What is an Allergy?
An allergy is an abnormal reaction to something that ordinarily causes no harm to someone who is not allergic. It may be caused by inhalation (pollens, dust, molds and animal dander), ingestion (foods and medications), injection (medications and insect stings), or skin contacts (poison ivy or latex).
Respiratory allergies most commonly affect the nose, causing sinus problems, stuffiness, excessive runny nose, postnasal drainage, sneezing or itching. The itching may extend to the back of the throat and deep inside the ears. The eyes are also frequently involved with redness, tearing, itching and puffiness. Asthma, which is a reaction of swelling and inflammation inside the lungs, is commonly caused or aggravated by respiratory allergies as well.
Allergies can be diagnosed based on the patient's family history, symptoms, exam and response to a trial of allergy medications. In cases where allergy medications do not work or cause side effects, then allergy testing is recommended. This testing determines with certainty whether a patient is allergic, what they are allergic to and how severe the allergy is. This information can then be used to develop a customized treatment plan with avoidance measures, medications, immunotherapy injections or any combination of these to achieve the best long term results.
In most cases we perform skin testing, since it is the most accurate, rapid, and cost-effective approach to diagnosing allergy problems. A light application of each suspected allergen is applied to the patient's back. The allergen to which the patient reacts to will cause an itchy but temporary red bump on the skin, much like a mosquito bite. This mild form of an allergic reaction is caused by the release of histamine at the test site, and is what happens to a larger extent in the nose and eyes of people with "hay fever," and the lungs of people with asthma.
For our allergy testing, we use small disposable plastic device with prongs that gently pricks the skin surface with virtually no pain. Even young children will usually tolerate the testing without difficulty.
Park Cities Allergy & Asthma
4119 Lomo Alto Drive
Highland Park, TX 75219
Monday: 9: 00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 9: 00 am - 5: 00 pm
Wednesday: 9:00 am- 5: 00 pm
Thursday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Monday: 7:15 am -2:30 pm
Tuesday: 9: 00 am - 11:30, 1:00 - 5:15 pm
Wednesday: 9:30 am- 2:45 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am - 11:15, 1:00 - 4:45 pm