How do allergy tests work?

Allergy testing

It often happens that people have an allergic reaction to something that they can’t explain. Whether an allergy is newly discovered or new altogether, it’s important to figure out exactly what is bothering you and the severity of the allergy. That’s why there are comprehensive allergy tests available to people of all ages. Rather than continuing to have attacks or not know how to manage symptoms, it’s best to get tested to identify allergies and plan how best to treat them.

Allergy symptoms 

Each allergy causes different reactions depending on the person who is allergic and how severely allergic they are to the specific allergen. Most often, symptoms of allergies will include:

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness  
  • Skin rash, hives, blisters, swelling
  • Nasal congestion, runny nose, or sneezing 
  • Coughing, weezing, shortness of breath
  • Nausea, upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea 

Allergy symptoms can be and are often a combination of any reactions listed above. If symptoms are seriously impacting someone’s health and safety, it’s important to go to the emergency room. If it is not urgent, Breathe Clear Institute allergy tests will find the source of the allergens and come up with the best plan for management and treatment. 

Types of allergy tests

Just as there are many different types of allergens, there are different types of ways to test for allergies. Types of allergy tests include:

  • Skin or scratch tests
  • Intradermal skin tests 
  • Patch tests
  • Blood tests
  • Challenge tests

While there are at-home tests available these days, it’s best to meet with a doctor to go over results rather than descifiering them yourself. For best testing results, patients must clean their systems of any antihistamines before testing, up to five days prior to a scheduled appointment. This is because the doctor needs to see the body’s natural reaction to various allergens without anything blocking it. 

At our clinic, we perform the allergy skin test where 40 allergens are tested on a patient’s skin. These are not invasive and minimally painful, but patients can expect some irritation on the skin (much like a bug bite). Our allergy test appointments usually take about an hour, showing results within the first half-hour and going over those results with the doctor during the second half-hour. 

Together, the doctor and patient will go over what allergens to avoid, how best to steer clear of them, preventative care, and tertiary care for when an allergic reaction happens. Again depending on the severity of a reaction and how it impacts the person, different medication will be prescribed. 

Allergies can greatly affect everyday life and cause great discomfort, some even being life-threatening. However, they are easily tested for and there are plenty of treatment methods available to doctors and patients in order to help make everyday better for people with all types of allergies. 

Get relief today – Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute

Allergies are very common and usually easy to diagnose, manage, and treat. If there are any abnormal reactions to environmental factors, certain foods, things touched throughout the day, or poor reactions to any everyday surroundings, it’s best to come see us.

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What is endoscopic sinus surgery?

Endoscopic surgery 

While there are many different surgeries performed to help clear sinus issues, the nasal endoscopic surgery is the least invasive of all the options. What does endoscopic mean? It means the doctor is using an endoscope for surgery. An endoscope is a medical device inserted into a small body cavity, like the nose or mouth, with a small camera at the end. The camera serves as a set of eyes for the medical staff to see what’s going on in the areas under question that are otherwise difficult to see. 

Endoscopic surgery is not exclusive to ear-nose-throat treatment, but also used for diagnoses and treatments elsewhere throughout the body. For the sake of this post, we will be discussing nasal endoscopic surgery as it refers to sinus issues. 

Who qualifies 

If your sinus issues are beyond treatment with over-the-counter or prescribed medications, nasal endoscopy surgery is often the next step. However, this is a decision made by a doctor, not an order from a patient. So, it’s important to go through the process of diagnosis and other more informal treatments before moving forward with nasal endoscopic surgery. 

People who qualify for this procedure often have a variety of symptoms, if they don’t already have a diagnosis. Some symptoms within the nose and nasal cavity are:

  • Blockage 
  • Polyps
  • Tumors
  • Bleeding 
  • Infection
  • Congestion 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Loss of smell 

A doctor at Breathe Clear Institute does not suggest this procedure lightly, so medical history and on-going symptoms are best to share when making an appointment. Whether it’s a new patient or coming to us from another clinic, we can handle any sinus case and possible nasal endoscopic procedure. 

The benefits  

The objective of this procedure is to correct or improve whatever symptoms a patient is experiencing. Nasal endoscopic surgery benefits include:

  • Low pain levels 
  • Few to no incisions 
  • Minimal scarring
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Low risk of infection
  • Short procedure, minimal hospital stay
  • Quick recovery period

The long-term benefits certainly outweigh continuing symptoms. But, proper aftercare is required for great and long-lasting results. What are the best practices for post-operative recovery and aftercare? Here are some suggestions:

  • Avoid blowing your nose or other straining facial movements 
  • Use over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin or NSAIDs within reason
  • Nasal saline spray or prescribed steroid nasal sprays
  • Safe nasal cleansing methods of irrigation

If you are experiencing negative symptoms like constant bleeding, high temperatures, high levels of pain and irritation, noticeable drainage, headache, neck stiffness, or vision impairment, it’s important to notify your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room. 

We strive to have no negative reactions to surgery, but it is also the duty of the patient to keep the nasal passages clean without irritating the surgical spot and surrounding areas. Any questions about aftercare can be directed to any member of our staff who is just a quick call away. 

Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

If you’ve been diagnosed with sinus issues that require endoscopic surgery, you’ve come to the right place. Our team of experts and dedicated surgeons have successfully performed this procedure many times with positive results. 

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What is a balloon sinuplasty?

Who is a balloon sinuplasty candidate? 

We hear the term “sinuses” all the time, but some people might not know what they really are besides things that act up when we have allergies. Sinuses are empty chambers in the face and forehead that are susceptible to inflammation and infection. Chronic issues often lead to a diagnosis of sinuplasty. 

What is sinusitis? 

It is the inflammation of the sinus lining also known as chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). This happens when te nose is prevented from normal draining processes and brings on subsequent pain and discomfort. Common symptoms of sinusitis include tooth or facial pressure, unusual discharge from the nose or throat , difficulty breathing from the nose, headache, fatigue, and the loss of sense of smell. If you are a person who suffers from sinusitis, you are a candidate for a balloon sinuplasty

How do I know if I’m a candidate for a balloon sinuplasty?

If you’re experiencing sinus issues, it’s best to seek a doctor’s advice on how best to proceed. When it comes to deciding whether you’re a candidate for balloon sinuplasty, the Breathe Clear institute uses the state-of-the-art Carestream CS 93000 CT Scanner in our offices. This eliminates the need for any hospital imaging appointments, keeping the entire care process within our office walls. If determined you are a candidate for the balloon sinuplasty, we will work with you to schedule the surgical procedure around your schedule. 

What does the procedure entail?

A balloon sinuplasty is a surgical procedure which uses the Balloon Sinuplasty™ system and is performed in our offices. While it is not the only procedure available to patients with CRS, it is considered less invasive in comparison to the endoscopic sinus surgery (which Breathe Clear Institute also offers). The technology has been around for nearly 20 years and is considered safe and effective for opening up sinus cavities for better breathing from the nose.

First, the doctor uses a topical anesthetic to dull pain, then inserts a small uninflated balloon into the nasal cavity and into the narrowed sinus drainage pathways. Once the balloon is inflated, it widens the blocked areas and is then removed and used in any other blocked pathways. 

Surgery results and aftercare 

After your balloon sinuplasty, the doctor will prescribe pain management medications for once the patient is back home and resting. Since it is a minimally invasive procedure, the recovery time is around 24-hours, depending on the patient. This is a significantly less amount of time than our more invasive sinus surgeries. 

Once healed, our patients can expect to be alleviated from any of the aforementioned sinus issues and continue their normal life. They will be able to breathe better, sleep better, increase in both sense of taste and smell, reduce nose and throat drainage, avoid tooth and facial pain, and generally feel better in the sinus region of the head. 

Want to learn more about sinitutus/CRS procedures? Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute 

Don’t diagnose yourself when it comes to sinusitis – that’s why we’re here to help. Our comprehensive testing and staff of experts will lead you in the right direction in order to manage your sinus issues.

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What Causes a Sinus Headache?

What Causes a Sinus Headache? 

Sinus headaches can be frustrating, inconvenient, and not to mention, painful. But what is the cause behind the pressure and throbbing? There are actually quite a few reasons why you may be experiencing a sinus headache. In this blog, we will discuss the different causes, symptoms, and treatment options of sinus headaches, allowing you to know what can go away with time and medication, and what issues may need further medical attention from a healthcare professional. 

Reasons You May Have A Sinus Headache

The following are reasons why you may be suffering from a sinus headache: seasonal allergies, sinusitis, nasal polyps, or a deviated septum. 

Seasonal Allergies

When the immune system encounters a foreign substance, it reacts, resulting in what we know as allergies. Over 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year, with symptoms including congestion, postnasal drip, sneezing, headache, and more. 

Sinusitis 

Sinusitis, most commonly known as a sinus infection, describes the inflammation or swelling of the sinuses. Some of the symptoms of sinusitis include congestion, runny nose, loss of smell, and pressure and pain in the facial region. Sinus headaches are characterized by both pain and tenderness between the eyes and in the forehead. 

Nasal Polyps

Another reason you may experience a sinus headache is due to nasal polyps. Nasal polyps are noncancerous growths on the lining of the sinuses or nasal passages. They are often caused by recurrent sinus infections, asthma, and even allergies. Symptoms include a runny nose, congestion, reduced sense of smell and taste, snoring, and pressure in the forehead. 

Deviated Septum 

Lastly, a deviated septum can be associated with a sinus headache. A deviated septum occurs when the nasal septum is crooked. This can happen as a result of contact sports, car accidents, or because of a congenital condition. Individuals with a deviated septum may experience frequent nosebleeds, congestion, sinus infections, snoring, and facial pain. 

Treatment Options 

As you read above, there are different causes for sinus headaches, meaning there will be different forms of treatment. Allergies can be relieved with over-the-counter medications. To minimize or eliminate the need for these medications, you may also want to consider allergy shots and allergy drops. Acute sinusitis can be treated with antibiotics or by implementing natural remedies. Nasal polyps may be treated using corticosteroids, however, in some severe cases, surgery is necessary. Finally, a deviated septum can be corrected through a surgical procedure called septoplasty. 

Need Relief? Schedule an Appointment With Breathe Clear

If your sinus headache persists after trying various treatment methods, contact Breathe Clear Institute to schedule an appointment. Our sinus doctor will complete a thorough evaluation in order to provide you with a proper diagnosis. This may require the use of our Carestream CS 93000 Sinus CT Scanner, which is conveniently located right here in our office. Once diagnosed, you will be recommended the most ideal treatment plan. It is our goal to help you get the relief you need, allowing you to regain a more healthy and comfortable lifestyle.

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How to Clear Your Sinuses

Ways to Clear Your Sinuses

When sinuses become inflamed and infected, they can cause individuals to experience uncomfortable symptoms. But how do they get this way? Healthy sinuses are empty chambers in the face and forehead. They are responsible for adding moisture to the air we breathe and act as protective shock absorbers in case of trauma. Allergies, immune issues, bacteria, polyps, and more can cause sinusitis, creating symptoms that are not limited to nasal congestion, runny nose, post nasal drip, headaches, and loss of taste and smell. Individuals suffering from acute sinusitis can get relief by trying at home remedies. Learn about different ways to clear your sinuses with the expert team at Breathe Clear Institute. 

Purchase a Nasal Spray

Nasal sprays can be very effective for those suffering from symptoms of sinusitis. They can be purchased over the counter at your local pharmacy, with the option of choosing either a saline spray or decongestant. To clear your sinuses, cover one of your nostrils and hold the bottle under the other. With your mouth closed, you will inhale the solution by either pumping or squeezing the bottle. It is important to read the instructions carefully to determine how much and how often it should be used. 

Use a Nasal Irrigation System

Another helpful way to clear your sinuses is by using a nasal irrigation system. Nasal irrigation systems work by squeezing a saline solution into the upper nostril. The solution will then exit through the opposite nostril along with any mucus and bacteria. It is important to breathe through your mouth while draining occurs. When creating a saline solution, using distilled water is recommended to prevent infection. 

Invest in a Humidifier

When your sinuses are congested, a humidifier may help alleviate them. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, allowing mucus to loosen and drain from the sinuses. They can be especially helpful during the winter months when the air is more dry due to heating. 

Stay Hydrated  

Lastly, it is important to drink plenty of water to keep your sinuses healthy and clear. Why water you may ask? Water helps keep mucus thin, which can help prevent congestion. 

Schedule an Appointment with Breathe Clear Institute to Clear Your Sinuses and Get the Relief You Need

If you find that these remedies are not working for you or you believe your condition is more severe, contacting a trusted ENT is vital. Dr. Davis at Breathe Clear Institute specializes in conditions affecting the sinuses and he will get to the root of your issue so that you can get back to leading a healthy life. If symptoms persist, it is possible that you may be suffering from chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis is characterized by inflammation and infection for three months or longer. Common symptoms include nasal discharge, congestion, facial pain, pressure in the sinus region, and loss or reduction in the sense of smell. Breathe Clear is currently offering a clinical trial for chronic sinusitis. In order to qualify, potential participants must be 18 years or old and have experienced two of the aforementioned symptoms for a minimum of 12 weeks. Our personalized, comprehensive approach to care allows us to offer our patients the most effective treatment options available, so you can rest assured that you are in good hands. 

The time to breathe clear is now. Get the relief you need today by scheduling an appointment. 

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