Your doctor can usually diagnose
allergic rhinitis by
examining you and asking you questions about your symptoms,
activities, and home. If your doctor thinks that you
have allergic rhinitis, and you don't have complications, he or she may
decide to treat your symptoms without doing lab tests. The doctor will then check your
symptoms again later.
If you’re among the 37 million Americans who suffer from sinus problems, you know just how miserable the symptoms can make you feel. The congestion. The facial pain. The postnasal drip-drip-drip.
Summer often brings a bit of a respite, as the cold viruses that trigger most cases of sinusitis are less active in warm weather. And, experts say the sinus problems that do crop up in summer can often be avoided -- if you take these six precautions:
For further testing, your doctor may suggest that you have:
Allergy tests. For example, a skin test can show how your skin reacts to an allergen. Or a blood test can measure the level of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies, which your body makes in response to certain allergens.
These tests can help your doctor know whether allergic rhinitis is causing your symptoms and find the best treatment.
They can also help your doctor see if you have
complications, such as
Other tests for allergies
In most cases, you do
not need testing. But your doctor may suggest some tests to make sure that another condition is not causing your symptoms. These tests include:
Imaging tests, such as
CT scans, and
MRIs. These tests can show if you have a sinus infection (sinusitis), chronic
inflammation (thickening) of the sinus lining, structural defects of the nose, or, in rare cases, cancer.
Rhinoscopy or nasal endoscopy. Both of these tests look for
nasal polyps and other problems that may block the
Mucociliary clearance testing. This test looks for abnormal
cilia in people who have very thick nasal discharge. Cilia are tiny hairs on
the lining of the nasal passages. These tiny hairs beat back and forth to remove particles
from the nose. Certain rare diseases can cause problems in the cilia, which can lead
to more nasal discharge.