There have been many advances in allergy care during the past several decades, but there are still only three basic, accepted approaches to allergy care:
- Avoidance of the offending allergens (the things to which a person is allergic)
- Pharmacotherapy (medications)
- Immunotherapy (desensitization by injections or dissolving tablets under the tongue)
The first most basic treatment step, once an allergen has been identified, is to eliminate or avoid contact with it, if possible. Unfortunately, avoiding some allergens (such as dust, molds, and animals) is often difficult and thus allergen avoidance alone may not be effective.
Medications can frequently control allergy symptoms. These may include antihistamines, decongestants, prescription nasal sprays, leukotriene inhibitors and other types of products.
When allergen avoidance and medications do not successfully control allergy symptoms, the Allergist can alter the body’s overactive response by carefully desensitizing the patient’s immune system through regular injections of the actual allergens to which the patient is sensitive or allergic. This treatment, very similar to the vaccination for infectious diseases such as the flu, can be given after allergy testing has revealed what it is that a patient is allergic to.
Over time it may be possible to actually alter a person’s excessive response to these environmental allergens, and both improve symptoms, as well as decrease the need for medications and allergen avoidance for many years.
What Is Involved In Testing?
We can safely and efficiently test your skin (or sometimes your blood) using tiny amounts of commonly troublesome allergens.
We will skin test you for environmental allergens (pollens, dust mites, dust, animal dander, molds). We also can test for potential food reactions such as milk, wheat, eggs and other common food allergens.
The results will be obtained within 20 minutes. Allergy tests are designed to gather the most specific information possible so that your doctor can determine what you are allergic to and provide complete preventive and therapeutic care of your allergies.
Treatment of allergies is a combination of avoiding the offending allergen, medicating the symptoms of allergies and immunizing the patient against the offending allergens. Our physicians recommend the most effective combination of treatments based on the individual needs of the patient.