Comprehensive Allergy Testing and Treatment

Our Method

At your initial visit, a complete head and neck exam will be performed to determine any other possible causes for your symptoms. If allergies seem to be a likely etiology, certain prescription medicines may be recommended, if they have not been tried already. Testing for allergies may be offered, and take the form of a blood test (RAST testing) or skin testing. Each has certain advantages in specific situations. The blood test will be scheduled at an outside laboratory, and is particularly useful if you are taking certain (such as beta-blockers for high blood pressure).

If testing is positive, specific allergens will be discussed, with emphasis on avoidance if possible. If conservative measures such as avoidance and medicines have proven ineffective, immunotherapy will be discussed. Desensitization techniques such as these have been proven effective, but do have certain risks including local and systemic reactions that can rarely be serious. A discussion of your specific situation will determine whether immunotherapy is right for you or your family member. Injection immunotherapy is usually given as a once weekly injection in the office. We are also currently evaluating sublingual immunotherapy (given as drops under the tongue), and this may be a suitable alternative in certain situations.

Allergies

Allergies affect approximately forty-five million Americans. Allergy symptoms appear when the body's immune system begins to respond to an otherwise normal substance as though it were a dangerous invader (called an antigen or allergen). An abnormal response by the immune system results in a release of chemical mediators, such as histamine. Those chemical mediators cause changes in the body, which produce various symptoms that are often annoying, and sometimes life-threatening.

Symptoms that may be caused by allergy are itching eyes, sneezing, nasal stuffiness, facial pressure, nasal congestion and drainage, and recurrent sinus infections. Other common head and neck complaints include hoarseness, ear problems and skin changes including eczema. Allergies, however, can affect virtually any part of the body.

Some allergy sufferers experience symptoms all year. Others find certain seasons bring on attacks. Allergy symptom control is most successful when multiple management approaches are used simultaneously. Minimizing exposure to allergens, managing symptoms with, and desensitization with immunotherapy (allergy shots) are all methods that can be useful in controlling allergic symptoms.

Allergens

Anything can be an allergen. Pollens, food, mold, dust, feathers, animal dander, chemicals, and environmental pollutants commonly cause allergic reactions. Hay fever is caused by pollens. The most significant cause of hay fever in the United States is ragweed. It begins pollinating in late August and continues until the first frost. Late springtime pollens come from the grasses, i.e., timothy, Bermuda, Johnson, and some bluegrasses. Early springtime hay fever is most often caused by pollens of trees such as elm, maple, birch, poplar, beech, ash, oak, walnut, sycamore, hickory, and cottonwood.

Certain allergens are present all year-round. These include molds, house dust, pet danders, foods, wool, various chemicals used around the house, and more. Symptoms from these are frequently worse in the winter when home ventilation is more self- contained.

Treatment and Prevention

A number of things are useful in the treatment of allergies including antihistamine, nasal decongestant sprays, steroid sprays, and saline sprays. The medical management of allergies also includes counseling in proper environmental control, including decreased carpeting, better filtering of indoor air, special vacuum cleaners, and avoidance of indoor pets.

Prescriptions, Allergy Serum

Call for prescription refills during office hours, Monday through Friday from 9:00am- 4:00pm. Call before you have run out as some prescriptions may not be able to be filled on the same day. It will speed things along if you have your pharmacy phone number and (in the case of a child) weight handy when you call.

To receive a refill of allergy serum, please call two weeks before you reach your last dose.
Allergy diagnosis and treatment is complex, and the ailment often overlaps with other sinus and throat conditions. We offer the premium level of care that you can trust for every member of your family.

Call Now to Schedule Your Priority Appointment!

We'll spend the time to understand your needs and help you develop attainable allergy- relief goals. Find relief today by calling now: (724)547-4575 or (724)832-9688.