Allergy Testing for an Effective Treatment Plan
Allergy Testing & Treatment in Sycamore, IL: Over 50 million people in the United States suffer from allergies. Finding out what each patient is allergic to is the first step to effective allergy treatment at Sycamore Integrated Health. Fortunately, allergy testing is more convenient and accurate than ever before. When combined with a detailed medical history, allergy testing at our facility can pinpoint the specific things that trigger allergic reactions in our patients.
Allergy testing can be done as a skin test or a blood test and is usually administered under the guidance of an allergy specialist. There are two different types of skin tests. The first is performed on the forearm or back of the patient. A variety of suspected allergens are tested at once during this procedure. Redness or swelling will show on the test spot if you have a reaction to one of the allergens. In the second type of test, the doctor injects a small trace of each allergen into the skin of the arm.
Positive reactions to allergens typically appear within 20 minutes for both types of tests. There is sometimes a delayed reaction to an allergen which should be reported to the doctor if it appears after your visit. Children of any age as well as adults can be tested, so it’s never too late to test for allergies.
Treating Allergies with Sublingual Immunotherapy (No Needles)
Immunotherapy, as opposed to allergy medication, “treats” the underlying allergies and builds immunity, rather than just blocking the symptoms. Immunotherapy works like a vaccine. When administered, the body responds to injected amounts of a particular allergen that is gradually increased in dose. This helps the patient to develop an immunity or tolerance to the allergen.
There are two phases to allergy shots and they include the build-up phase and the maintenance phase. During the build-up phase, our patients receive injections with an increasing amount of the allergens approximately one to two times per week. The length of time for this phase in generally 3-6 months. The maintenance phase begins when the effective dose is reached. Dependent upon the level of allergen sensitivity and patient response, there will be a range of two to four weeks between treatments during this phase. The medical professionals at our facility will recommend what range is best for each patient.
In Sublingual Immunotherapy, the vaccine is administered orally under the tongue rather than by injection. During the “build-up” phase, the doses are gradually increased. Once “maintenance” dose is reached, you or your child will typically take the same dose for the duration of the treatment.