Allergy symptoms occur when your immune system overreacts to something that is harmless to most people but triggers a reaction in anyone sensitive to it. This substance is known as an allergen.
How it works
Allergy Treatment Process
Your first step is to see one of our board-certified allergist-immunologist.
Our allergist will obtain a detailed medical history, examine you and evaluate your symptoms. We may perform skin or blood tests to determine what type of allergic disease you have and the causes of your symptom
This is the step where you take control of your allergies and get relief from your allergic symptoms.
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Allergies are an abnormal response of the immune system to substances called allergens.
Patients who are allergic frequently experience “allergy symptoms” such as stuffy/runny nose, sneezing, itchy/watery eyes, sinus pain and pressure, wheezing and hives. Allergy skin testing enables the doctor to see exactly what you are allergic to allowing them to make recommendations to treat your specific allergies.
You will be tested for a variety of allergens including; dust mites, tree pollen, grass and weed pollen, mold spores, animal dander, and foods.
Two different techniques will be used. The first is “scratch testing” or percutaneous and the second is intradermal. Percutaneous testing involves a small “scratch” on the skin as a drop of the allergen is applied. Intradermal testing involves injecting a very small drop of allergen under the first layer of skin on your upper arm. Once the testing is applied we know within several minutes exactly what you are allergic to.
Skin testing can cause some discomfort but is not painful. A tiny comb gently scratches or abrades the skin surface. After the test is performed, it takes about 15 minutes to develop. A positive test will appear as a raised, red bump on the skin, similar to a mosquito bite.
The testing takes approximately 30 minutes – 15 minutes to administer and 15 minutes to register the results – so you don’t have to wait long to learn the cause of your allergies.
Adults and children over age 2 can be tested. It is not recommended that patients with a history of severe anaphylactic reactions or those who are severe asthmatics be tested. Moderate asthmatics who are unmanaged by medications and pregnant or breastfeeding women should also not be tested. For these individuals, a blood test is safer.
Yes, you will need to avoid taking any antihistamines for 5 days prior to your appointment. Please inform the nurse of any medications you are taking when you make your appointment. You will be advised if there are any other medications to avoid before your appointment.
You will have the results of what you are allergic to the day you are tested.
Based on your allergy testing results, a personalized treatment plan will be developed to help control your allergy symptoms. Examples include; environmental control measures that you can do to decrease your exposure, medications to control daily symptoms and immunotherapy (allergy shots) to desensitize you to the things you are allergic to.
Allergen immunotherapy is a form of treatment aimed at decreasing your sensitivity to substances called allergens. Immunotherapy involves introducing increasing amounts of an allergen to a patient over several months.
Results vary from patient to patient. Full results may be as little as 9 months and as much as 3 to 5 years.
Every patient is different, but most begin to experience symptom relief after the first 60 days of the program
In the majority of cases, once the desired level of relief has been reached the results are permanent and very few patients need ongoing maintenance.
In most cases, allergy testing is covered. Before your testing appointment, we will contact your insurance company to verify your coverage. We will then contact you to explain your benefits and answer any questions you may have.
The ALCAT Test is a blood test that can be used to identify food and other factors that induce innate immune system activation. It measures changes in size and volume of white blood cells in response to ex vivo challenges with food, chemicals, and other environmental stimuli.