What should I bring to my appointment?
It’s helpful for use to know as much about your ENT condition as possible. We ask you to bring any X-Rays, CT Scans or MRIs relative to your problem. Please bring the report as well as the actual films, if available. Also make sure to bring a copy of any allergy testing you have had done in the past and a list of medications you take on a regular basis. If you have seen your general practitioner for your condition or gone to urgent care, please bring any office notes and blood tests, hearing tests, etc.
Why do I need to stop taking medication prior to allergy testing?
Antihistamines stop your body’s natural reaction to allergens. To get accurate allergy test results we ask that you stop taking these medications 7 days prior to your test. We will provide a full list of medications you should stop taking. Prescribed asthma medications and over the counter vitamins are OK to continue.
What should I expect during allergy skin testing? Will it hurt?
Allergy testing appointments typically last 1-1.5 hours. During that time you’ll meet with the doctor, have your testing, and then discuss results and treatment options. The skin prick test, also called scratch test, checks for immediate allergic reactions to as many as 40 different substances at once.
After cleaning the test site with alcohol, the nurse draws small marks on your skin and applies a drop of allergen extract next to each mark with a disposable applicator that scratches the skin’s surface. The scratch itself is not painful, however some allergens can cause the scratch to itch intensely.
After about 15 minutes, the nurse observes your skin for signs of allergic reactions. If you are allergic to one of the substances tested, you’ll develop a raised, red, itchy bump that may look like a mosquito bite. A nurse will then measure the bump’s size and record the results.
We will then clean your skin with alcohol to remove the marks and the allergen extract.
Can I be seen in your office for a cold or flu?
Because our office specializes in ENT issues, some of our patients do come in when experiencing complications from colds and viruses, however we do not see patients to diagnose or treat these regular issues. For this, we recommend a good family physician or general practitioner.
What is a sleep study?
An In-Lab Sleep Study, also known as a Polysomnogram (PSG), is an overnight test used to measure how well a person sleeps. It determines whether they have sleep related problems or disorders, as well as the severity of these issues. A sleep study may also be used to help adjust your treatment plan if you’ve already been diagnosed with a sleep disorder.
Where is in-lab sleep testing done?
At our Reston office location.
What can patients expect during a sleep study?
You will be asked to report for your sleep study in the evening and will be greeted by a registered polysomnographic technologist (RPSGT) who will be administering your sleep study. The private room where the sleep study is done is similar to a hotel room—it’s dark and quiet so you can relax and fall asleep. Your technician will go over your paperwork, have you fill out any necessary forms, and review your sleep study procedures.
You will be hooked up to a number of monitoring systems so the RPSGT can monitor you from another room and the equipment will be tested before you are asked to go to sleep. Most sleep studies include:
- Wires with small electrodes attached to your scalp with a conductive gel to measure brain activity. This lets the technician know if you are sleeping, and what stage of sleep you are in. Once the sensors are in place (a pain free process) you will be able to move around freely and use the restroom unassisted.
- Electrodes taped your face near the eyes and chin to measure eye movements, which give clues to sleep stages, as well as chin movements which can indicate possible nocturnal teeth grinding or other sleep disorders.
- Two elastic belts go around your chest and stomach to monitor your breathing.
- A nasal cannula (clear plastic tubing) and heart monitor to further monitor breathing activity.
- An electrode and wire on each leg measure body movement/muscle activity.
- An oxygen sensor taped to your fingertip to monitor your oxygen levels during the study.
- 2-3 EKG monitors to monitor your heart rate and rhythm.
- A small mic applied to your throat to detect snoring.
- A CPAP or BiPAP may be used for some patients.
Your technologist will begin waking you at 5:00 am to remove the sensors and equipment. They will not be able to review or share the results of the study with you. The data from the study will be sent to your doctor for evaluation and shared with you during an appointment.