Allergy testing important in fighting seasonal allergies

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - In Louisiana, Springs start early and Summers last long, giving allergy sufferers little relief throughout the year.
"We have something that comprises eight months to 10 months of the year that will be attacking the sinuses," said Our Lady of the Lake allergist Dr.Sandhya Mani.
Allergies can be caused by any number of things: from the tree pollen that coats everything in the spring, to grasses and weeds that come in the summer and fall. If you are having a hard time keeping your runny nose or itchy eyes under control, Mani says it may be time to have your allergies tested.
"It's really important to find out what you're allergic to so that maybe if you plan on taking medications, you can gear it towards the season that is relevant to you," said Mani.
Allergy testing is done by pricking the top surface of the skin on the back, and exposing it to a wide variety of potential allergens. After 15 minutes, an allergist can tell you exactly what triggers your allergies, and help tailor a treatment for you like antihistamine medication.
"We can also offer immunotherapy which is a desensitization process towards your allergens so that way we actually make you un-allergic to those allergens," said Mani.
Immunotherapy is a good option when you are constantly exposed to things, like pets, that affect your allergies. It can be done through shots, or through a newly FDA approved treatment called sublingual allergy immunotherapy, in which medicine is placed under the tongue. Your doctor can help you decide the best treatments.

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