ENT Nebraska offers comprehensive allergy testing and treatments.
Could you have allergies?
Allergies are reactions to things that are typically harmless to most. An allergic reaction may be as mild as a runny nose or as severe as having difficulty breathing. When you suffer from allergies, your body’s immune system mistakenly believes that a particular substance – called an allergen – is harmful to your body.
Your body produces IgE antibodies to protect yourself from the allergen. Attempting to fight off the allergen, your body releases chemicals into your blood stream. One chemical it releases is called histamine, which acts on your eyes, nose, threat, lungs, skin or gastrointestinal tract and causes an allergic reaction. Every time you are exposed to the allergen, it triggers the antibody response again. This means that when you come into contact with the allergen, you’ll have an allergic reaction.
If you have tried a variety of allergy medicines, but you aren’t getting relief, you may be a candidate for allergy testing. Patients on Beta Blockers or Tricyclic antidepressants cannot complete allergy testing. Tell your ear, nose and throat specialist which medicines you’re currently taking, including over-the-counter medicines. Allergy testing candidates must stop taking antihistamines for seven days before testing. You should check with the doctor who prescribed your medication to see if you can stop taking it to prepare for your allergy test.
At ENT Nebraska, we test for 28 allergies, including weeds, trees, grasses, molds, dust mites and pet dander, using the MQT (Modified Quantity Testing) method. The MQT test takes between 1.5-2.5 hours. During the MQT, allergy tests are done on the skin of your back. After checking your reaction, the nurse will then inject a small amount of diluted allergen into the top layer of skin on your arms.
What to Expect After Testing
After testing, you’ll receive in-depth information about avoiding allergens and precautions to take. The ENT Nebraska physician who ordered your allergy test will review your results. He will determine whether to proceed with immunotherapy – allergy injections – or to try another type of treatment.
If you and your physician choose immunotherapy, you’ll receive weekly allergy injections. After choosing immunotherapy, you’ll complete a “Build Up” process in our office. You will receive a prescription for an Epi Pen that you will need to have filled at your pharmacy. You will need to bring this in order to receive your first injection, and every other injection after. You will need to complete follow-up appointments six months after your initial injection, 12 months after your initial injection, and then yearly after that.
After the “Build Up” process is complete, you can continue receiving injection at ENT Nebraska, or you can begin a home-maintenance program, where you will give yourself your allergy injections. If you choose home-maintenance, ENT Nebraska will provide in-depth education on what to do in case of an emergency and how to dispose of used needles.