When allergies are getting in the way of normal activities, it’s time to see an allergy specialist at University Health. We offer diagnostic testing and treatments for a range of allergens and irritants, including:
- Foods, including dairy, eggs, peanuts, soy, shellfish and wheat
Allergy testing can help your health care provider determine which substances cause your symptoms. There are three common tests your health care provider might use:
Skin test: Your doctor will put a small amount of an allergen on your skin, then prick the area. If the pricked area rises up like a mosquito bite, that means you are allergic to the allergen. This can test many allergens at once.
Blood test: Blood tests are done if skin tests can’t be performed. Blood tests measure the IgE antibodies to certain allergens in your blood.
Challenge test: Under close medical supervision, you will inhale or consume a small amount of the allergen. This is most often performed for food or medicine allergies when your provider expects you will have a minor reaction.
Your allergy treatment plan will be determined by your overall health and how well you do with medication and procedures.
The easiest and most recommended treatment method is avoiding the allergen whenever possible. Your doctor may also recommend a saline spray to rinse the irritants out of your nose.
Other ways you can avoid allergies are:
- Dust-proof your home
- Stay inside when pollen counts are high
- Wash bedding and clothes often to eliminate dust mites
- Wear a face mask when doing yard work
Allergy shots inject a mix of the substances you are allergic to boost your immune system against them. Shots may be a better option than avoidance for:
- Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
- Eye allergy (conjunctivitis)
- Allergic asthma
- Stinging insect allergy (bees)
Newer methods include tablets that dissolve under your tongue.
Based on your allergy and the symptoms it causes, your doctor may prescribe:
- Mast cell stabilizers
Providers on Your Care Team
You may have a number of health care professionals on your care team. You can expect to get treatment from a physician, pulmonologist (lung specialist), lab technician and pharmacist.