Reminder to our Patients: Due to insurance regulations Patients can not receive shots on the same day they have an appointment to see the doctor.
What is an allergy?
An allergy is an exaggerated immunological response to substances that does not occur in the average individual. The normally functioning immune system identifies true environmental threats such as virus or bacteria, and attempts to remove the offenders from the body. The allergic immune system identifies as dangerous, environmental factors, such as pollen, dust, mold, etc; or foods.
How are allergies diagnosed???
Once you have been seen by one of our Physicians and allergic disease is suspected, you may be referred to our Allergy Department. The Nurses of RIENT are highly skilled and trained health care providers with years of experience in testing and treating allergic disease.
Methods of testing for allergic disease
There are two methods used at RIENT to diagnose allergic disease.
Skin Testing (Skin Endpoint Titration).
RAST Testing (Radioallergosorbent Testing).
Skin testing is performed on the upper arm using very small needles. Testing consist of injecting a tiny amount of antigen between the layers of skin to produce a wheal (a mosquito – like bump). After a waiting period of a few minutes, the wheal is measured to identify any increase in size. An increase in size is indicative of an allergy to the specific antigen that produced the larger wheal.
AFTER THE DIAGNOSIS: WHAT NOW?
Once testing has been completed and allergic disease has been diagnosed, there are several treatments available to relieve your symptoms.
If you have pets, and have been diagnosed as allergic to the pets you must restrict the movement of your pets. Pets do not belong in an allergic individuals bedroom. Our bedrooms must be the cleanest room in the house. We spend the greatest amount of hours in the bedroom during our time of sleep. During this time we breathe deeper than usual. The addition of pet dander in addition to naturally occurring dust maybe stimulating to our immune systems.
Hard wood floors or linoleum floor covering is better for the allergic patient rather than carpeting. If you do have rugs, they should be steam cleaned yearly and vacuumed regularly.Comforters and blankets are not laundered as often as bedding is. To help keep them free of bed dust mite you can remove them and place them in a dryer on high heat for 20 minutes. This does not harm delicate bedding and it kills the mites, minimizing the dust.Dusting the furniture can cause allergic symptoms. Instead of dry dusting, use a slightly dampened rag to remove the dust and prevent it from flying back into the air to be inhaled.
Antihistamines and Decongestant Therapy:
These medications are used to help prevent and to treat the symptoms of allergic disease. The newer medications work without causing drowsiness. Decongestants work well for most patients but must be avoided by those patients with hypertension.
(allergy shots) may be recommended to patients that have tried all the other therapies without substantial improvement of their symptoms. Allergy injections are very effective in preventing and treating allergic disease.
By giving the patient a tiny amount of what they are allergic to, we train the immune system in just what it should ignore. In doing so, this decreases the allergic symptoms, decreases the frequency of infection and typically decreases the amount of medication needed to control these bothersome symptoms.Sublingual Therapy:
For the very young patient that cannot tolerate injections or adult patients that travel frequently, RIENT offers Sublingual Therapy.It consists of placing drops under the tongue daily.
Allergy Serum is made here in the office based on your test results. This serum is used to desensitize your body to allergens. Our Nurses are trained to safely produce a patient’s serum—no two patients use the same serum.
Pulmonary Function Testing:
PFT (pulmonary function testing) is provided by our Nursing Staff also. This is a screening breathing test that diagnoses obstructive or restrictive lung disease. Very often, allergic patients can experience difficulty breathing. The PFT can help diagnose the extent of the difficulty. This test is performed by blowing into a tube attached to a small computer. After the test is completed the results are printed for the Doctor’s interpretation.
One of the Nurse’s most important duties is patient teaching. Our Nursing Staff has years of experience in helping our patients achieve the best results possible to treat and prevent allergic symptoms. We also provided guidance to our patient’s other Physicians when needed. Our patients grow to know the Nursing Staff and to trust their guidance.