Allergy tests included by local Clinic for Airborne Allergens

Northwest Iowa Ear, Nose and Throat executed a new allergy service that include allergy testing and customized treatment services to its already extensive services offered to patients at 920 N, Grand Ave. The service includes the gold standard in testing and custom-formulated immunotherapy,  an FDA approved method to deaden allergies over time that has been proven to effectively alleviate allergy symptoms for life.

Dr. Daniel Jorgensen said. This new service can significantly increase our patients quality of life by reducing or eliminating allergy symptoms and discomfort.

We want the best possible care and treatment for our patients.  Said Jorgensen.

Patients suffering from seasonal allergies can be tested for the 48 most geographically specific mold and airborne allergens in the area. The medications, called allergy immunotherapy, are then customized on the basis of the allergy tests outcomes and help numb the patients to many of the pollens, molds and other triggers that cause symptoms. This desensitization therapy can allow patients to be around those allergens without having an allergic reaction like sneezing, coughing, runny nose, itching in the eyes, watery eyes, sleepiness, headache and nausea.

Allergen immunotherapy (also termed desensitization, allergy shots) is a medical treatment aiming at patients suffering from allergies that are insufficiently controlled by symptomatic treatments. Allergy shots help your body get used to allergens, the things that trigger an allergic reaction. They don’t cure allergies, but eventually your symptoms will get better and you may not have allergic reactions as often.  Allergy shots, also called immunotherapy, may work for you if allergy medicines don’t work well for you or you have symptoms more than three months a year. Immunotherapy is effective in patients with mild forms of allergic disease and also in those who do not respond well to standard drug therapy.

The testing is not painful. A tiny comb gently scratches or abrades the skin 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, Jorgensen said.

Skin scratch testing is the oldest and most reliable form of allergy testing. Scratch testing continues to be the gold standard for diagnosing allergic disease, Dr. Joshua Espelund said.

This is especially helpful for patients who suffer with asthma, allergic pneumonia, conjunctivitis (pink eye), dermatitis (skin irritation), insect allergy, rhinitis, sinusitis and angioedema.

Started at very low doses the dose is gradually increased on a regular (and usually weekly) basis, until a maintenance dose is reached. Once the maintenance dose is reached, the injections are administered less often (every two to four weeks), still on a regular basis. After a few years of successful treatment, some people dont have these significant allergy problems even after allergy shots are stopped. Other people need ongoing shots to keep symptoms under control.

Scott Lucas

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