Dr. Rao will obtain a detailed medical history, examine you and evaluate your symptoms. Tests will be performed to find out the type of your allergic disease. Skin tests or allergy blood tests may be needed to find out the precise causes of your allergic symptoms. Based on the entire clinical evaluation, a diagnosis is made
If the allergy tests are negative, Dr. Rao can still help find the cause of your symptoms, do not despair. Allergists are also experts in the treatment of non-allergic asthma, rhinitis, food and drug reactions, and other types of problems of your immune system, like frequent infections.
This is the step where you get better! Allergy treatments include three components: Prevention, Medication and Immunotherapy.Prevention:
Once identified, the cause of the symptoms may be avoided or removed from your life. For example, a particular food can be avoided, or a pet can be removed from the home or kept away from sleeping areas. Some causes of allergic symptoms, such as pollen, molds and dust mites are difficult to avoid. Exposure can be reduced, however, by environmental control measures prescribed by your allergist.Medication:
Although prevention comes first, more may be needed. Medications are usually used to decrease allergy symptoms and improve the patient's quality of life. Dr. Rao is an expert in the latest safe and effective medications for treating allergic illness.Immunotherapy ("allergy shots"):
If a specific allergen is identified and it cannot be avoided or medications are not effective, the symptoms may be decreased or eliminated with allergy shots. Recently, as an alternative we are able to provide a sublingual form of immunotherapy (slit) for certain allergies. This form of treatment can be taken by the patient within the comfort of their own home.
The treatment increases the patient's resistance to the allergens.
Allergy shots stimulate the immune system to fight allergies safely, effectively and naturally. Beginning with small doses and increasing them gradually on a weekly or biweekly basis, the therapy continues until a maintenance level is achieved. Then, a maintenance dose is injected every few weeks. Immunity does not occur immediately, but some patients do begin to feel better quickly. Most patients are continued on monthly injections for 3 to 5 years once they reach the maintenance dose. In some patients, immunity is maintained and treatment can be stopped after several years. For others, treatment may be needed for longer periods of time. Generally the benefits of allergy shots can last for many years, or even a lifetime.
With the immune system restored to good health, few or no medications may be needed. Work or school days are no longer missed. The burden of allergies is lifted, and allergies become something you just don't think about any more.
Allergy shots are prescribed by Dr. Rao and are usually given under medical supervision at our office or another location where medical staff and medications are available to handle any serious reaction. Although rare, serious reactions can occur from allergy shots because the treatment involves the substances to which the patient is known to be allergic. As allergists, we feel that the benefits far outweigh the extremely small risk of a serious reaction. It is safe for both children and adults, and even pregnant patients may continue treatment started prior to pregnancy.