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). They offer both blood testing and skin prick testing for allergies, as well. 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. Allergy medications, steroids (oral and injected), H2 blockers (Pepcid, antacids, etc.), and tricyclic antidepressants can hinder an allergy test, so let a HealthCARE Express provider know if you are taking any of these before you get an allergy test done. Luckily, allergy testing and immunotherapy won’t affect your daily life or routine. There are safety guidelines, however, that you should follow during injection days to minimize possible reactions, but those are discussed during consultation.
Immunotherapy can help you gradually build up an immunity to some allergens, but you will never be completely immune. 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.
Tim Reynolds, M.D.