An Otolaryngologist is the best option for patients to see because the effects that allergies have on the body go much deeper than just allergy testing and treatment. 50% of sinus complications are the result of allergies. These complications directly affect parts of the body such as the ears, nose and throat and often result in structural problems that require thorough examination and subsequent surgery. While an Allergist can detect the presence of allergies and devise treatment plans, they are unable to complete a comprehensive examination of the sinuses and surrounding structures. Without addressing these areas, the treatment of allergies alone may not be enough to resolve all of the patient’s symptoms.
Our Otolaryngologists at Atlantic Ear, Nose & Throat have devoted their careers to caring for patients with sinus and allergy disorders. A comprehensive clinical evaluation is performed to carefully examine the inside of the patient’s nose with an endoscope to assess other possible conditions such as nasal polyps and sinusitis. A CT sinus scan is also commonly used to visualize the patient’s nasal airways and sinuses. A patient can expect to be seen for allergy testing in our office and know their results the same day. Our allergy skin test consists of two parts; a skin prick test (or scratch test) and a skin injection test (or intradermal test). When testing has been performed elsewhere, we have often experienced that only the skin prick test has been done (not the intradermal testing) which lacks information as results are limited to the superficial layer of the skin. Some patients will not show reactions during the skin prick test; however will have reactions during the skin injection test.
Our allergy skin testing is unique because it is qualitative and quantitative; the test not only indicates what the patient’s allergies are but how allergic the patient is to each of the 38 allergens tested that are specific to Central Florida. The severity of the allergy is proportional to the size of the reaction. These measurements are essential for re-testing the patient in order to prove immunotherapy treatment is working. We have often experienced when patients have returned to our office for allergy treatment after being tested elsewhere, the allergy skin test was not quantitative and the allergens tested do not match our allergy panel.
Atlantic Ear, Nose & Throat, offers follow-up care with sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), which is quickly becoming the preferred method for the treatment of allergies. As an alternative option to shots, SLIT is taken at home by the patient and administered using a small pump that distributes drops of liquid underneath the patient’s tongue. The drops consist of allergen extracts that the patient has tested positive for during a previous allergy skin test, making each bottle completely unique to the patient’s needs. SLIT is both highly effective and safe. Unlike shots, SLIT does not require the patient to leave their home for treatment and is safe enough to be taken without the constant supervision of a doctor; improving patient compliance with treatment. Many parents have chosen the drops over shots to spare their children from weekly injections, and for the simplicity of administration. Additionally, the overall course of treatment is much shorter when compared to their injection counterparts. While injections can take anywhere from 5 to 7 years to build lasting immunity, SLIT is closer to 3 to 5 years, allowing patients to experience results much faster. Sublingual immunotherapy shows true disease modification effects that persist even after treatment is stopped.
The most recent studies have shown that SLIT exerts a long-lasting effect up to 5 years after discontinuation and that it is able to prevent the onset of new sensitizations. Moreover, when systematically assessed, the adherence to the treatment is quite satisfactory, despite the treatment being self-administered. In addition, evidence has been provided that SLIT is effective in treating allergic conjunctivitis and a meta analysis has confirmed its efficacy in rhinitis.Leave a reply