Our surgeons can perform various sinus procedures to correct obstructive anatomy and facilitate better breathing and drainage of the sinuses. While some procedures are better performed under general anesthesia at a surgery center there are some minmally invasive procedures, such as balloon sinuplasty, now offered in our office. A consultation with one of our surgeons along with a quick CT scan of the sinuses can help answer which options are best for the patient.
Our allergy technicians receive specialized training in ENT allergy through the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy. They have experience in treating adults as well as children. They often perforn tasks such as skin testing, allergy injections, and mixing of allergy serums. You may call 225-408-6732 to speak with one of our technicians directly.
Allergy Skin Testing
Allergy skin testing is the most accurate method of testing inhalant allergies. The test is safe, can be performed on your arms, and usually takes 1 1/2 hours to complete. An allergy technician with specialized trainig will perform your test. Some medications, such as antihistamines, will have to be stopped 3-7 days prior to the test. A list will be provided for you. In the event someone can not stop a prohibited medication or can not sit through a test (such as a small child or someone with special needs) a blood test can be performed as an alternative. Although, most patients only experience mild discomfort with the skin test, a numbing cream can be prescribed to alleviate any anxiety and discomfort, if requested. Testing results not only give you and the provider answers to what you are allergic to but it can provide a specialized immunotherapy treatment regimen to desensitize your body if all other medications and/or surgical approaches have failed.
Allergy Blood Testing
When skin testing for inhalants may not be possible due to medications, health problems, or inability to remain still, a blood test may be performed as a second option. A blood test called ImmunoCAP can be performed at most laboratories. Since the allergy blood test can be quite costly ($800.00-$1,500.00 depending on the number of antigens) it may be wise to check with your insurance company as to what your out of pocket costs may be and what lab has the best contracted rate. The test requires a few tubes of blood and results are usually back within one week.
As of now, food testing is only performed via blood testing, as there are different risks and results involved with food allergies.
Allergy injections are often given once weekly in the arm to help desensitize your body to your specfic allergies. The injections are given in the office and the dose is changed each week until a maintenance dose is reached. During the build up phase of the injections, the patient is required to wait 20 minutes in our office with a physician on the premises. Once maintenance is reached, some patients no longer have to wait or may choose to perform their injections at home. Therapy is normally continued for 3-5 years and is successful in aproximately 85% of patients. An allergy test must be performed in order to determine which antigens to prepare your serum with. Most insurance companies cover allergy injections and as a courtesy our staff will contact your insurance company to determine your benefit coverage.
Allergy drops (also known as sublingual immunotherapy) can be given under the tongue daily to desensitize your body to your specific allergies. Allergy drops are very safe and can be given from home. Most people are on drops for 3-5 years. Although, this method has been proven safe and effective in numerous studies, the FDA still considers the use of allergy serums under the tongue investigational because they are still studying various methods at this time. Until the completion of these studies, there is no insurance coverage for this method. Our physicians however, are providing this service at a reasonable cost.. Some patients report that the cost of drops is sometimes cheaper if they have a large deductible or co insurnace for shots. Currently the cost of drops is $175.00 for a 10 week supply.