Allergy Treatment in Foley, AL

Pediatric & Adult

 Allergy Treatment – ENT Centers | Alabama

In coastal South Alabama, allergy season lasts almost all year long! Allergies are our body’s immune system response to foreign substances, known as allergens.

Common allergens include grass and tree pollen (known as hay fever); dust mites; animal dander; foods (nuts, fruits, shellfish, eggs, cow’s milk, etc.); insect bites and stings; latex; medicines; molds/spores; household chemicals (detergents, hair products, soaps, etc.) Allergic reactions typically happen quickly, usually within a few minutes of coming in contact with the allergen.

Most allergies are mild and are not typically harmful to our bodies but can cause sneezing; runny or blocked noses/sinuses; red, watery, itchy eyes; wheezing and coughing; red, raised, itchy rash (hives); swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face, stomach pain or nausea; and/or worsening asthma symptoms. For a smaller portion of the population, severe allergic reactions can cause anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock.

If this occurs, immediate medical attention is required.

ENT Centers of Excellence Allergy Testing

What to expect

ENT Centers of Excellence offers allergy testing for 40 different, more prevalent environmental allergens common to our area. We test for different weeds, grasses, trees, dust mites, molds, cat and dog dander
and cockroach. Scratch tests (also known as skin prick testing) and intradermal testing are the two types of allergy tests offered ENT CoE. Skin prick testing involves putting an extremely small amount of liquid containing the various allergens usually on the patient’s upper back and pressing (scratching) the surface of the dermis (skin), waiting a specified time then measuring the skin’s reaction if any. If you are allergic to the substance, a reddish, elevated bump with a red ring around it will appear. This bump may be severely itchy. For patients (generally over the age of 12) intradermal testing is then performed. This involves gently injecting liquid allergens just beneath the surface of the dermis in the upper arms. The results of the scratch test and intradermal test are compared and analyzed. Dr. Kowal will review the
allergy testing results and make recommendations depending on the severity of the allergy (ies). If allergies are severe enough immunotherapy (allergy injections) maybe recommended. This type of
therapy usually requires weekly injections. Allergy testing typically takes 1 ½ hours to complete depending on the number of reactions a patient has.

How to get ready for allergy tests

You will be given a preparation for allergy testing sheet as well as a history form, which needs to be completed and returned on the day of testing at your initial office visit. You will be required to stop taking most of your medications prior to testing. Please review your medications with our allergy technician well in advance of your allergy test so that you will know which medications can alter your test results. Below is a list of common medications which will require stopping prior to your test.
Claritin, Clarinex, Zyrtec, Xyzal, Singulair, or Allegra (this includes generic forms of these medications) should be stopped 7 days prior to testing.
Do not take over the counter antihistamines, like Benadryl; cold and sinus medications; sleep aids, like Tylenol PM, for 5 days prior to the allergy test.
Periactin should not be taken up to 11 days prior to the allergy test.
Do not take medications like Tagamet, Pepcid, or Zantac 2 days prior to allergy testing as these are a form of antihistamine.

Discontinue taking nasal spray antihistamines like Astelin, Astepro, Patanase, Dymista, etc. 5 days prior to testing.
Do not take a tricyclic antidepressant medication for 14 days prior to testing. It is important to discuss stopping this type of medication with your prescribing physician. Not all antidepressants are tricyclic medications.
Do not take benzodiazepines for 7 days prior to testing.
Do not take a Beta-Blocker medication for 7 days prior to allergy testing. Beta-Blockers are medications used for treatment of high blood pressure, migraine headaches, heart problems, performance anxiety, or glaucoma (eye drops) and must be discontinued with the permission of the prescribing physician. Beta-Blockers can make allergy symptoms worse, nasal congestion, asthma and allergic bronchitis are most likely to worsen. The may also increase the risk of serious allergic reactions, such as insect stings and allergy treatments. They can make the medical treatment of serious allergic reactions more difficult as well. If a person is on a Beta Blocker, Epinephrine is not the preferred drug for treatment of a serious adverse reaction (anaphylaxis). Medications only administered in a medical facility are used as an alternative. Do not stop taking your Beta-Blockers without consulting with your medical provider!!!
Please inform the allergy-testing nurse if any of these medications have been taken prior to the test as they can alter the test results. If they have been taken, you will likely have to reschedule your allergy test. Once the allergy testing has been completed, you may resume taking your antihistamines.

What is Immunotherapy

The goal of allergy injections is to decrease the amount of daily medication you are currently taking by reducing and/or controlling your allergies. Some patients start to notice improvements with symptoms within three months on immunotherapy. Allergy shots are most effective if given year round. You will receive a steady increasing amount of the substances that cause your allergies (based on your individual test results). The usual time between injections is about every 7 days. Over the next few months, your dosage will increase until you reach your maintenance level. When an effective dose is reached, allergy symptoms will decrease after an injection however they may start to return when the next injection is due. Many patients notice symptom relief in the first 2-3 months of treatment. The results are worth the wait! Missing a weekly allergy injection will prevent you from reaching your maintenance levels timely. When a stable maintenance dose has been reached, (maintenance phase) injections may be given every 7-21 days apart. Most patients receive weekly allergy injections for 2 years, then every 2 weeks for the 3 rd year. At the end of 3-5 years, your physician will determine if topping injections is indicated. We require that on the day of your injection that you remain in the office for 30 minutes after you receive it. This is very important so that we can monitor you for an allergic reaction. Reactions are rare but they do happen and if they do, it’s usually within 20-30 minutes of the injection. Shots and testing are only given when a physician is present in the office in case an emergency arises. We also require that you have your EpiPen prescription filled and present during your allergy shot visits. *A delayed allergic reaction can occur up to 2-6 hours following your injection. Allergy injections are not a cure but they can improve your quality of life. The hope is that you will only need allergy medications during peak allergy season, rather than daily. Medical Insurance We will make every effort to verify your allergy benefits with your insurance company as a courtesy to you. We will attempt to give you an estimate of approximate out of pocket expense for allergy testing, allergy serum (mixing) and allergy injections. However, this is not a guarantee of payment from your insurance company. Should your insurance company fail to pay, the responsibility will shift to the patient or guarantor. We encourage all patients to verify benefits as well. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our office at (251)943.1117 and ask for the billing department.

ENT Centers of Excellence Cancelation Policy for Allergy Testing

 

Allergy testing is offered only on Mondays at 9AM, 10:30AM, 1:00PM and 2:30PM. Due to the limited number of available testing appointments, it is very important that our patients make every
effort to keep their appointments. We understand that things happen sometimes; however preparing for allergy testing and mixing take extremely large amount of time. Since patients are
required to quit their medications up to a week in advance it is often difficult to quickly fill appointment slots when cancellations are made. If you need to cancel your allergy testing
appointment, we ask that you give us 48 business hours’ notice so that we can attempt to give your appointment to someone else. Since testing appointments are on Mondays that means we will
need word by 5pm on the prior Wednesday if you need to cancel or reschedule. Failure to comply with this 48 business hour rule will result in a $100 cancelation fee.

Allergy Testing and Immunotherapy Schedule

The goal of allergy injections is to decrease the amount of daily medication you are currently taking by reducing and/or controlling your allergies. Some patients start to notice improvements with symptoms within three months on immunotherapy. Allergy shots are most effective if given year round. You will receive a steady increasing amount of the substances that cause your allergies (based on your individual test results). The usual time between injections is about every 7 days. Over the next few months, your dosage will increase until you reach your maintenance level. When an effective dose is reached, allergy symptoms will decrease after an injection however they may start to return when the next injection is due. Many patients notice symptom relief in the first 2-3 months of treatment. The results are worth the wait! Missing a weekly allergy injection will prevent you from reaching your maintenance levels timely. When a stable maintenance dose has been reached, (maintenance phase) injections may be given every 7-21 days apart. Most patients receive weekly allergy injections for 2 years, then every 2 weeks for the 3 rd year. At the end of 3-5 years, your physician will determine if topping injections is indicated. We require that on the day of your injection that you remain in the office for 30 minutes after you receive it. This is very important so that we can monitor you for an allergic reaction. Reactions are rare but they do happen and if they do, it’s usually within 20-30 minutes of the injection. Shots and testing are only given when a physician is present in the office in case an emergency arises. We also require that you have your EpiPen prescription filled and present during your allergy shot visits. *A delayed allergic reaction can occur up to 2-6 hours following your injection. Allergy injections are not a cure but they can improve your quality of life. The hope is that you will only need allergy medications during peak allergy season, rather than daily. Medical Insurance We will make every effort to verify your allergy benefits with your insurance company as a courtesy to you. We will attempt to give you an estimate of approximate out of pocket expense for allergy testing, allergy serum (mixing) and allergy injections. However, this is not a guarantee of payment from your insurance company. Should your insurance company fail to pay, the responsibility will shift to the patient or guarantor. We encourage all patients to verify benefits as well. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our office at (251)943.1117 and ask for the billing department.

ENT Centers of Excellence Cancelation Policy for Allergy Testing

 

Allergy testing is offered only on Mondays at 9AM, 10:30AM, 1:00PM and 2:30PM. Due to the limited number of available testing appointments, it is very important that our patients make every
effort to keep their appointments. We understand that things happen sometimes; however preparing for allergy testing and mixing take extremely large amount of time. Since patients are
required to quit their medications up to a week in advance it is often difficult to quickly fill appointment slots when cancellations are made. If you need to cancel your allergy testing
appointment, we ask that you give us 48 business hours’ notice so that we can attempt to give your appointment to someone else. Since testing appointments are on Mondays that means we will
need word by 5pm on the prior Wednesday if you need to cancel or reschedule. Failure to comply with this 48 business hour rule will result in a $100 cancelation fee.

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    Diviland, CT 51000, USA

    Phone: 123-456-7899

    Email: divi@medic.com


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                Weekend: Closed

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