No, Earache Eddie wasn’t deaf, but he sure did have trouble hearing. He thought at first it was just old age, so he visited an audiologist to find a solution. After a few months of trying hearing aids, the audiologist recommended he visit Dr. Pasha, a certified ENT, to see if he could find an underlying issue.
When Earache Eddie came in for his appointment with Dr. Pasha, he went through all of the things he had told his audiologist; he had ear pain, regular infections, and trouble hearing. He said, “It feels like my ears are full and sometimes they pop.” Then, Dr. Pasha asked Eddie if he suffered from nasal congestion. This was a surprising question for Eddie, as he had never thought much of his nasal congestion, having lived in Houston most of his life. He replied, “Well, of course, I do. Everyone in Houston has allergies.”
Dr. Pasha explained that there is a tube called the Eustachian Tube that connects the nose to the middle ear allowing the ear to drain. The Eustachian Tube is lined with the same lining that is in the nose and sinuses. If the nose swells up (like from allergies) so does the tube making it prone to pressure, fluid, infection, and hearing issues. Dr. Pasha explained, “The first thing I’d like to do is find out what you’re allergic to. We can treat your ear infections, but they will keep occurring unless we can find a more permanent solution.” So, they decided to test Eddie for allergies to pinpoint his triggers.
There are several ways to test for allergies in-office, but Dr. Pasha utilizes two techniques he feels are the more accurate; prick testing or intradermal testing.
Prick testing is typically used to determine if you are allergic to some of the most common allergy triggers. This is done by placing a series of allergens on the forearm and gently scratching the surface of the skin. Within a short period of time, redness will appear if the patient is, in fact, allergic.
Intradermal Testing, or Skin End-Point-Titration, is a more sensitive method and consists of a series of small injections that are placed just under the skin, causing only mild discomfort. If small bumps swell after a short period of time, it indicates the patient is allergic to those triggers.
Allergy testing is the most accurate way to develop a course of treatment. It is essential in accurately determining the underlying cause of allergies and, thus, the best form of treatment for relief. In Earache Eddie’s case, his allergy test showed common allergens, like dust mites, were the source of his problem. Together, they determined the best course of treatment was home immunotherapy. After just a month, Eddie was earache-free and could hear again. He was glad he had been referred to Dr. Pasha, as he never would’ve thought allergies could be the source of his hearing problems. Ready to get rid of your allergies? Make an appointment with Dr. Pasha today!
Not convinced allergy testing is right for you? Listen to some of Dr. Pasha’s real patients about how allergy was their first step to breathing freely: