Many people don’t want to talk to us about allergies because they’re afraid that we’re going to talk about allergy shots. But in fact, allergy shots are not the only treatment options that we have here at Joplin Ear, Nose and Throat. We actually make allergy drops for those people that can’t make it to get shots every week and you can administer the drops at home and they’re very safe.
Our goal in doing allergy testing is to be able to be able to identify certain offenders that cause symptoms and to eliminate or decrease those and then, if we need to, to be using the immunotherapy to be treating. Giving the body small amounts of these things so that the body is able to look at this and say, “Yes. I saw this last week. I played with this. I played ball with it and I did fine.”
The body is on this constant seek and destroy mission. We take things in and the body has to decide. Is this something that’s good for us? Is this food or this something that we need to be afraid of and get rid of? That’s why allergies happen. The body abnormally overreacts and doesn’t know what to do with these foreign substances and attacks it and overreacts. If week by week we’re giving the body small amounts of this in larger, larger doses then it eventually starts to realize, “Okay. This isn’t something I need to be afraid of. This isn’t going to kill me. I don’t need to overreact.”
The body then does a conversion over to where it finally accepts it as one and accepts it as part of self to where we’re not having to react. And whenever that body makes the conversion over, then that’s when we’re no longer having the symptoms and having the lasting immunity that can last up to a decade.
We do the two step testing, which is with the prick device and also with the inter-dermal testing, which is done with a needle and two sides of the arms.
With our allergy testing, with the prick device we’re able to test eight different allergens all at one time. So instead of 38 individuals, then you’re able to test with 40, including the two controls in five set trays. This is very tolerable to even small children, that is more of light pressure and irritation than painful. But the testing device that we use, there is a pressure prong that is in the middle of it, and then five very small tines. This is a plastic device and it is not anything that is going deep in the skin any more than my fingernail pushing in.
There are also several products that are commercially available through the pharmacies that are tablets that you would take at home as well. Those are for grasses, dust mites, and ragweed. So if you have those problems and you’re afraid of allergy shots, come see us. We may be be able to avoid the shot and treat your allergies as well.