We offer allergy testing and treatment. These include:
- IDT (skin testing) for environmental allergens including dust mites, molds, trees, grasses, weeds, and pet dander
- RAST (blood test) for food allergens
- Allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots)
Dr. David Palmer, Dr. Michael Wilson, Dr. Justin Gull, and Dr. Kevin Wilson with their Physician Assistants and our allergy nursing personnel will provide care to patients of all ages with respiratory allergy problems.
What are Allergies?
Allergy is a genetic condition. The body is exposed to substances in our environment. Those of us who are not predisposed genetically to respond to these substances will find them harmless, with exposure, while others will respond as though they are harmful invaders.
The name given to such substances is Allergens. Repeated exposure, for those who are genetically prone to respond, will cause various allergic symptoms over time. These symptoms produced range from mild discomfort to life-threatening.
Who has Allergies?
Statistically, if one parent has allergies then children will have a 25% chance of also developing allergies. Should both parents experience allergies then there is a 75%- 80% chance that offspring will also have symptoms. It is estimated that at least 20% of the population is likely to develop some kind of allergy which means possibly more than 40 million Americans. It is most common for allergies to begin in childhood but symptoms can manifest themselves at any age. You are never too old to develop allergies!
What are the Most Common Allergens?
Primary examples of Allergens are the pollens of Trees, Grasses and Weeds, Mold Spores, Dust Mites, Animal Dander, Feathers, Drugs And Insect Venoms.
Seasonal Pollen Allergies verses Perennial (Year Round) Allergies
Seasonal allergies are caused by allergens that we are exposed to at certain times of the year. In the Spring peak pollination time for Trees occurs in March through May. During summertime, June through August, there is the peak pollination of Grass pollens and finally, the Fall season, from September to the first heavy frost brings the prime for Weed pollens.
Perennial Allergy symptoms are caused by allergens that exist in our environment on a year-round basis. Examples of these allergens are the dander of pets in our homes, dust mites, and mold spores. Symptoms may become worse in the wintertime as spend more time indoors.
Should an Otolaryngologist Treat Your Allergies?
An Otolaryngologist is a doctor who specializes in the treatment of Ear, Nose, and Throat Diseases. Half of the problems he or she encounters are probably due, either directly or indirectly, to Allergy.
The Otolaryngologist is able to follow the patient’s progress with specialized examinations, nose, and throat medical and surgical treatment, such as polyp removal, placement of middle ear ventilating tubes, straightening of the nasal septum, and treatment of sinus infections.
What to Expect on your First Visit to our Otolaryngologic Allergy Clinic
A careful history will be recorded concerning your symptoms, the duration of your symptoms, and the effect of the symptoms on your lifestyle.
The Physician or his Physician Assistant will examine your ears, nose throat, and sinuses. This examination will help determine if you have a reoccurring infection, a deviated septum, nasal polyps, and/or if your symptoms may be related to allergies.
Allergy Skin Testing
Skin Testing is a means by which Allergies can be confirmed. The offending allergens can be identified and the levels of sensitivities indicated. For example, you may be highly allergic to Sagebrush pollen but only mildly allergic to Oak Tree pollen. Each of the offending allergens can be treated according to individual level of sensitivity. A formula for vaccine treatment is designed on test results.
Testing is performed by highly qualified medical assistants, taking approximately 2 hours, using the arms as testing sites.
Basically, a drop of each allergen is injected under the first layer of skin or a prick method may be applied. The skin will be observed for the size of responses in the form of wheals (hives or welts). From responses the medical assistant will understand what you are allergic to and if treatment with allergy serum injections is warranted.
There will be detailed education concerning allergen controls in the home environment provided by the medical assistant, video, and literature, during testing time.
On occasion, it may be appropriate or necessary for blood testing, known as RAST, to be done to identify allergies when skin testing is not an option.
If it is found that you have positive testing for multiple allergens, the provider may recommend Immunotherapy, which is an ongoing series of allergy serum injections as Treatment.
This therapy requires 5 years of patient commitment to, at first, Weekly injections, followed, in time, and yearly Physician Review visits, by injections Once Every Two Weeks and eventually Once Every Three Weeks. With ongoing care, Seasonal and Perennial allergies will improve.
Other options, besides Immunotherapy, for Treatment include taking prescribed Antihistamine medications and decongestants, using prescribed Nasal Steroids ( or both), and implementing Environmental Controls in the home.
How successful is Immunotherapy?
Over 85% of patients who receive regular injections over the recommended period of time experience significant improvement or complete relief from their symptoms.