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Dedicated to providing relief from the allergies that are affecting so many throughout the whole year, not just seasonally, Allergy Associates of Western Michigan welcomes adult and pediatric patients.  The physicians, both of whom are board certified in allergy and immunology, specialize in treating asthma, sinus disease, seasonal allergies, bee sting allergies, and hives.

Who should be tested?

Allergy testing should be considered for any patient (adult or child) who suffers from common allergy symptoms.  These can include:

Respiratory: itchy, watery eyes; runny nose, congestion, post- nasal drainage, itchy mouth/throat; chest congestion, wheezing.

Skin: hives/angioedema, eczema

Gastrointestinal: abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea after eating certain foods.

Other: reactions to stinging insects that are more than large local reactions, and patients who have suffered anaphylaxis from any cause.

What to expect at your appointment.

Your initial evaluation will first consist of one of our doctors taking a detailed history from you regarding your complaints.  This will be followed by a physical examination.  The doctor will determine whether or not testing is necessary, and what type, based on the information obtained during this time.  Testing is generally done at your initial visit, but may also be postponed to a later date dependant on the type of testing necessary based on your history and symptoms.   

Skin testing for allergies involves using a small plastic applicator with allergen applied to the tip to open the very top layer of skin on the back.  This does not cause bleeding but allows the allergen to enter the skin.  Positive skin tests result in areas of itching and redness and are then interpreted by the doctor.   Following review by the doctor, the area is washed and treated to minimize itching and discomfort.  Further skin testing may be required depending on the results of the prick tests.

If asthma or other breathing difficulties are part of your history, this will also be evaluated at the time of your initial visit. 

Your treatment plan will be developed in combination with you, the doctor, and our trained nursing staff in order to provide you with the most effective strategy for treating your complaints.  This plan may consist of a variety of options including avoidance measures, medications or immunotherapy.   

Points to Remember….

● Evaluating for allergies and other allergic conditions can be a lengthy process.  Please allow for approximately two hours when planning for your initial visit.  Some of this time will be taken up with waiting for skin test results.  You may want to have reading materials or other quiet interests with you during your appointment.

● Please plan on arriving 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time to allow for review of your insurance and personal information.

● Use of cell phones is restricted to the entryway of our office building.  Please exercise respect for our patients and staff by keeping cell phone use limited to this area.


Medications

It is our goal to provide each patient with a detailed and thorough evaluation of his or her complaint.  Some medications need to be avoided for at least three days prior to testing in order to achieve accurate testing results.  These include:        

● Cough and cold preparations available over the counter

● Antihistamine/decongestant combinations by prescription or available over the counter

● Benadryl and Chlortrimeton

● Tylenol or Advil PM

● Claritin (loratadine)

● Zyrtec (cetirizine)

● Allegra (fexofenadine)

● Atarax (hydroxyzine)

● Phenergan and other medications used to treat nausea and motion sickness

● Antihistamine nasal spray (Astelin/Astepro and Patanase)

It can be equally important to continue certain medications.  These include inhalers used to treat asthma, as well as prednisone and plain decongestants (Sudafed).  If you have questions regarding certain medications, please contact our office prior to your scheduled appointment.

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