Allergy Testing & Treatment
Do you suffer from environmental allergies? Millions of Americans do. It’s one of the most common diseases in the country. Adults and children alike suffer from its symptoms, which include a runny nose, sneezing, wheezing, hives, and itchy, watery eyes.
But there’s no need to let allergies interfere with your daily activities. The health care providers at North Texas Family Medicine can pinpoint what is causing your symptoms and find you lasting relief.
After all, allergies are more than just uncomfortable or irritating. They can sometimes lead to a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction in which your mouth or throat swell significantly and restrict your ability to breathe.
If you live in Plano, Texas, or the surrounding communities, you know how difficult it can be to avoid environmental allergens. In fact, North Texas has a notoriously higher-than-average pollen count and is occasionally designated an “allergy capital” by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Common Indoor and Outdoor Allergy Triggers
- Animal dander
- Dust mites
- Insect stings or bites
- Mold spores
- Pollen (including grass and Texas ragweed)
- Smoke or other pollutants in the air
Allergic reactions occur because your immune system overreacts to a substance it erroneously sees as a threat – and symptoms can appear at any age. So, just because you didn’t previously develop an allergic reaction to something in your environment doesn’t mean you won’t become allergic to it in the future.
There are a number of methods we can use to diagnose allergies. A review of your symptoms and a physical exam is always the first place to start. An allergy blood test (immunoassay test) can reveal if there are allergen-specific antibodies in your blood. But the most reliable way we’ve found to narrow down the allergen causing your misery is through allergy skin tests.
At North Texas Family Medicine, we offer on-site allergy skin testing in partnership with UnitedAllergy Services. These tests are safe, painless, and effective. In addition, skin tests are more sensitive than blood tests in detecting allergies.
Sometimes called the skin prick test or scratch test, this method involves making a small scratch in the skin then applying a drop of allergen next to each scratch. The forearm is usually used for testing in adults and the upper back in children. You will remain in the office and your skin will be checked after 15 minutes for the presence of any raised bumps that may also be red and/or itchy.
A countless number of over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications are available to address your allergy symptoms. However, for a more long-term solution to environmental allergies, many of our patients turn to immunotherapy to prevent or reduce the severity of their symptoms.
Immunotherapy, commonly referred to as allergy shots, involves controlled exposure to tiny amounts of the allergen in order to desensitize your body. The shots are typically provided over a period of time and gradually include more of the target allergen.
The majority of patients – adults and children alike – who undergo a series of allergy shots experience a significant reduction in the amount or intensity of their allergy symptoms. Also, most insurance policies cover the treatment.
Allergy Testing at North Texas Family Medicine
Let the board-certified physicians at North Texas Family Medicine know about any allergy symptoms you may have. You may require testing in order to find relief and prevent a life-threatening allergic reaction. Call (972) 599-2567 today or request an appointment now to get started.