Dealing with Headaches: How an ENT Specialist Can Help

Headaches can come about for a number of reasons. A few years ago, I noticed that popping aspirin was not making my headaches go away. After taking a quick look, my doctor referred me to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. What I learned is that my headaches were begin caused by pressure in my sinuses. Even though I did not have any problem breathing, there was an infection that created pressure and caused the throbbing pain. Once the origin of the problem was found, it did not take long to treat the infection, and the headaches went away. If you have been referred to an ENT, do not assume the worst. You will find, as I did, that this type of help can mean resolving an issue that has been causing a lot of discomfort for some time.

What Types Of Tests Are Done To Diagnose Allergies?


Allergies are very common and can begin at any stage in a person's life. There is a wide variety of different things a person can be allergic to including grass, pet dander, dust, certain foods and certain medications. To determine what a person is allergic too, a physician usually needs to perform one or more diagnostic tests on the patient. These are some of the different types of tests that are used to diagnose allergies. 

Skin Tests 

Skin tests are done by exposing the person's skin to various things that people are commonly allergic to. These are the different types of allergy skin tests that are commonly performed.

  • Skin prick test - A skin prick test is done by placing a solution made of certain allergens on the skin in tiny droplets. Then a needle is used to lightly scratch or prick the skin so the solution can be absorbed. If a rash appears, the person is most likely allergic to the allergen contained in the solution.
  • Intradermal test - If the patient does not have a reaction with the skin prick test, the physician may feel it is necessary to perform an intradermal skin test to get accurate results. This is done by injecting a small amount of the allergen into the skin. Even though the skin prick test may have been negative, the intradermal test may be positive for an allergy to the same substance.
  • Skin patch test - A skin patch test is often used to determine if a person has a skin condition known as contact dermatitis. This test is done by taping a pad with an allergen solution on it to the skin for several hours to see if the person has an allergic reaction.

Challenge Tests 

Challenge tests are performed to determine if a person has an allergy to a certain food or medication. This is done by having the person inhale or consume a very small amount of the substance that he may be allergic to.

This test is always done under the supervision of a physician or allergist in case the patient has a severe allergic reaction immediately after the test is performed.

Blood Tests 

Blood tests can also be performed to diagnose allergies. These tests are commonly used if the skin test is not possible due to a pre-existing skin condition the patient has. Blood is drawn from the person and then tested in a lab to determine exactly what he is allergic to. 

Once the person's allergies have been diagnosed, this can normally be treated to keep the symptoms under control. The treatment may include taking certain medications, getting allergy shots and avoiding exposure to the allergens that trigger the symptoms. For more information, visit sites like


22 December 2015