Allergies occur when the body’s immune system reacts to otherwise harmless elements of our everyday environment, like dust mites, mold, animal dander, grass, pollens, airborne chemicals and even certain types of food. This reaction from your immune system causes an over-production of antibodies, and your cells then release histamine, causing symptoms like itchy eyes, runny nose, wheezing, skin rash, nasal congestion, headaches, asthma, fatigue, and joint pain.
When it comes to understanding how allergies work, consider the “Rain Barrel theory.” A rain barrel can hold a certain amount of water before it fills up and the water begins to spill over the top. The body’s relationship to allergens and other environmental stressors works the same way. Each individual has the capacity to handle only so many allergens before the rain barrel fills up and symptoms “spill over.”
Allergy treatment aims to reduce or eliminate some of the stressors that are overwhelming your immune system with the goal of decreasing or eliminating symptoms and decreasing reliance on prescription medications.
A More Effective Approach to Allergy Testing
At Visions HealthCare, our practitioners use intra-dermal and skin-prick testing to evaluate your antibody responses. During an intra-dermal test, a small amount of each suspected allergen is injected into the skin in order to measure your immune response. Your reactions to these individual allergens provides your “allergy profile,” which becomes the baseline for your recommended course of treatment. In order to determine your body’s natural allergy response, we ask that you avoid certain medications just prior to your scheduled allergy test. Refer to this document for more information about preparations to allergy testing.
Visions HealthCare Allergy Treatment
The goal of allergy treatment is to reduce or eliminate your symptoms by decreasing the stress that allergens place on your immune system. Your treatment plan is individualized based on your test results. This plan often involves a multi-faceted approach which may include avoidance of suspected allergens, environmental and lifestyle modifications, nutritional supplementation, and immunotherapy. Conventional interventions like antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays/inhalers are often recommended at the start of your treatment course, with the long-range goal of lessening or eliminating your reliance on these measures.
You don’t have to live with allergies when there is help to control them. Call Visions HealthCare at 781-431-1333 to schedule a consultation or to set up an appointment. For more information visit our Allergy Testing & Treatment FAQ page.
Allergy Testing Appointment Policy
Allergy testing can take up to 2 hours to complete and there is generally a wait list for getting an appointment. Due to the high demand for this testing, we appreciate your cooperation with the following policies:
1. Please note that we have a strict cancellation policy in place for allergy testing appointments. If you have an appointment set for allergy testing and do not show up for the appointment you will be charged a $100 fee.
2. In addition, if you cancel or reschedule your appointment within three (3) business days of your appointment, you may be charged a $100 fee. Due to the high demand for allergy testing, please call us at 781-431-1333, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you need to reschedule an allergy testing appointment.
3. There are medications that will cause us to reschedule your test; if you take one or more of the medications listed, and we are then unable to perform your test there will be a $100 charge. Refer to the Medications To Avoid document for the list of medications that interfere with allergy testing.