One out of every three people have allergies. Finding out what you are allergic to is an important first step to effective allergy treatment. Today allergy tests are more convenient and accurate than ever before. Allergy testing can identify the specific things that trigger your allergic reactions, allowing you to be free from having to take antihistamines long-term, which some studies show can be harmful to the body.
This is the most common allergy test, in which our allergy nurse will prick tiny amounts of various allergens into the skin (usually the upper arm or back) to see which types cause a reaction. If you are allergic to one of the allergens, you will have redness and swelling at the test spot.
How long does it take to get skin test results?
After the allergy test is performed positive reactions usually appear within 20 minutes. Sometimes redness and swelling can occur several hours after skin testing. The delayed reaction usually disappears in 24 to 48 hours but should be reported to the allergy nurse.
Is skin testing painful?
Skin tests have little or no pain. Positive reactions can cause itching red bumps which look and feel like mosquito bites. The itching and bumps generally diminish in just a few short minutes or hours.
Does medicine interfere with allergy skin tests?
Some medicines do interfere with allergy skin tests. Our allergy nurse will tell you if you must change or stop taking certain medications before allergy skin testing is performed in order to get an accurate reading.
What allergies can be determined by testing?
An allergy test can help find allergies to pollen, molds, dust mites, animal dander and insect stings to name a few and several foods. Our allergy panel consists of up to 120 environmental and 80 food antigens. We offer one of the most thorough allergy panels available.
Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy)
Allergy shots are the most commonly used and most effective form of allergy immunotherapy. Shots are effective in treating reactions to many allergens, including, mold, house dust, animal dander, and insect stings.
How do allergy shots work?
An extract of a small amount of the allergen is injected into the skin of the arm or back. An injection may be given once a week (sometimes more often) for about seven months, after which injections can be administered every two weeks. Eventually, injections can be given every four weeks. The duration of therapy may be three to five years, sometimes longer. Allergy shots work like a vaccine. Your body responds to injected amounts of a particular allergen, given in gradually increasing doses, by developing immunity or tolerance to the allergen.
What Are the Risks of Allergy Shots?
There is a rare possibility of anaphylactic shock (a severe allergic reaction) shortly after an injection. Therefore, allergy shots are given by an experienced allergy nurse under the supervision of the physician. You will be asked to wait 30 minutes after your shot to ensure there are no delayed reactions. Our allergy nurse will also prescribe an Epi-pen as an additional precaution.
Will allergy shots help with food allergies?
Allergy shots are not used to treat food allergies. The best option for people with food allergies is to strictly avoid that food.
How effective are allergy shots?
Allergy shots have shown to decrease symptoms of many allergies. They can also prevent the development of new allergies. The effectiveness of allergy shots is related to the length of the treatment program as well as the dose of the allergen.
Enjoy outdoor activities and spend time around pets without worrying about your allergies. Our allergy testing and immunotherapy treatment will help you control your allergies with no need to pay for over the counter treatment options by giving you permanent relief from your allergies. Stop treating your symptoms and start treating the cause.