Allergy services:
Testing, Shots, and Drops

Allergic rhinitis (allergies of the nose) can seriously impact your quality of life. They can cause discomfort and even avoidance of otherwise-pleasurable activities. However, with the right treatment, you can conquer your allergies.

Dr. Ganc and his staff offer a full range of allergy services, from initial testing and diagnosis to various options for treatment like shots and drops.

Allergy testing

As the first step to treating your allergies, we will perform tests to find out which substances (known as allergens) are causing your symptoms.

Your allergies can be tested either via a skin test or a blood test. In the majority of cases, the skin test is appropriate and works quickly and reliably.

An allergy test will check for sensitivity to a variety of substances, including grass, weed, and tree pollen; dust mites; molds; and animal dander.

Skin test

There are two steps to a skin allergy test:

  1. Skin prick test
    We apply a small amount of allergen (the substance that might cause an allergic reaction) to a pricked area of skin and observe any reaction.
  2. Intradermal test
    If the skin price test shows no reaction, we perform the more sensitive intradermal test, where we inject a small amount of allergen under the skin.

Blood test

Allergy blood tests look for substances in the blood called antibodies. Blood tests are not as sensitive as skin tests but are often used for people who are not able to have skin tests.

The most common type of blood test used is the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA, EIA). It measures the blood level of a type of antibody that the body may make in response to certain allergens. IgE levels are often higher in people who have allergies or asthma.

After the tests

After allergy testing has been done, Dr. Ganc will review the results and determine a treatment plan for you, which might include allergy medications, avoidance of allergens, and allergy shots or drops.

Allergy shots

Injection immunotherapy (allergy shots) is an effective means of combating allergy symptoms. By injecting very small doses of concentrated forms of the problematic allergens (allergy causing substance), and increasing the dosage over time, the patient builds up a tolerance to the allergen. This tolerance decreases the patient's sensitivity to the allergen in the environment, reducing the patients allergy symptoms.

There are two phases to allergy shot treatment:

1. The build-up phase

Initially, you will receive shots weekly or twice-a-week. During each treatment, you will receive slowly increasing amounts of allergen. This phase typically lasts 4 to 6 moths.

2. The maintenance phase

After about 4 to 6 months, you will be receiving the maximum dosage of allergen. During this maintenance phase, you will need to come in every 2 to 4 weeks.

Your treatment will be reevaluated after 1 year. If your symptoms are improving in your symptoms, you will continue receiving shots. At this point, the shots will be given monthly for up to 3 to 5 years.

Allergy drops

Some patients with allergies are not good candidates for allergy shots. Reason include fear of needles, frequent travelling, and/or difficulty making it to the office. In these cases, Dr. Ganc can recommend sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) or allergy drops. Allergy drops are placed under the patient's tongue.

The principles behind allergy drops are similar to those behind allergy shots: help the patient build up a tolerance to the allergy-causing substances.

Like allergy shots, allergy shot treatment begins with an allergy test. Once the target allergies are identified, the patient begins a three-month build-up, slowing increasing the dosage. The patient then moves to the maintenance phase, where she stays at the highest dosage for 3 to 5 years.

FAQ

Allergy shots

Allergy drops