Allergy Testing and Treatment Options at our Maryland Clinics
Baltimore | Glen Burnie | Lutherville | Westminster | Ellicott City
Yes, You Can Live Symptom Free
Are you one of the nearly 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies each year? With the allergy testing and treatment options available at our Maryland® clinics, we can help pinpoint the cause of your reaction and get you the treatment needed to live your life symptom-free.
At Mardiney® Asthma, Allergy and Immunology Centers, not only do we strive to eliminate your allergy symptoms, we pride ourselves on providing our patients with relief as quickly as possible — usually within the first visit. While other practices schedule appointments months in advance and require multiple visits for consultations and testing, we work with patients to schedule appointments within 2 weeks and will conduct any necessary testing during the very first visit.
We understand that you have a lot of responsibilities, so we work quickly to make sure you get relief without having to take days off work or miss important appointments. Each of our 5 locations has convenient office hours so you can schedule appointments before or after work.
To request an appointment call us at 877-878-9314 or fill out our online form. To learn more about allergies and potential treatment options, continue reading below.
What are Allergies?
Allergies occur when the immune system reacts to a foreign substance that is typically benign. These substances, called allergens, trigger an immune response even when the allergen is harmless. The severity of the immune response, or allergic reaction, can vary and range from a mild rash to anaphylaxis — a potentially life-threatening reaction that can cause low blood pressure, shortness of breath, and loss of consciousness.
Types of Allergies
Environmental allergies are generally broken down into two categories: seasonal and perennial. Seasonal allergies worsen during certain times of the time. Perennial allergies can be triggered year-round.
Allergic reactions can manifest in multiple ways. Listed below are a few conditions and symptoms that can be caused by an allergen sensitivity.
- Allergic rhinitis also known as hay fever
- Runny, stuffy nose
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Skin rashes including eczema, hives, and other forms of dermatitis
- Coughing or wheezing
Allergies may be caused by any number of things. Some of the most common types of allergies are caused by:
- Pet dander
- Insect bites and stings
- Dust mites
- Indoor and outdoor mold
Allergy Testing at Mardiney®
Before one of our allergy specialists can treat your symptoms, we will need to know exactly what substances are causing your allergies. To do this, your physician may order an allergy test to determine what substances trigger allergic reactions. Allergy testing typically involves exposing your skin or testing your blood to determine what allergens trigger an allergic response. Four common allergy tests are described below:
Allergy Skin Tests
Allergy skin tests involve placing a small amount of a suspected allergen on or below your skin so we can see if a reaction develops. Most allergy testing clinics have the following tests available:
- Intradermal Skin Tests: A small amount of allergen extract is injected just beneath the skin. Typically varying concentrations are utilized to determine level of sensitization. This technique is the most sensitive.
- Skin Prick Tests: This involves applying an allergen extract to a small needle and gently pricking the skin. If your skin develops a red, raised, itchy bump, called a wheal, you are probably allergic to that substance.
- Patch Tests: A patch test applies an allergic solution onto pads that are placed on your skin — typically on your back. After 48-72 hours, an allergy specialist removes the patches and checks for any allergic reaction. Skin irritation at the patch site may indicate an allergy to that particular substance.
Allergy Blood Tests
Some people may have extensive rashes or skin irritations that prevent using skin tests. In this case, your doctor may order an allergy blood test.
Allergy blood tests measure the blood level of antibodies. These tests look for the presence of immunoglobulin E, or IgE, in the blood. IgE is an antibody that your body produces in response to certain allergens. People who suffer from allergies often have higher levels of IgE. The results are then analyzed to see the possibility that an allergy exists.
Allergy Treatment Options
After you’ve completed your allergy testing, it’s time to get treatment to ease your symptoms. While there is no cure for allergies, there are several types of treatments that can help you live your life symptom free.
While one treatment method is allergen avoidance, sometimes it isn’t enough. Environmental allergens like pollen, pet dander, dust mites, or insect bites are all around and are nearly impossible to avoid. A far more effective treatment option is immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a long-term treatment option that exposes your body to specific allergens, helping it gradually build a tolerance. Immunotherapy can include:
- Allergy Shots: These shots contain a small amount of the allergens that trigger your allergies. As you continue getting these shots, your immune system will begin to build up a tolerance to these allergens, diminishing your symptoms over time.
- Sublingual Immunotherapy: This is an alternative to injection therapy- for those patients with allergy to grass or ragweed pollen. An allergy specialist will give you a small dose of allergen under your tongue. It will help boost your tolerance to the substance and ease your symptoms overtime.
- Xolair® anti-IgE Therapy: This is an advanced injectable therapy used for the treatment of difficult to treat allergic asthma and chronic hives.
A fourth way to treat allergies is through medication. Antihistamines – block histamine-released during allergic reactions and help minimize allergy symptoms such as itching and sneezing. These can include tablets, syrups, nasal sprays or eye drops. Corticosteroid nasal sprays are the gold standard for treating allergic rhinitis and are often used as first line therapy.
Contact Mardiney® Asthma, Allergy and Immunology Centers to find an Allergist near you
If you are suffering from seasonal allergies, or an allergy related condition such as asthma, dermatitis, or food sensitivities, don’t suffer in silence. The allergy testing and treatments available at our centers can help lessen your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
If you have any questions regarding allergies, allergy testing or any of the services we offer, please don’t hesitate to call us today at 877-878-9314 or to click the button below to fill out our online form. We can help you can set up an appointment with an allergy specialist at any one of our 5 convenient Maryland locations.