Preparing for Your Allergy Evaluation
Making your visit a productive and pleasant experience is our first priority at The Allergy Center at Sacramento Ear, Nose & Throat. As a new patient, plan on your first visit taking one to two hours. Those with severe allergies may need to have their testing performed on two separate days.
Before your visit, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire so we can learn more about you, your family medical history and lifestyle. These will help your appointment be more efficient. We will ask you questions such as:
- What symptoms do you have?
- When did your symptoms start?
- What, if anything, seems to improve or worsen your symptoms?
- Do you have sinus or breathing symptoms?
- Have you recently had a cold or other respiratory infection?
- Do you have asthma or any known allergic conditions?
- Do you smoke? Are you exposed to secondhand smoke or regularly exposed to other airborne pollutants?
- What medications do you take, including herbal remedies?
Your allergy and medical history will be carefully evaluated by one of our practitioners. They will also perform a comprehensive physical examination in order to determine a preliminary diagnosis.
You will then undergo highly accurate and reproducible allergy skin and/or blood testing to best determine the appropriate, personalized treatment plan for your specific allergy problem.
Our experienced clinical staff will help you understand your personalized treatment plan and how to implement it successfully. We will also help identify which medications and environmental changes might help you.
If appropriate, you will be placed on one of our immunotherapy programs specifically tailored for you.
Once allergy immunotherapy is started, results will vary. Some patients may experience almost immediate improvement, but typically it requires several months of treatment before you will feel noticeably better. We will constantly re-evaluate your progress, retesting if necessary and continuing to adjust your treatment plan for the best results. Although it may be tempting to stop treatment once you start feeling better, it is important that you complete the full course of treatment to ensure long-lasting effects.
Since allergies are a very treatable but chronic problem, prone to relapsing, we require periodic follow-up visits. The frequency of these visits is based on your condition and progress. Follow-up visits are shorter than initial visits.
Certain medications must be stopped before skin testing.
Antihistamines and other medications with antihistamine-like effects will interfere with your skin testing. Please stop taking the following medicines four to seven days before skin testing: See a list of medications.
Nasal sprays such as Atrovent, Flonase, Nasacort AQ, Nasonex, and Rhinocort Aqua do not interfere with skin testing and may be taken up to the time of skin testing. The only nasal sprays that must be stopped before skin testing are Astelin, Astepro, Azelastine, Olopatadine, Patanase and Dymista.
Inhaled medications for treating asthma such as albuterol, Advair, Flovent, Qvar, Pulmicort, Symbicort, Dulera and Xopenex as well as oral tablets Prednisone and Singulair do not interfere with skin testing and may be taken up to the time of your office visit for skin testing.
If you have a question about which medications need to be stopped, and for how long, call our office at (916) 736-6644.