Monday 7:30 - 11:30am, 1:00 - 4:30pm
Tuesday 8:30 - 11:30 am, 1:00 - 4:30pm
Wednesday 7:30 - 11:30am, 1:00 - 2:30pm
Thursday 8:30 - 11:30am, 1:00 - 4:30pm
Friday 7:00 - 11:30am
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Allergy Testing & Treatment
What are allergies?
Allergy is a condition, often inherited, in which the immune system of the affected person reacts to something in the environment or ingested that does not affect most other people. Allergy is often regarded as only "hay fever," with rhinorrhea, nasal congestion, sneezing, pruritic and watery eyes. Recent literature has, however, demonstrated a compelling association of allergy and many ENT disorders. Diseases as chronic sinusitis, post nasal drip, cold symptoms, recurring otitis media and externa, the dizziness of Meniere's syndrome, hearing loss, tinnitus, chronic cough, asthma, headaches, chronic fatigue and skin eczema are included.
Otolaryngic Allergy has evolved out of the need to care for patients with allergic ENT disorders. An ENT allergist is a general ENT physician and surgeon with specialty training in the field of allergy, combining specialized knowledge of the head and neck anatomy and allergy to maximize treatment of allergic and ear, nose and throat disorders. Thus, a unified modality of treatment can be achieved by complementing allergy treatment with necessary surgery, such as polyp removal, placement of middle ear ventilating tubes, straightening of the nasal septum or decreasing turbinate size, and sinus surgery.
Allergy testing is typically done in one of two ways. Skin Endpoint Titration (SET) is done on the upper arms by a skilled nurse in the doctor's office. This takes 1-2 hours and the results are seen immediately. This method of testing is very reliable and is the main allergy test performed in this office. The other method is RAST testing which is done by drawing blood and sending to an outside laboratory. Occasionally in very small children and/or in people with certain medical conditions RAST testing is the only method available. SET testing remains the preferred method whenever possible.
Once testing is completed, the results are reviewed with the patient in a follow up visit. The three main methods of allergy treatment are discussed. These include avoidance, medicines, and immunotherapy (shots). Depending on the patient's pattern of allergies, medical condition, and wishes; a treatment strategy is developed. Sometimes more than one method of treatment must be employed to achieve the desired results. Many patients have both anatomical problems (a problem that requires surgery) and allergy trouble. Sometimes surgery can be avoided with aggressive allergy therapy. But if necessary, the surgical options can always be considered.
Similar to the care provided by most primary care physicians, all medical treatment options can be explored. If this proves to be inadequate, unsatisfactory, or fails for any other reason, immunotherapy can be a viable option. Successful management of allergy symptoms can be achieved with shots in the vast majority of patients. Serum is custom made for each individual patient in the office. Allergy shots take a commitment by the patient for weekly shots for a year or more. Typically, there is a build up phase, a maintenance phase, and a wean-off phase that will be determined by the patient's own individual response.
Shots are custom made in this office to match each patient's own specific allergy and threshold levels. Surveys of our patients have shown a high degree of satisfaction with this treatment method. Every effort is made to make allergy shot therapy as convenient as possible (i.e.: no appointments are necessary, visits are kept short, office hours vary each day to try to accommodate a wide variety of patient schedules).
In certain situations, after a patient has reached maintenance therapy, home shots may be an option. Our experienced nursing staff will spend as much time as necessary to educate the patient in the proper technique of home shot therapy. Safety must always come first. Some patients receive their shots under direction of a physican where they live (i.e.: student health centers for college students, primary care physician in the town where the patient lives, patients that move to a new location, etc.). In the above cases, the serum is custom prepared in this office and sent to the appropriate location.