which drugs you should stop taking and for how long before your skin prick test.
Through allergy testing and a person’s detailed medical history, Dr. Gilliam and the San Antonio, TX, team at ENT & Sinus Center can often provide a diagnosis and custom treatment plan. If you need help controlling your allergy, turn to our experts. Call (210) 647-3838 today.
Having severe allergies can strike fear in the needle-phobic as they may think that they need allergy shots to combat the allergic reactions. This is not always the case. Severe allergies can be treated with medication sublingually. Sublingual means under the tongue. Dr. Christine Gilliam from Everyone's ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX, offers SLIT, which stands for sublingual immunotherapy. SLIT has the potential to reduce or eliminate allergic reactions. And the best part - no needles involved! Read on to learn more about SLIT and if it seems like an option that you would like to try.
What is Allergy Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT)?
SLIT is a method of immunotherapy that involves consistently introducing a very small amount of your allergen to the body. This is done in the hopes that your immune system adapts to it and no longer sees it as a threat and causes an allergic reaction. With SLIT, the allergen is introduced by way of drops placed under the tongue. Allergy treatment using SLIT in San Antonio, TX is a great alternative form of immunotherapy for children and other patients who feel anxiety over the prospect of needing allergy shots due to a fear of needles.
How does SLIT work?
This immunotherapy couldn't be easier or safer. It involves placing a couple of drops under the tongue every morning, holding the drops there for 2 minutes, and then swallowing. It is advised to refrain from eating for 15 minutes after taking the allergy drops. SLIT is a long-term treatment, as are all forms of immunotherapy, of generally 3 to 5 years. It is overwhelmingly well-tolerated with very minor side effects reported.
This option is superior to other medications you take when you have symptoms, which are akin to placing a band-aid on the problem. SLIT is addressing the root of the problem. While it will take a while to reap the full benefits, after you begin taking SLIT, the first allergy season that you live through will be slightly better. And every allergy season after that will be even better.
Is SLIT FDA approved?
SLIT is a relatively new form of treating allergies in the United States. However, it is not at all a new treatment itself. SLIT has been used in Europe for years with great results. Documented evidence is simply lacking in the US to garner full FDA approval. SLIT is currently undergoing extensive testing and research to determine efficacy and we have every reason to believe that this form of immunotherapy will have full FDA approval soon.
If you or your child has severe allergies along with a fear of needles, sublingual immunotherapy may be the solution to the dilemma. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Gilliam from Everyone's ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX to discuss SLIT and its benefits. You can reach us by calling (210) 647-3838.
When your child is complaining about issues with their ears, nose, or throat, it can be difficult for them to explain exactly what they’re feeling, and you may not know what they may be dealing with. It’s important to understand when these issues may need help and when you should be bringing them to their ENT doctor. Dr. Christine Gilliam, your pediatric ENT at Everyone’s ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX, can explain when you should take your child to their ENT and what issues they may be dealing with.
When Your Child Should Visit Their ENT
When your child is really small, it can be hard for them to explain exactly what they’re feeling so you should always be aware of any signs that they may be in pain. This could be crying for more than basic needs, wincing when drinking or eating, and noticing pain when they swallow.
A common issue that children can deal with are ear infections. Having an ear infection once in a while isn’t always a big deal, but when you notice that your child is dealing with reoccurring ear infections, it may be time to visit their pediatric ENT doctor. There are different issues that may cause ear infections to continue happening and this won’t go away without specific treatment from your child’s ENT doctor.
You may also notice that your child experiences chronic sinus infections and irritation. This could be a sign of sinusitis or other factors that may be causing issues with your child. This can make it difficult for your child to feel comfortable participating in normal activities and needs to be treated as soon as possible.
If your child is having issues swallowing, this could be a sign of tonsillitis. Enlarged tonsils can cause problems with sleeping, eating, or infection and can make it difficult for your child to feel comfortable and need to be treated.
Contact Your Pediatric ENT
Don’t hesitate to visit your pediatric ENT! Contact Dr. Christine Gilliam, your pediatric ENT at Everyone’s ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX, so that you know when to bring your child to their ENT! Call for more information today at (210) 647-3838.
How balloon sinuplasty from your ENT doctor in San Antonio, TX, can help you breathe better
Chronic sinusitis can make you miserable. It can be difficult to breathe through your nose. You are also prone to developing sinus headaches, making it difficult to concentrate and focus. Your ENT specialist can help ease your discomfort with a procedure known as balloon sinuplasty.
Dr. Christine Gilliam at Everyone’s ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX, offers a wide range of ear, nose, and throat services, including balloon sinuplasty to help you breathe better.
If you have tried over-the-counter sinus products, no doubt you’ve found that they don’t relieve your sinusitis permanently. Balloon sinuplasty is a much better solution, offering permanent relief from chronic sinusitis symptoms.
Balloon sinuplasty is a revolutionary, minimally invasive alternative to open sinus surgery. The procedure is used very effectively to treat:
- Chronic, recurrent nasal and sinus symptoms
- Chronic sinus infections that don’t resolve
- Headache pain behind and around your eyes
- Congestion and difficulty breathing through your nose
Let’s look at some of the amazing advantages of having balloon sinuplasty:
- Treatment is minimally invasive with no incisions, sutures, or scarring
- Treatment is far less painful than conventional sinus surgery
- There is far less risk of infection because there are no incisions into soft tissue
- Treatment requires little to no downtime so you can get back to your life quickly and easily
During balloon sinuplasty treatment, an ultrathin catheter is inserted into your nostril and guided up into your sinus. The catheter has a balloon on one end. When the catheter encounters a blockage, the balloon is inflated, which clears the blockage and opens up your sinus. The balloon is then deflated and the catheter is removed.
To learn more about balloon sinuplasty and how it can help you breathe better, talk with an expert. Call Dr. Christine Gilliam at Everyone’s ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX. You can reach her in the office by calling (210) 647-3838, so call now.
Get the facts on what to expect at your upcoming allergy test.
If you find yourself battling allergy symptoms regularly, or they are so severe that you’re in constant discomfort, then you may be wondering if you should turn to our San Antonio, TX, board-certified otolaryngologist Dr. Christine Gilliam for allergy testing. Here’s what to expect when you turn to Everyone’s ENT & Sinus Center for allergy testing,
The Types of Allergy Testing
When it comes to allergy testing the main type of test is a skin prick test, which looks for immediate reactions to specific allergens. These very tiny needles barely prick the skin, so it is considered painless. The test is performed on your forearm and usually takes no more than 30 minutes to one hour. After the skin has been pierced we will wait 15 minutes to see if there is a reaction. We perform allergy testing right here in our San Antonio, TX, office.
If there isn’t a reaction but our team still believes that you might have allergies, we may recommend a skin injection test, which involves injecting a small dose of the allergen directly under the skin to see if this causes a reaction. This is performed the exact same way as a skin prick test.
When to Get a Blood Allergy Test
While a skin prick test tends to be the gold standard it isn’t the only way to detect allergies. If you are someone who deals with anaphylaxis or severe allergy symptoms, then our San Antonio, TX, otolaryngologist may recommend blood testing over a skin prick test. If you have a skin condition such as eczema, a blood test may also be preferred over a skin prick test, which could aggravate symptoms.
Talk to Your Doctor About the Medications You’re Taking
Did you know that certain medications could actually inhibit an allergic reaction and therefore cause a false negative on your allergy test? This is the last thing we want to have happen, as this delays your ability to get the proper diagnosis and allergy treatment you need.
During your consultation, it’s important that you list all prescription and over-the-counter medications you’re taking, including antidepressants, heartburn medication and even antihistamines. Let us know all the medications you’re currently taking so we can instruct you as to when you should stop taking these medications before your allergy testing.
Get Results Right Away
It’s easy to spot an allergic reaction on your skin prick test, which also means that you’ll receive results immediately when getting allergy testing at our San Antonio, TX, office. If you have to get a blood allergy test, expect it to take up to two weeks to get results.
Everyone’s ENT & Sinus Center is the leading ear, nose and throat team in San Antonio, TX. If you’re interested in getting allergy testing to find out what’s causing your symptoms, call our office at (210) 647-3838 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gilliam.
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