Environmental Allergies

At Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), we use allergy skin tests to pinpoint the pollens, grasses and other airborne irritants that are behind your environmental allergy symptoms. Our allergy treatment services, such as novel allergy immunotherapies, can help you find lasting relief.

Environmental allergies, such as hay fever and allergic rhinitis, can cause itchy eyes, sinus problems, even wheezing. Many – but not all – people find that over-the-counter allergy medications keep their symptoms under control. If allergy symptoms continue to disrupt your daily life no matter what you have tried, we can help.

Our allergy testing and treatment services have helped many people move past irritating or severe symptoms from airborne environmental allergens. There’s life beyond the torment of constantly stuffy nose, clogged ears and itchy eyes. Come find it at LVHN.

What are environmental allergies?

Environmental allergens are a common name for environmental allergens that you breathe in through the air. Airborne environmental allergens may affect you seasonally at certain times of the year (like pollens) or year-round (like mold). Mold, ragweed, pollens and dust are common allergens.

Environmental allergies symptoms

When your body perceives certain airborne inhalants (also called allergens) as a danger, it produces an immune response that can include a variety of symptoms.

How your body reacts to an allergen will be unique to you, but environmental allergy symptoms commonly affect the nasal and sinus areas. These signs include:

  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Ear fullness (feeling like there is fluid in your ears)
  • Wheezing or breathing issues, in rare instances

Environmental allergy tests

The ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists at LVHN use leading-edge allergy skin tests that are specific to the pollens, grasses and molds in this area. Our allergy program does not currently test for food allergies, medications, skin exposures or stinging insects, such as bees.

Your doctor may recommend one or more allergy tests based on your symptoms and circumstances. We offer:

  • Prick testing: We expose your body to a small amount of an allergen through a light skin prick.
  • Subcutaneous testing: A diluted allergen is injected under the skin.

For each test, we closely monitor how your body reacts (if at all) to each allergen.

Environmental allergies treatments

After we know what allergens trigger your symptoms, we will recommend a treatment plan that’s customized to your needs and preferences. Learn more about LVHN’s robust environmental allergies testing and treatment services.

Your doctor may recommend one or more treatment strategies, including:

  • Avoidance, such as using protective pillowcases to reduce your allergen exposure
  • Medication management, using over-the-counter or prescription medications, on a daily or as-needed basis
  • Allergy immunotherapy, such as allergy shots or oral allergy drops, which help your body slowly outgrow its sensitivity to allergens so you no longer develop allergy symptoms