Allergy Testing is performed to determine what allergens your system reacts to the most. Our testing is normally performed on the back and includes a standard battery of various grasses, trees, molds, weeds, and pet allergens. Our standard test provides information on 72 allergens but additional foods and other allergens can be tested also.
Our clinic utilizes “prick” testing which uses tiny plastic tines dipped into allergen extracts to gently scratch your skin. Within 15 minutes any reactions will appear as a red spot on your back. These reactions are measured to determine the sensitivity to allergens. Our physicians will review your results and potential treatment plans.
Patch Testing is done to diagnose contact dermatitis. Our standard patch test is performed using 70 different chemicals normally found in everyday products to determine which irritant is causing the contact dermatitis. Additional products may be used when performing patch testing including metals, cosmetics, and personal hygiene products.
The patches are placed across your upper and middle back and left in place for 48 hours. Patch test results are read at 48 hours and 72 hours. At the 72 hour patch test reading you will meet with your allergist to review the test results and create a specialized treatment plan.
Do you have trouble breathing or does your chest feel tight when you exercise? Do you wake up during the night coughing? Is it difficult to take a deep breath? If you answered yes to any of these questions you might be suffering from asthma. Asthma is a condition that can affect your lifestyle but can be controlled. Family Allergy & Asthma Care can diagnose and treat your asthma utilizing proven test methods and customized treatment plans.
During your asthma screening our staff will collect information related to your symptoms and your lifestyle. Our specially trained staff will perform a breathing test called a spirometry. The spirometry will measure your pulmonary function and compare it to normal statistics for your age, height, weight, gender, and ethnicity. Our physicians will help design a customized plan that addresses your symptoms and personal activities to help you manage your asthma.
PULMONARY FUNCTION TESTING
Family Allergy & Asthma Care utilizes a spirometer to measure your pulmonary function. Pulmonary function testing is a measure of how well you breathe. This test is the main measure of lung capacity. Our physicians utilize this test to measure progress in managing your asthma.
Asthma is a lifelong condition and education is the key to a healthy and quality life with asthma. Family Allergy & Asthma Care has three certified Asthma Educators on staff. These employees have studied all areas of asthma related topics and teaching techniques to make sure you have a full understanding of your condition.
* What is Immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy consists of a series of injections (shots) with a solution containing the allergens that cause your symptoms. Treatment usually begins with a weak solution given once or twice a week. The strength of the solution is gradually increased with each dose. Once the strongest dosage is reached, the injections are usually given once a month to control your symptoms. At this point, you have decreased your sensitivity to the allergens and have reached your maintenance level. Allergy shots should always be given at your health care provider’s office.
* When will you see an improvement?
Most people need four to six months of immunotherapy to reach the maximum dose of allergen. At that time, your allergist prescribes this maximum dose as a “maintenance” injection on a biweekly or monthly basis. After three to five years of receiving maintenance dose shots, most people have built up enough allergen tolerance to enjoy decreased allergy symptoms without the need for continued injections.
* How long are allergy shots given?
Six months to a year of immunotherapy may be required before you experience any improvement in symptoms. If your symptoms do not improve after this time, your allergist should review your overall treatment program. If the treatment is effective, the shots usually continue three to five years.
Note: At Family Allergy & Asthma Care we recognize that immunotherapy is a time commitment for our patients. We have convenient early morning, lunchtime, early evening and some Saturday morning shot hours to accommodate your schedule. Click here for hours and locations.
During all of our shot hours, you’ll be treated by the same courteous staff members. We have a private children’s area with TVs, movies, books and toys to make the whole family feel welcome during your visit.
If you decide to begin Immunotherapy treatment, Rush Immunotherapy may be utilized to speed up the “build-up” phase and allow you to reach your maintenance dose quickly. Rush Immunotherapy is a day-long treatment that involves receiving increasing doses under constant supervision of our trained staff. This treatment may allow you to cut your “build-up” phase in half.
Not every patient is a Rush Immunotherapy candidate since it is an intense treatment. Patients with other conditions or large reactions to allergy test may not be eligible. Our physicians will review your options during your office visit and our business office staff will provide you information about your insurance benefits related to this treatment.
DRUG CHALLENGES & DESENSITIZATIONS
If you have reactions to certain medications or drugs, Family Allergy & Asthma Care can perform drug challenges and desensitizations. Drug challenges are used to determine your sensitivity to specific medications. Desensitizations can be used to acclimate your system to certain drugs that might be needed during other medical procedures. Our staff will remain with you during these procedures and our physicians monitor your progress during the process.
90% of patients labeled as penicillin allergic are negative when penicillin allergy tested. At Family Allergy and Asthma Care we offer Penicillin Allergy testing. This is a safe and effective way to rule out the drug allergy in patients with a remote or vague history of reacting to penicillin.
If you have allergies or suspect you have allergies to certain foods a food challenge can help determine your sensitivity to those foods. It can be difficult to totally avoid foods that you have allergies to so challenges can be used to determine what amount of the food causes reactions. Peanut challenges and milk challenges can be useful when trying to maintain a healthy diet. Click here to learn more at the Food Allergy Institute of North Texas.
Venom allergies can be very difficult to control since it is impossible to avoid contact at all times. Fire ants, bees, wasps, and other insect allergies can be life threatening but immunotherapy can actually cure some venom allergies. Our staff can provide venom testing and recommend a course of treatment for you.
Family Allergy & Asthma Care has completed the ICACTL Accreditation and is one of the first physician practices to adhere to all of ICACTL’s high standards. Family Allergy & Asthma Care’s MiniCAT CT scanner utilizes the latest technology to provide one of the most compact and focused CT’s around.
Our MiniCAT provides only scans of the sinuses to assist in the diagnosis of our patients. This technology provides quick, comfortable CT’s performed in our office while limiting radiation exposure. One of our business office staff will verify your insurance benefits and discuss any additional fees related to these services.
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