Allergy Testing at HealthCARE Express
If you have an allergy, your immune system overreacts to a substance you inhaled, touched, or ate. So how can you be sure which allergens are responsible for your symptoms? Allergy tests, combined with a physical examination and medical history, can give precise information about what you are, as well as what you are not, allergic to.
At HealthCareEXPRESS we can test both adults and children in as little as 30 minutes. This is very helpful for patients who suffer with asthma, allergic pneumonia, conjunctivitis, undiagnosed cough, dermatitis (skin irritation), rhinitis, sinusitis, urticaria (hives), and angioedema.
Our "no needles" approach can test over 45 different allergens at the same time, including geographically specific seasonal allergens from the area! Common allergens include: dust mites, pet hair and dander, trees, grass, and weed pollens, molds, and cockroach allergens.
The best part is most insurance plans cover the allergy test and treatment! Your insurance benefits will be verified prior to testing.
Immunotherapy: What You Need To Know
HealthCARE Express offers immunotherapy all year round, so you can come get your treatments at any time of year to get prepared for allergy season. Anyone ages two and up can receive treatment (depending on medical history and doctor’s orders, of course). We offer both blood testing and skin prick testing for allergies.
Immunotherapy can help you gradually build up an immunity to some allergens. Immunotherapy treatments can help you not react so severely in future interactions with allergens. As your body is building up the immunity, you will still have some common allergy symptoms.
Treatments are quite effective, as 85% of patients who go through immunotherapy find symptom relief from their environmental allergies. The key word here is environmental. Immunotherapy will not treat allergies to food, venoms, medications, heavy metals, or latex. If you suffer from allergies to pollen, certain trees and grasses, dust, mold, pet fur, or pet dander then there’s an excellent chance you will find some relief from these treatments.
The skin prick testing is more accurate than the blood test and is easily performed. The skin on the arm or back is simply scraped with a small comb hosting different allergens. After about 15 minutes areas on the skin will begin to raise into a little bump, much like a mosquito bite, in reaction to whatever allergen you are allergic to.
The UAS Immunotherapy model has shown:
- 95% of patients had improved allergic rhinitis scores
- 82% of patients reported diminished use of medications
- 88% of patients reported improved Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire scores after IT
- 86% would recommend allergy testing and immunotherapy to friends and family
- 82% feel comfortable administering immunotherapy injections
- 85% of people treated with IT for hay fever may achieve symptom relief within the first year of starting immunotherapy
- After 3-5 years of complete IT treatment, most patients experience little or no allergy symptoms
How is the allergy test performed, and is it painful?
The allergy test is not painful. A multiple headed percutaneous test devise gently pricks or abrades the skin’s surface. After the test is performed, it takes about 15 minutes to develop. A positive test will appear as a raised, red bump on the skin, similar to a mosquito bite.
How long does the allergy test take?
The test takes approximately 30 minutes to administer and 15 minutes to register the results – so you don’t have to wait long to learn the possible cause of your allergies.
Who can be tested?
Adults and children over the age of two years can be tested for allergies. This is especially helpful for patients who suffer with allergic asthma, allergic pneumonitis, conjunctivitis, undiagnosed cough, atopic dermatitis (skin irritation), insect allergy, rhinitis, sinusitis, allergic urticaria (hives), and angioedema (similar to hives, but beneath the skin).
Which allergens will be tested for?
You will be tested for the most frequent geographically specific seasonal and perennial allergens in your area. We will test for products from dust mites, proteins from pet hair and dander, trees, grass and weed pollens, molds, and cockroach allergens. We do not test or treat for food or stinging insect related allergies.
What is immunotherapy?
Allergen immunotherapy is a form of treatment aimed at decreasing your sensitivity to substances called allergens. Immunotherapy involves introducing increasing amounts of an allergen to a patient over several months.
How long will I have to be on immunotherapy?
The course of immunotherapy varies by individual. The initial full course of immunotherapy is one to three years, but symptom relief can and often occurs after one year of therapy. Completing three to five years of therapy has shown long-term benefits.
How soon will I see results from immunotherapy?
Relief from allergies varies by individual, however, relief can occur within the first few months of therapy.
What if I am currently taking antihistamines?
In order to achieve the most accurate test results, you should discontinue any antihistamines, over-the-counter or prescription, for at least three days—or longer depending on the medication— prior to allergy testing. You may safely resume the use of antihistamines once you begin immunotherapy.
What are the benefits of allergy testing and immunotherapy?
One in five people suffer from symptomatic allergies. These symptoms can vary greatly from minor discomfort to severe disability. The cost of allergies can be significant when factoring in lost productivity and days off from work and school. Combined with expensive drugs that serve only to mask the symptoms, the average cost to patients can be upwards of $2,000 per year. *
Is immunotherapy effective in eliminating allergies?
Yes, immunotherapy is very effective in greatly decreasing or even eliminating the symptoms of allergies. Up to 85%* receive a complete cure or a noticeable reduction in allergy symptoms.
Are the testing and immunotherapy covered by insurance?
Yes, most insurance plans cover allergy testing and immunotherapy. We will verify insurance benefits prior to testing.
Is immunotherapy effective for children?
Yes, in addition to being 85% – 95% effective, allergen immunotherapy has been shown to prevent the development of asthma.
How long before I can expect to see my allergy symptoms improve on the immunotherapy treatment?
You may experience some symptom relief within the first year. Consult with your physician if you if you have not experienced symptom improvement within the first year of treatment.
How are specific allergens selected for immunotherapy?
Allergens are selected based on an assessment from your provider and also your reaction to specific seasonal and perennial allergens that you have been tested for.
How often will I see my provider to discuss my allergies?
You will have a visit with your physician to discuss the results of your allergy test and why IT is recommended. You should see your provider at three and six months after IT, then visit every six months from then on.
How can I benefit the most from my immunotherapy treatment?
Following your IT schedule and remaining compliant will help insure you get the most benefit from your immunotherapy program.
My allergy symptoms are only in the spring and summer. Can I receive my immunotherapy treatment just at that time?
Limiting your immunotherapy to just the spring and summer does not give your immune system time to adapt to allergens which cause you to have symptoms. Immunotherapy injections are required year-round to experience the long-term benefits.
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