Allergy and Asthma Health Care
Allergic people have abnormal reactions to things in their environment that are normally harmless. If you have allergies, you are more sensitive than most to pollen, molds, dust, food, animals and insect stings. You become affected when you inhale, eat, or touch them. How severely you react depends on what you are exposed to and the amount of exposure. Your symptoms may involve many different parts of your body individually or simultaneously, for example, skin and upper and lower respiratory tracts. Often allergies are inherited, but the same allergies are not always found in blood relatives.
A comprehensive program of treatment of allergies and asthma includes avoidance measures, use of symptomatic medications, and immunotherapy (allergy injections). The tendency to develop new allergies throughout life is common. Asthma especially must receive close monitoring and continuous care to maintain good health.
Diagnosis and Testing
Your physician will talk with you and review your complete medical history. The history reveals clues about causes of your allergy and approaches to treatment. A careful physical examination may confirm your history or provide additional clues. Based on the history and physical examination, your physician may recommend some or all of the following:
CAW/2 - Complete Allergy Workup in 2 days
When a patient first comes to McGovern Allergy and Asthma Clinic, P.A. with symptoms compatible with an allergy diagnosis, the Physician will obtain a detailed allergy history, examine the patient for signs of allergy, and, if indicated carry out complete allergy testing which would include skin tests designed to pinpoint to what they are sensitive, tests on the blood for indications of allergy or infection, a nasal mucous smear and urinalysis for allergy, and any other indicated studies such as pulmonary function tests for lung performance or tympanographs for the ears.
If the information gathered warrants, the physician will then order skin testing to determine to what the patient is most sensitive. The skin testing is divided into two parts, half on the first day and half on the second. We would apply 120 screening punch (prick) tests and approximately 9 intradermal skin tests each day.
When the testing is completed, the Physician will again see the patient to review in detail all of our findings and recommendations and outline an allergy treatment program designed to control the allergy and increase the patient's chances of "burning out" the allergy and getting over it completely.
Each part of the complete allergy workup takes approximately half a day and patients should be prepared to spend this amount of time when they come. If the allergy testing indicates that immunotherapy injections (allergy shots) would be beneficial, the patient is given a supply of antigens to take home after first being taught how to give the injections. A one month's supply would then be sent to the patient at his home each month. These injections may be received here at the Clinic if the patient prefers.
PAW/2 or PAW/1 - Partial Allergy Workup
Sometimes patients or the Physician choose only a partial allergy workup. This may be chosen because of time constraints, economics, or the patient's desire to see if only certain allergens are causing his problem such as only airborne inhalants, insects or foods.
When the PAW is chosen, the complete allergy history, physical examination and tests on the blood, nasal smear and urinalysis are carried out. Then the partial skin testing is performed.
The Physician will then review in detail our findings and recommendations and, if indicated, outline an allergy treatment program which could include only environmental control measures, insect avoidance or food avoidance or the patient may be placed on an immunotherapy program to the offending inhalants or insects as well. The injections would be sent to the patient on a monthly basis for self-administration at home. Immunotherapy to insects, however, must be given in a Physician's office.