Allergies bring misery to millions of Americans – both children and adults – every year. Allergic reactions occur when the immune system reacts to an otherwise harmless substance by producing histamines, chemicals that trigger symptoms including runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. They are often seasonal in nature and may be the result of pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds. Other sources include mold, dust mites, animal dander, smoke, foods, chemicals, and medications. The key to managing allergies is to determine the cause. We offer treatment using the following procedures.
- Allergy Testing. The goal of allergy testing is to determine the allergen responsible for your symptoms; by identifying the trigger, steps can be taken to treat your condition. The most common type of test is an allergy skin test, in which a drop of the suspected allergen is placed on the surface of the skin; if you are allergic to the substance, you will experience redness and swelling in that area. Allergy blood tests may be performed for young children, those who are taking medications that might interfere with the results, and people who suffer from skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.
- Allergy Injections. Immunotherapy is the clinical name for a procedure that involves injecting allergens into the skin in an effort to build up a tolerance to allergies. They are a helpful alternative for people whose symptoms do not respond to allergy medicines. Shots are administered once or twice a week in gradually increasing doses until you reach what is known as a maintenance dose; at that point, injections are given regularly for 3-5 years, allowing your body to build up immunity to the allergen. Your symptoms will get better over time, and may eventually disappear entirely.