Allergy Testing

West Shore ENT & Allergy

Otolaryngology & Allergy Specialists located in Norton Shores, Muskegon, Grand Haven, Fremont, & Ludington, MI

If you have a cold or cough that won’t go away, you could be among the 1 in 5 Americans suffering from allergies. The team at West Shore ENT & Allergy in Norton Shores, Grand Haven, Fremont, Ludington, and Muskegon, Michigan, can pinpoint the specific cause of your allergies, offer you relief from your symptoms, and help you develop a treatment plan to prevent future attacks. If you seem to have a never-ending cold, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment at West Shore ENT & Allergy.

Allergy Testing Q & A

What are allergies?

Allergies happen when your body’s immune system attacks a foreign substance even when that substance is harmless. Substances you are sensitive to don’t affect most people the same way and that’s why you’re said to be allergic to them.

Many of the common, usually harmless, substances that trigger allergies include:

  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Animal dander
  • Mold
  • Chemicals
  • Medications 

Many of these triggers are present year-round and are difficult to avoid, but the team at West Shore ENT & Allergy can help you manage your symptoms.

What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction?

Symptoms of allergic reactions vary widely because they depend on what you’re allergic to.

Nasal allergies brought on by airborne allergens cause:

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue

Food allergies cause:

  • Hives
  • Eczema
  • Tingling in your mouth
  • Swollen tongue
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting

Insect sting allergies cause:

  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Swelling around the sting

Some people experience an extreme allergic reaction to certain foods and insect bites called anaphylaxis. This is a life-threatening medical emergency and its symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness

Most allergic reactions go away by themselves, but severe reactions like anaphylaxis will need immediate medical attention.

How do you treat allergies?

At West Shore ENT & Allergy, the team effectively treats allergies by identifying what triggers your allergic reaction. Your doctor could recommend the following tests to identify your specific allergens:

Skin test

Your provider pricks you with a series of tiny needles that contain a small number of known allergens. If your skin develops a red bump at the site, you’re likely allergic to that substance.

Blood test

Your doctor takes a blood sample to test your sensitivity to known allergens.

After determining what you’re allergic to, your doctor can prescribe one or a combination of the following treatments:

Allergen avoidance

After identifying your type of allergen, your doctor works with you to come up with ways to avoid that particular substance.

Medication

If your allergen can’t be avoided, your doctor prescribes medication that helps control your symptoms. Decongestants provide relief from stuffy, runny, sneezing, and itching noses. Antihistamines relieve your symptoms by preventing the release of chemicals in your body that   allergic reactions.

Immunotherapy

You can train your body to become less allergic through immunotherapy, which gives your body small but gradually increasing doses of your allergen. The slow increase causes your body’s immune system to become less sensitive to the allergen until symptoms are completely reduced.

West Shore ENT & Allergy offers immunotherapy using injections and sublingual drops.

If you think you have an allergy or that you need help managing your allergy symptoms, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment to be tested and diagnosed at West Shore ENT & Allergy.

Sublingual Drops

It is not always convenient or possible to travel to and from the office every week to receive an allergy shot.

Call us today to learn more!

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