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4838 E.Baseline Road
Suite 103
Mesa, AZ 85206
Tel: 480.926.8000

Allergy Testing in Office

Its Allergy Season!

Am I sick or is this allergies? If you have more than the classic watery eyes, headache and sneezing it may be difficult to tell. Speaking from experience, even physicians (me) can have trouble deciding if there is no fever involved. Many of the symptoms overlap – congestion, plugged up ears, runny nose. In addition, the congestion which accompanies many peoples allergies, can set up an environment in the sinuses (dark, warm, moist) for viruses and bacteria to thrive! Many people walk around with chronic allergies, and an accompanying low level sinus infection that they have just learned to live with – just waiting to hit them after a flight or dive vacation (me). So that little sniffle, that nasally voice, if untreated, could turn into a full sinus infection or more, leading to feeling miserable, missing work, or ruining your vacation.

Treatments – available without prescription

The good news for patients is that you now have an assortment of VERY effective over the counter medications available.

  • Oral antihistamines (Benadryl, Clariten, Zyrtec, and Allegra)
  • Nasal steroids (Flonase)
  • Sudafed or a combination of Sudafed and the above medications Count yourself as lucky if these effectively control your seasonal allergies!

Allergy Testing

If you are using theses individual medications or a combination and are still having symptoms its probably time for allergy testing. Finding out the thing or things that you are allergic to is important! You can then have an avoidance strategy (cut down that tree or bush outside the bedroom window, or avoid the provoking food).

Allergy testing is easy, and in most cases covered by insurance – in less than 1 hour, we can perform allergy testing in our office using the same test as the Allergists use for the initial panel – both environmental and food – so why not? If you are allergic to many different allergens, based on your testing results, we can develop a custom desensitization plan using either shots, or sub-lingual drops. We place plastic blocks with many prongs in individual allergens and place the blocks on the skin of your back and let it sit. In a few minutes, if you are allergic to the particular allergen a raised red spot will appear. The information gained lets us develop a customized allergy desensitization program for you.

Shots performed in the office weekly, or bi-weekly are fastest and covered by insurance. Most people can overcome there allergies in 24 months or less.

Sub-lingual drops are developed the same way as the shots, but can be self-administered at your home. They are not covered by insurance, but if one is to compare the costs of OTC medications over the months of treatment with the costs of the therapy, the costs become minimal and the benefits permanent.

Testing Details

We use allergy testing applicators that do not penetrate the skin and test for allergens that are common to the South Western parts of the United States.

The allergy test takes 15 to 20 minutes and when you are done you will have a good idea what of the 72 allergens we test for you are allergic too.

We also offer specific food allergy testing if requested by your provider.

Allergy Treatment Options

There are three options for battling allergies

1. Avoidance

allergy-testingThis is always the first course of action…avoid things that make you allergic. This approach is not always practical or desirable. For instance, you may be able to remove offending plants from your home but pollen can travel up to 50 miles, so you are always vulnerable to trees, flowers and weeds from your neighborhood and city. Animals that cause allergies may be taken away but their dander can remain in a home for up to six months; if you visit a home with pets, their hair stays when they’re not present. Additionally, even thorough efforts to clear your home of allergens can fall short against relentless household dust, cockroaches or hidden mold. Therefore, avoidance is a major challenge and it can significantly impact your quality of life (especially if you like the animals, trees and flowers that cause your allergies).

2. Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is a natural allergy remedy. It’s a process that desensitizes your body to allergens by introducing them to your body, via serum, in small doses. As treatment progresses, the amount of these allergens (also known as antigens) in the serum increases so your immune system learns to tolerate and then ignore them, making you a much happier person during allergy season!

There are two types of immunotherapy: shots and sublingual (under the tongue) drops. Both are effective.

allergy-drops-imagea. Allergy Drops

Allergy Drops have been popular throughout the world for over 60 years. In the comfort of your home, you simply place a few drops of serum (the same serum used in allergy shots) under your tongue every day. You only need to visit your healthcare provider every 12 weeks for a refill and a quick follow-up. By your first follow-up, you’ll likely notice a marked improvement. Within a few months you should realize a significant reduction in the need for allergy medications. And, in four years, if you are like most patients you will experience complete remission of your environmental allergies.

allergy-shots-imageb. Allergy Shots

Allergy shots have been used successfully to treat allergies in the U.S. for decades. Healthcare providers administer the shots in their offices on a regular basis, often weekly or bi-weekly. Health insurance policies usually cover some many of the out-of-pocket costs associated with allergy shots.

3. Medication

medication-imageThe goal of virtually all prescription and over-the-counter allergy medications is to stop allergy symptoms temporarily. They do nothing to relieve the CAUSE of your allergies, which is why your misery returns every time you encounter allergens your body doesn’t like.



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