Cooler temperatures have arrived as summer is quickly becoming a distant memory. Sniffles and coughs are becoming more common to hear, signaling a rise in reactions to allergens that are more prevalent during the change of seasons. What may be attributed to a common cold, could be allergies, which affect more than 50 million Americans every year.
Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) has an experienced team of physicians, nurses and support staff on the 9th floor of the PMC Clinic building who specialize in both testing and treatment for allergies in adults and children. Depending on the type and severity of a patient’s suspected allergic reactions, a decision will be made as to which type of allergy test would be most beneficial.
PMC performs both percutaneous and intradermal allergy testing. Percutaneous, or scratch testing, is the most common type of allergy skin test where reactions to specific substances on the skin are noted. Intradermal testing injects a small amount of an allergen under the skin and is typically used to test for one or a few particular substances suspected of causing allergic reactions, like penicillin or bee venom.
When allergic reactions are noted, the next step is to determine the type of treatment necessary. Many times, patients are advised to begin immunotherapy, which exposes a patient to the allergen on a regular basis and gradually increases the amount over time. This method increases the patient’s ability to tolerate the allergen rather than reacting to it through sneezing, a stuffy nose or itchy, watery eyes. At Pikeville Medical Center, these types of allergy treatments are offered in the form of weekly allergy shots or sublingual treatments in the form of drops placed under the patient’s tongue.
For more information about allergy testing and treatments offered at Pikeville Medical Center, visit www.pikevillehospital.org/otolaryngology-ear-nose-throat/ or call 606-430-2209.