Allergen Testing and Immunotherapy Hamilton Mill
Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans suffers from chronic allergies? If you are in this 20% of people, then you know the debilitating problems allergies can cause. You can take over-the-counter and prescription medicine, but they’re not always effective. Many have bothersome side effects and only offer temporary relief. This is because these medications only attempt to hide your symptoms, not treat the problem. Allergen testing and immunotherapy can be a fix you never knew you needed!
Hamilton Mill Family Complete Care is proud to offer allergy suffers a real solution called immunotherapy. Only immunotherapy can potentially treat the root cause of allergies, providing you with a long-term solution.
Before you can receive immunotherapy, you must first have an allergen test to confirm which allergens you are allergic to. Allergen tests use extracted common allergens such as pollen, mold, animal dander, etc. to see which ones trigger an allergic reaction. The reaction could be a rash or appear as a mild irritation similar to a mosquito bite.
Allergen test can be given in the form of a scratch test or intradermal test.
- Scratch test: A drop of potential allergen will be placed on the skin. Your doctor or nurse will prick your skin’s outer layer to let the allergen in.
- Intradermal test: Your doctor or nurse will inject a small amount of allergen under the skin.
How Immunotherapy Works
Immunotherapy for allergies is given in the form of an allergy shot. This shot contains a small dose of the substances you are allergic to, allowing your body to strengthen its immunity to those specific allergens.
At first, you will receive a shot once or twice a week with the dose gradually increasing. After 4 to 6 months of weekly shots, you will likely be given a maintenance dose, which is the best amount of allergen in a shot. After you’ve been on a maintenance dose for the prescribed amount of time, your doctor will give you an allergen test. If successful, you should experience fewer or less severe symptoms when exposed to allergens.
Who Should Get Immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy is best for people who experience frequent allergic reactions to common allergens. Immunotherapy is generally not suited for food or medicinal allergies but is particularly useful for people who are allergic to airborne particles or have asthma.