Metropolitan ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery Allergy Department specializes in the testing and treatment of allergies. We have provided you with a list of our services, conditions and allergy resources within this page. Please take some time to review the frequently asked questions on this page below the services list.
Allergy has been traditionally described as the inflammatory response to a foreign substance. Since the 1970’s there has been an increase in the rise of inhalant allergies. Allergies can be the cause of symptoms alone or can cause exacerbation of other conditions such as sinusitis or asthma. The treatment of allergy includes avoidance of the precipitating substances, medications, or Immunotherapy, which are allergy shots, or the newest in immunotherapy, sublingual drops.
Please note Effective as of January 1, 2011
Due to the higher demand for Allergy drops, our renewal Policy will change from 5 business days to 9 business days to pick up allergy drops.
Metro ENT Allergy Department thanks you for your support during this transition.
Allergy Services, Conditions and Resources
How long am I going to be on shots?
That’s dependant upon the severity of the person’s allergies. Ideally, our patients are on their shots, and back off within three to five years; with their allergies corrected. Periodically, we get a patient whose allergies are so bad it takes longer for their allergies to be reversed, even though clinically they feel great.
Why do I have to see the doctor every 4-6 months?
We have a very successful allergy treatment program. To insure continued success, we track the patient’s progress very carefully. We like to make certain our patients are feeling better, and if not, why? In some cases we may need to readjust their serums, or figure out if there is an underlying problem preventing the treatments from working effectively. On the other hand, if patients are feeling very well, then maybe it’s time to retest them and start removing allergens from their serum if they are no longer allergic.
Why am I being retested every 2 years?
We retest every two years for two reasons. First, to see if a patient is no longer allergic to a particular item, then we can remove it, as there is no longer a need to treat them with that allergen. Second, sometimes a patient may still have symptoms, and we need to find out which allergen is still provoking symptoms. We then, readdress treatment for that item, and symptoms usually improve. Allergy treatment is most successful when it involves two factors. One, of course, is immunotherapy. However, the patient also needs to stay away from the offending allergen as best as possible, avoid exposure by using dust covers* on the bed, filters in the bedroom, and by keeping pets out of the bedroom, etc.
What kind of relief can I expect?
We expect about 80% relief of allergy symptoms within the first few months. After several months, the remaining symptoms should subside, unless there are other problems, i.e. bad nasal anatomy, or food allergies, etc. We also treat asthma.
When will I be able to stop my medications?
Once the allergy shots take over, your symptoms will decrease, and at that point you can taper off medications. Our goal is to ultimately reverse the allergy and have you off medicines and allergy shots.
Why do I get 2 shots?
One of the shots will contain the pollens we test for, and the other will contain molds and household allergens; dust, and animal dander, etc.
Why am I being skin tested, instead of scratch, or by blood test?
Skin testing, or S.E.T. (Skin endpoint titration) has been found to be the most accurate and reliable form of allergy testing. While we do use some of the other methods available for diagnostic purposes, we will follow usually with a skin test to find actual treatment levels.
What do I need to do in order to be allergy tested?
Even if your primary care physician has referred you to us for allergy testing, you will need to see one of our doctors first. They will evaluate your symptoms and your anatomy in order to better define your treatment plan. Also, there may be medications you are on that will interfere with your test and give false results, so being seen by our Doctors can curtail such occurrences.
What medications do I need to be off of before my test and why?
There are several factors that can interfere with an allergy skin test. There are several types of medications that we request you refrain from before your test. Some because of safety reasons, for instance, if you have a strong allergy response, we may need to give certain medications. Some medications, such as Beta blockers may block the medications we give. The other reason we would ask that you stay away from certain medications such as antihistamines, or anti-inflammatory drugs, is because both of them may block the allergy responses on your arms. We ask that you are off of these medications for 5 days before the test. If this becomes a problem, due to worsening symptoms, or because some of these medications are prescribed by other doctors, speak with one of our physicians and we will handle it on a case by case basis. Please see our list.
How many times will I be injected during the test?
It is hard to give an exact answer. We test for approximately thirty allergens. When we test, we are not only looking to see if you are allergic, but also how allergic you are. So, you may receive some of these antigens in weaker or stronger doses, until we find where your particular threshold, or “endpoints” are.
What am I being tested for?
There are certain things we don’t test for. Not because you cannot be allergic to them but more so because they are easily avoided, and easily diagnosed. For instance, if someone wears rabbit fur and it makes them itch, then it can be easily avoided. However, the things we test for are not so easily detected.
For example, people who are allergic to roses. We do not test for rose allergies nor treat them. So, once the allergic person is done with their shots, are they still allergic to roses? Of course, however, the goal is to lower the overall allergic process in their body. Then, when they are exposed to roses, it would produce less of an allergic response, than it would have prior to receiving shots, when the person’s allergy “threshold” was higher. The things we test for are known allergens in this area of the country. It is a combination of pollens, molds, and household pollutants.
Can I get my shots somewhere else?
A good percentage of our patients receive their shots through other doctor’s offices, or through their occupational health unit. First we test the patient, and then we mix their shot serums. Unless the patient is really allergic, they can take their serums to another physician who is closer to home, or more convenient. We give the person the first shot out of every vial here, and then go on their way. If a person is extremely allergic, we ask that they finish their first vial with us, and get their first shot out of their next vial, and then they can move on.
How much will it cost?
Unfortunately, that’s a question we cannot answer. There are so many factors involved in allergy care. The biggest factor that influences this answer is your particular insurance coverage. Some people have co-pays, some do not, some have deductibles, etc.
Why would I get shots if I can get sublingual drops?
This too, is very dependant upon insurance companies for one reason. Right now, very few insurance companies will cover allergy drops. Another reason is the drops themselves. There is some controversy regarding the absolute efficacy of drops. Are they an absolute replacement for shots, or are they more efficient if used as a supplement with shots. It also is very dependant upon the patient’s particular overall profile. Sublingual drops are most widely used on the elderly, or children or people who are extremely asthmatic.
What if I miss shots, or have an infection, etc?
There are a few times that allergy injections will be postponed. If the body is under duress, or stress, the allergy response can be more pronounced than usual. If you are sick, or have a viral infection, then we will postpone your shot until you are well again. Also, if you are having another medical procedure done, etc, then it will be postponed. If you miss your shot, for any of the previous reasons, or vacation schedules, work etc, as long as it is within 10 days, we can increase the strength as normal. If it is longer than that, then adjustments will be necessary.
What if I have been tested in the past by another doctor?
Well, the type of test and how current it was, will dictate where your treatment will go. Sometimes we can use results from other physicians, and start treatment from there, but not always. Also, if it has been a long time since your last test, we may also have to retest.
What hours are you available for shots or treatment?
On Monday we’re open from 9-7pm, Tuesdays 9-7 pm. Wednesday and Thursdays 7:30am-5pm, and Fridays 8-4pm. However, hours may be subject to change, please call for final verification. Office Hours
Why am I having allergy symptoms now? I have been all my life without allergy symptoms, why would they start this late in life?
Allergies do not follow any set rules or standards. The thought is that allergies will peak at age thirty or so, and start to diminish roughly at age fifty five to sixty five. However… any distinct change, or stress on the body can “reset” that clock; for example, pregnancy, major move/relocation, etc., or they may even just start out of nowhere.
Why am I being tested for allergies? I have no allergy symptoms, so why am I being tested?
Allergies can manifest themselves many different ways. There are always the normal hay fever symptoms that many have; sneezing, congestion, etc. Then there’s the other variety of symptoms. They can be anything from eczema, asthma, hives, mouth sores, tinnitus (persistent ringing in the ears), and a few other variety of symptoms or even some diseases that some studies attribute to allergies, or that it is thought that allergies exacerbate. We also can use immunotherapy to help in the treatment of Lyme’s disease, possibly fibromyalgia, etc.