As otolaryngologists, the doctors have had specialized training in nasal and sinus allergies. This is important because allergies are not isolated illnesses, but very often have associated sinus and nasal infections, and may accompany other obstructions such as polyps or deviated nasal septum.
As Medical Director of the Allergy Testing and Treatment Center, Dr. Adelglass uses methods in the diagnosis and treatment of your allergies that are time-proven not only to identify the specific allergens that are causing your allergic reaction, but also to achieve quick, effective control.
Dr. Jeffrey Adelglass provides an Allergy Hotline. By dialing (972)A-L-L-E-R-G-Y, the daily pollen count is given at no charge for the service.
Below are the type of testing that is offered at our office.
We use intradermal type of testing. We apply a small amount of an allergen (trees, weeds, grasses, molds, mites, dander) just beneath the skin causing a small wheal or bleb. This is NOT painful. We allow the allergen to settle under the skin and measure the swelling in about 10 – 15 minutes. Depending on the wheal size, the next allergen will be either weaker or stronger. The amount of injections that you will receive depends on how you respond to the particular antigen that you are being tested for. Most of the patients, even small children, do rather well.
You will be tested for what is prevalent in the North Central Texas area. This includes seasonal allergens (Trees, Weeds, and Grasses). You will also be tested for perennial allergens (Molds, Mites, House Dust, Cat and Dog dander/hair).
Once we have the results of what ales you then we consider treatment options. One treatment option starts with avoidance strategies. This can be a very simple task if only one allergen is predominant, such as giving away the family cat or dog (we understand that this may be difficult for those emotionally attached to their animal). Avoidance or minimizing your risk for several indoor allergens can be accomplished (see Environmental Control). If your results show heavy indoor and outdoor allergy, then you may consider Allergy Immunotherapy.
Think of immunotherapy as a “vaccination” against allergies. However, unlike a single shot you might get for tetanus or the flu, immunotherapy involves giving you a steady, increasing amount of the substances that cause your allergies. The whole idea of treating you with the very things that make you miserable may seem a bit odd, but in most cases, it works!
How Does Immunotherapy Work?
Doctors believe that receiving regular amounts of the substances that cause your allergies actually makes you less sensitive to them. In other words, allergy shots seem to build up your resistance to the things that cause your symptoms, so the next time you are exposed to them, they will cause you less trouble.
What Is Involved With Immunotherapy?
The first step is allergy testing. This will pinpoint the substances that cause your allergies. The results of these tests will help you decide if immunotherapy is right for you. Immunotherapy has been used for over 100 years. Generally, allergy shots are given year-round in order to keep your resistance up.
Treatment starts with a tiny amount of the substances that bother you. Your first three injections will be given four to seven-day intervals provided there are no reactions or symptoms that are provoked. From the fourth injection on, shots will be given on a weekly basis. Over the next few months your dosage will gradually increase until you reach your maintenance level. If immunotherapy helps you, you will need to continue your injections, taking them once a week for the first year. The second year we might try and reduce the interval to 10-14 days, depending on symptoms. The third year we will try to reduce even further to 14-28 days between injections. Some allergy patients have such severe allergies; they might need allergy injections on a weekly basis for several years.
Depending upon your individual level of sensitivity, your allergy serum (mixture of allergens and diluents) may need to be made stronger or more concentrated as you continue your treatment.
Will My Symptoms Get Better?
Most people experience a degree of relief after six to eight weeks of therapy. Be patient – the results are worth the wait! Be sure not to miss an allergy shot. The more regularly you receive your shots, the more quickly you will reach your maintenance level.
What Can I Expect From Immunotherapy?
With immunotherapy you will have fewer, and less severe reaction to the substances that cause your allergies. People that suffer from sinusitis seem to do well over all. Allergy shots are not a cure, but they can improve the quality of your life. You may also find that you need less medicine than before to control your allergies.