Allergy Treatment in Farmington Hills, MI
Recognizing that allergic disease is a major contributing factor to many conditions affecting the ear, Dr. Ilka Naumann is now offering allergy testing and treatment to patients at the Michigan Ear Institute at our Farmington Hills Location.
Allergies happen as an inappropriate response of the body to substances from the environment. Patients may develop allergies to substances (allergens) that are eaten or inhaled. The body’s immune system then responds strongly with an inflammatory reaction causing various symptoms including nasal symptoms of congestion, drainage or sneezing and if it progresses may also involve the lower airway as asthma or patients may develop skin rashes.
As the back of the throat and the ears are closely related and connected through the eustachian tube, some patients may develop fluid behind the ear drum which can cause hearing loss and ear fullness.
There is growing evidence that even inner ear conditions such as Meniere’s disease or autoimmune inner ear disease might be worsened with the flair-up of allergies.
After a trial of conventional allergy medicines (such as nasal sprays and antihistamines) fail, testing for allergies might be a suitable option to discover the source of the allergy. The allergy test results will help manage the symptoms when the patients recognize their allergy triggers. Those results can be used to start immunotherapy.
Michigan Ear Institute offers diagnostic testing (blood work and skin testing) and treatment for inhalant and food allergies, including molds.
Blood allergy testing (RAST) is done through a blood draw and checks for Immunoglobulin E (IgE). In patients with allergies, total IgE might be elevated and also IgE to specific allergens such to pollen, animal dander or foods.
We order these tests on patients who can not or do no want to undergo skin testing. Patients with uncontrolled asthma, severe eczema or hives are best evaluated with RAST to avoid potentially serious side effects.
Skin testing is a more sensitive test to check for allergies. This can be done by placing tiny pricks with the allergens through the surface layer of the skin (skin prick testing). The most thorough way of skin testing is by injecting minute amounts of various concentrations of the allergen under outer layers of the skin (intradermal skin testing). If a “wheel” a red raised bump forms the patient is allergic to the tested substance. The wheels are measured and are used to determine the exact amount of allergens for the treatment, which can be different for each patient.
Immunotherapy is the actual allergy treatment. It is the only causative treatment of the allergy rather than its symptoms. Immunotherapy has been shown to have lasting effects in controlling allergy symptoms.
Most often the treatment consists of weekly shots injected under the skin (subcutaneous). Michigan Ear Institute is one of a few practices in Michigan to offer sublingual immunotherapy. This allergy treatment is administered in a liquid form taken as drops under the tongue (sublingual) and this does not require any injections.
Dr. Naumann holds the Board Certification from the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy (Fellow of the AAOA) in addition to being an Otolgist/Neurotolgist and Lateral Skull Base Surgeon. She leads the Allergy Team at Michigan Ear Institute and selects the best options for diagnosing and treating each patient individually.