Allergy Testing & Therapy
Environmental allergen testing
Self-administered allergy shots
Physician directed treatment plans
Food and venom allergens are not tested for at our office
During an Allergic Reaction
When you touch, swallow or inhale an allergen for the first time, Dendritic cells capture the allergen from the skin and mucous membrane and present it to the immune system.
Your immune system may mistakenly think that after several exposures to a particular allergen that it is a threat. The immune system produces specific antibodies to fight it.
These antibodies bind themselves to your mast cells and wait for the next time you come in contact with that allergen.
When you are exposed to the allergen again, the antibodies on the mast cells capture it.
Histamine and other chemical messengers are then released, causing allergy symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose, pressure in ears, coughing, bronchial congestion and fatigue.
How Does Immunotherapy Work?
Immunotherapy is a safe, effective treatment, which ultimately enables your body to tolerate substances you are allergic to.
By slowly introducing your body to a small amount of allergen(s), over time your body’s immune system profile changes. This change consists of being pro-allergic in nature to anti-allergic with regard to your allergen sensitivities.
Here is how it works:
Once on immunotherapy, your body will decrease the production of antibodies that are involved in the release of histamine and other allergic mediators.
The change to the anti-allergic profile has been shown to last long-term and create tolerance to specific allergens that have been a problem in the past.
The majority of patients that have completed a three year course of allergen immunotherapy go on to experience fewer symptoms and significantly decreased need for allergy medication for many years.
Your body gradually stops reacting to the allergens that you are being treated for and your symptoms become milder, often disappearing for years.
Cox, Linda. May 2011. Allergen Immunotherapy. Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America. 31(2): 149-432.