If you suffer from chronic sinusitis, coughing, earache, or other related symptoms, you should see an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) and allergy specialist. Allergies can be challenging to diagnose; they come in wide varieties, and often, the symptoms seem unrelated.
When you visit an ENT specialist, they will examine your ears, nose, and throat for signs of inflammation or infection. You should also expect a comprehensive allergy screening that may include skin testing or blood work to determine which allergens trigger your body's defenses.
Here are some standard services you can get from an ENT specialist:
Skin Allergy Test
A skin allergy test is a simple procedure that may help determine which substances trigger your allergies. The doctor will likely rub two substances onto the skin on your back, wait for a reaction and then decide which one caused the reaction. The doctor may also inject a sense into the base of your thumb and see if you get a response.
The doctor may choose to dilate the nasal passages if you have chronic nosebleeds or recurrent infections. The procedure involves inserting a plastic tube into the nose and increasing the size of the sinus cavity. A larger space helps reduce inflammation of the sinuses and improves drainage. You can visit any Ear and Allergy Clinic and get treatment for sinus infection or surgical operation.
If you have seasonal allergies, allergy shots (also known as allergy immunotherapy) have been proven to help lessen symptoms, reduce medication use and minimize the severity of an attack.
In addition, studies have shown that regular allergy shots can reduce or eliminate allergies to pollen, dust mites, ragweed, or other allergens that trigger symptoms. If you get frequent allergies that make breathing hard, your doctor can prescribe a nasal spray to help you live more easily.
Sometimes the sinuses become inflamed, which can cause symptoms like congestion and headaches. Your ENT specialist may offer a treatment called sinus irrigation, an FDA-approved procedure where water is pumped into the sinus cavity to reduce inflammation and open up your sinuses.
Stereotactic Laser Rhinoplasty
Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure that may be recommended for patients who have obstructed the nasal passages for more than one year or have a significant deviation of the nasal bridge or tip. The procedure uses 3D imaging and computer-assisted design to ensure the surgery will provide an optimal outcome.
Injections are occasionally used to treat facial swelling that blocks your ability to breathe or causes headaches and pain in your face or jaw. An injection may reduce inflammation in an area, relieve pressure on nerves, constrict swollen blood vessels or block pain signals from your brain. In addition, injecting steroids under your skin can minimize swelling during an allergic reaction in your airways.
Some ENT specialists also perform a biopsy, a medical procedure that involves removing a small piece of tissue and examining it under a microscope to help find the cause of symptoms.
For example, your ENT doctor may use this procedure to test for nasal polyps and other causes of chronic sinusitis.