An allergy center or allergy clinic is a facility where specialists perform tests to determine how your body reacts to known substances. Allergy centers offer treatment based on concluded tests. What goes on in allergy centers? What should you expect? Dr. Lenkowski of Roanoke Valley ENT & Allergy shares an overview of how allergy centers work and what to expect when you go. 

How can an Allergy Center Help a Patient?

Around 50 million people in the US are affected by allergies yearly. Inhalants are the most common form of allergens. Since they are so common, a specialist might inquire about your family history, occupation, and lifestyle. They are likely to discontinue your prescription of the following if any is currently in use:

  • Antihistamines
  • Benzodiazepines like lorazepam (Ativan) and diazepam (Valium)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Heartburn treatments such as Pepcid
  • Select asthma treatments, such as omalizumab

The allergy has to be determined at allergy centers before the specialist can settle for any treatment options. Several tests are carried out. The specialist could use a blood test, skin test, or food test, or all of these to determine what treatment is best for the patient.

Skin Tests

allergy testing rova entSkin tests are performed to identify potential allergens. They could be contact allergens, airborne, or food-related. During skin tests, a special tool is used to puncture the skin lightly. The already dissolved allergen is placed on the skin surface and monitored. Any swelling or redness is indicative of a potential allergic reaction.

Blood Tests

Blood tests are carried out when the patient has severe skin allergic reactions. The test helps identify specific antibodies fighting allergens.

Food Test

Food tests or elimination diets are used when food is suspect to causing allergic reactions. It consists of removing food completely for a period of time, and later adding them back into a diet. The reactions are monitored the entire time.

How can an Allergist/ENT care for patient allergy issues?

Once the tests are carried out and the root cause of the allergy is determined, treatment is carried out based on how severe the symptoms are. Dr. Lenkowski and his team at the Roanoke allergy center will provide a treatment plan that may include:  immunotherapy, medicine, or avoidance.

Avoidance is the best way to limit the need for medicine. An allergist will suggest removing certain materials and sources from the patient in an attempt to avoid the trigger completely. 

Immunotherapy consists of shots injected at intervals with gradually increased dosage. Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is an alternative form of immunotherapy. Small doses of the allergen are introduced in the body by placing SLIT tablets under the tongue.

Roanoke Valley ENT & Allergy houses a comprehensive allergy center that is staffed with medical providers dedicated to diagnosing and treating your allergies. For an appointment, contact us at 540-655-1888. We are happy to help!