How is the allergy test performed, and is it painful?
The allergy test is not painful. A comb-like device gently pricks or abrades your skin’s 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.
How long does the allergy test take?
The test takes approximately 30 minutes to administer and 15 minutes to register the results – so you don’t have to wait long to learn the possible cause of your allergies.
Who can be tested?
Adults and children over the age of two years can be tested for allergies. This is especially helpful for patients who suffer with allergic asthma, allergic pneumonitis, conjunctivitis, undiagnosed cough, atopic dermatitis (skin irritation or eczema), rhinitis (runny nose), sinusitis, allergic urticaria (hives), and angioedema (similar to hives but beneath the skin).
Which allergens will be tested for?
You will be tested for the most frequent, geographically specific, seasonal and perennial allergens in our area. We will test for products from dust mites, proteins from pet hair and dander, trees, grass and weed pollens, molds and cockroach allergens. We do not test or treat for food or stinging insect related allergies.
What is immunotherapy (allergy shots)?
Allergen immunotherapy, commonly known as allergy shots, is a form of treatment aimed at decreasing your sensitivity to substances called allergens. Immunotherapy involves introducing increasing amounts of an allergen you over an extended period of time.
How long will I have to be on immunotherapy?
The course of immunotherapy varies by individual. The initial full course of immunotherapy is one to three years, but symptom relief can and often occurs after one year of therapy. Completing three to five years of therapy has shown long-term benefits.
How soon will I see results from immunotherapy?
Relief from allergies varies by individual, however, relief can occur within the first few months of therapy.
What if I am currently taking antihistamines?
In order to achieve the most accurate test results, you should discontinue any antihistamines for at least three days or longer, depending on the medication, prior to allergy testing. You may safely resume the use of antihistamines after your test, and you may continue them once you begin immunotherapy.
What are the benefits of allergy testing and immunotherapy?
One in five people suffer from symptomatic allergies. These symptoms can vary greatly from minor discomfort to severe disability. The cost of allergies can be significant when factoring in lost productivity and days off from work or school. The goal of immunotherapy is to decrease or eliminate your allergies.
Is immunotherapy effective in eliminating allergies?
Yes, immunotherapy is very effective in greatly decreasing or even eliminating the symptoms of allergies. A vast majority of patients receive a a noticeable reduction in allergy symptoms or a complete cure.
Are the testing and immunotherapy covered by insurance?
Yes, most insurance plans cover allergy testing and immunotherapy. We will verify insurance benefits prior to testing.
Is immunotherapy effective for children?
Yes, in addition to being 85% – 95% effective, allergen immunotherapy has been shown to prevent the development of asthma.
How are specific allergens selected for immunotherapy?
Allergens are selected based on an assessment by your physician and also your reaction to specific seasonal and perennial allergens that you have been tested for.
How can I benefit the most from my immunotherapy treatment?
Following your immunotherapy schedule will help insure you get the most benefit from your immunotherapy program.
My allergy symptoms are only in the spring and summer. Can I receive my immunotherapy treatment just at that time?
Limiting your immunotherapy to just the spring and summer does not give your immune system time to adapt to allergens which cause you to have symptoms. Immunotherapy injections are required year-round to experience the long-term benefits.