Frequently asked questions about allergy treatment and testing
I believe I have allergies. How can I schedule a skin test?
Before you can have an allergy skin test, you must first schedule an appointment with one of our physicians in order to establish a diagnosis. Once you have been evaluated by the doctor, a referral for testing will be sent to the Allergy Department. A health care professional from the Allergy Department will contact you within a week and set up an appointment for testing.
How long will the skin test take?
Depending upon your specific allergy and the type of skin test order, the test may take up to two hours to complete. We also suggest that you eat a good meal prior to testing. If you believe you would like to have a topical anesthetic to help numb your upper arms for testing, please let us know before your appointment.
What is immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy involves desensitizing your body by administering diluted doses of the allergen. This may involve injections (“allergy shots”) or you may be a candidate for sublingual immunotherapy, which is administered underneath the tongue. Immunotherapy is a long-term treatment. If you do not complete the course of treatment, your symptoms may return.
Your physician will determine which course of treatment is right for you.
Should I get my allergy shot if I am sick?
If you suspect you are ill, it may not be recommended that you proceed with your allergy injection. Symptoms such as fever, pain, general malaise or if you are being treated for an infection should be reported to the Allergy Nurse before receiving your injection. If ever in doubt, or if you should have any questions, it is always best to call the office before coming in.
Why do I have to wait AFTER I receive my allergy shot?
Our nurse wants to ensure that you are not having a reaction to the shot. This is why you need to wait for 20 minutes after having an allergy shot.
What happens if I discontinue my allergy shots?
If you discontinue your allergy shots, or if you do not take them as scheduled, your symptoms may return. In order to achieve optimal results from the serum, it is your responsibility to get your shots regularly and follow your doctor’s advice for routine checkups.
When can I receive my allergy shots?
We offer allergy shots in several of our locations. You can see a complete shot schedule here.
Do I have to receive shots for allergy treatment?
Only your doctor can determine the best course of treatment for you. You may be able to treat your symptoms with prescription medications. Another option is sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). Your physician will be happy to discuss your treatment options with you.
When can I expect relief from symptoms?
Typically we have found that you can expect to start feeling the benefits of your immunotherapy after 6 months. Because each patient is different and your course of treatment is based on your test results, this will vary from person to person. Your personal course of treatment will be discussed at your initial immunotherapy appointment. At the Raleigh Capitol Ear, Nose & Throat Allergy Department, we are devoted to making your course of treatment as easy as possible for you. Before you know it, you will be well on your way to a happier, symptom-free you!