Allergy testing

There is more than one reason you may have clogged sinuses and blocked nasal passages. These symptoms can be the result of physical complications or can be the consequence of catching a virus. When you visit an ENT specialist with these symptoms they may want to give you a test to make sure an allergy isn’t responsible for your sinus and nasal issues. There are two common ways to test to see if a patient suffers from an allergy and they both have their own benefits.

Skin Testing: Easily the most common kind of allergy testing because of its speedy result time, skin testing is the quickest method of discovering whether or not you have an allergy. The test is started by pricking the skin with several needles, each one containing a different allergen, and then waiting to see if there is any reaction. If the patient is allergic to any of the needles then a small lump should appear where the allergen was introduced within 20 minutes. If there is an allergic reaction it should be gone in 30 minutes.

Blood Testing: In some cases the patient either has a pre-existing skin condition or is on medication that will make the results of a skin test inconclusive. In these cases it is recommended that the patient undergo an allergy blood test. Blood tests have the benefit of not inducing any allergic reactions in the patient and they tend to be more accurate than a skin test. The drawback is that the results of a blood test are not available immediately like with a skin test, although the accuracy means that blood tests are often given after skin tests if the results were not conclusive. Undergoing a blood test instead of a skin test jumps the first unnecessary step.