As allergy specialists, we are often asked to compare skin testing vs. lab testing for determining a patient’s allergic status. Today, while the results correlate well, most allergists prefer skin testing, as it is more accurate and sensitive in detecting allergic disease. While somewhat more uncomfortable, results are available quickly, and quite obvious and reinforcing to the patient. Allergens tested can be easily modified for relevance to the patient, and the geographic region.
With regard to treatment, allergy shots have been used for about a century, and regarded as “disease modifying” in that they redirect the immune system away from the allergic response, toward the protective, or non-allergic. The initial frequency of shots and mild discomfort are off-putting to some, but will generally provide decades of benefit.
In recent years, it has been shown that certain oral regimens can reduce symptoms to some extent, but available treatments are very limited, with FDA approval at this time including only ragweed and northern grasses. With a few other additions anticipated in the future.
Make an appointment, we’d be happy to review the options with you.
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