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Allergy

Allergies can come in many forms, from asthma to food allergies to insect stings and seasonal allergies — or even a combination of conditions. The good news is that our expert team can help you not only live but thrive with your allergies.

Delivering allergy relief, from sniffles to swelling

Allergies affect everyone differently, and there's often overlap in symptoms, diagnoses and treatments. Some allergy conditions can be mild and easily managed with over-the-counter medications. On the other hand, some conditions can be severe and may even require emergency medical attention.

We’ve all experienced a case of the sniffles, but the reality is that allergies can affect multiple parts of your body — like your nose, ears, throat, lungs, stomach and other organs — in different ways.

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Conditions

Find comprehensive allergy care for a healthier you, whether you have 1 or several of the following conditions:

Anaphylaxis
Asthma
Contact dermatitis
Croup
Drug allergy
Dust mite allergies
Eczema
Exercise induced asthma
Food allergy
Hives
Immune deficiencies
Insect bite and sting allergy
Occupational allergy
Recurrent infections
Seasonal allergies
Swelling
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Testing

To get to the bottom of your allergy triggers, your doctor will review your medical history and perform a series of tests and examinations during your first appointment, including:

  • Methacholine challenge test (MIC): A type of bronchial challenge test that helps diagnose asthma.
  • Pulmonary function test: Evaluates how well the lungs are performing by measuring lung volume, capacity, rates of flow and gas exchange.
  • Skin testing: Delivers very small traces of an allergen with either a prick or injection to see if your body has an allergic reaction.

Your doctor will cover what you need to do for your tests with a personalized preparation checklist. In the meantime, here's an overview of what to expect  before, during and after your allergy tests.

How to prepare for allergy tests

To fully understand your allergy triggers and sensitivities, we ask that you don’t take any of the following medications for seven days before your skin test.

  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton)
  • Brompheniramine (Dimetapp)
  • Clemastine (Tavist, Antihist)
  • Cyproheptadine (Periactin)
  • Doxepin (Adapin, Silenor, Sinequan)
  • Combination Drugs (Actifed, Drixoral, Trinalin)
  • Loratadine (Claritin)
  • Fexofenadine (Allegra)
  • Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
  • Hydroxyzine (Vistaril, Atarax)
  • Azelastine nasal spray (Astelin, Asteopro)
  • Olopatadine nasal spray (Patanase)
  • Some over-the-counter sleep aids
What to expect during allergy tests

You should set aside two hours for your first allergy visit, where we will:

  • Review your medical history
  • Discuss your environmental, occupational, social and family history of allergies
  • Complete a physical examination
  • Perform one or a combination of skin, lung function and laboratory tests

Special procedures such as drug challenges, drug testing and certain desensitization treatments are generally scheduled during future visits.

What to expect after allergy tests

We’ll share a comprehensive diagnosis and recommended treatment path that’s uniquely you.

Oftentimes, we’ve gathered all the necessary information during your initial visit to inform a diagnosis. To ensure there aren’t future surprises, we may ask you for a follow-up visit to dig deeper into your responses to potential treatments.

For example, if we detect nasal polyps during your evaluation, we may refer you to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist. Or, perhaps, a skin rash may need a second opinion from a dermatologist.

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Treatments

Our expert allergists and immunologists know a thing or 2 about treating allergies. And if your path to wellness goes beyond simply allergies, our ear, nose and throat (ENT) and sinus specialists can help create a comprehensive care plan.

BiPAP machine

A BiPAP (Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure) machine offers lungs the breath of fresh air they need when they're not strong enough to get it naturally.

They have different pressure settings that can match your natural respiratory cycle. This machine may feel clunky at first, but most people adjust to it over time.

BiPAP machines are helpful treatment options for people living with allergies and asthma, as well as a range of other pulmonary conditions.

Bland aerosol therapy

Bland aerosol therapy delivers a dose of liquid medicine as a light mist into the lungs to relax your airway muscles. When these muscles relax, your body does a better job of breathing naturally and fighting infections.

Aerosol therapy treats conditions that affect your airways, like allergies, asthma and a variety of pulmonary disorders

Desensitization therapy

Desensitization therapy helps you become less sensitive to an allergy by injecting small doses of the allergen over 12 weeks. Your physician will gradually increase your weekly dosage to make you less sensitive to your allergen.

It's common to receive maintenance doses for three to five years before completing your desensitization treatment plan.

We recommend desensitization for people who often find themselves in high-risk situations or when they're in areas where medical attention isn't readily available. Medical trials show that desensitization is effective and will prevent serious reactions for most people.

Croup tent

Croup is an upper airway infection that restricts breathing and causes a "barking" cough. The cough is caused by swelling around the vocal cords, windpipe and bronchial tubes. Croup usually occurs in younger children and is typically caused by allergies, pulmonary conditions or viruses.

A croup tent works by enclosing you in thin, flexible plastic and blowing oxygen or regular air directly into the tent to relieve some respiratory conditions.

Incentive spirometer

An incentive spirometer is a handheld device that helps you take slow, deep breaths. It's commonly used after surgery or during recovery from pneumonia and other lung disorders like asthma.

Inhalers, medication + nebulizers

Medication is a safe way to manage your reactions and symptoms to allergy triggers. We can help you regain control of your asthma with inhalers or nebulizers that deliver a dose of liquid medicine or mist into your lungs when you inhale.

Oxygen therapy

Breathing is a natural activity we do without much thought, but when you're living with a condition that restricts your airflow, it can become a big challenge. Oxygen therapy helps your body get the right amount of oxygen.

People living with allergies, asthma or other pulmonary conditions can find relief with oxygen therapy.

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FAQs

What are common symptoms of a drug allergy?

Common symptoms of a drug allergy include:

  • Anaphylaxis
  • Various types of rashes
  • Serious involvement of many organs in the body
What are common symptoms of contact dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is the development of a rash caused by direct contact with an allergen or irritant, such as poison ivy or cosmetics. Common symptoms of contact dermatitis include:

  • Burning skin
  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Hives
  • Skin redness
  • Itchiness
  • Swelling
What are some common examples of occupational allergies?

Occupational allergies develop in the workplace due to exposure to or direct contact with workplace products. Examples of materials and products that can lead to occupational allergies include latex or laboratory animals.

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