A Welcome to our New Allergy Patients
We are thrilled to embark on this collaborative path with you. If you have any inquiries or concerns regarding allergy testing before your visit, we have prepared comprehensive information to guide you through the process and ensure you are well-informed about what to expect during testing and treatment. You don’t have to accept allergies as a way of life, we’ll help you find a better way.
What to Expect
Scheduling an Appointment
At Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center, we strive to make the appointment scheduling process as convenient as possible for our patients. Here’s what you need to know to make an appointment with us:
Preparing for Your First Appointment
To make the most of your visit, please remember to bring the following items:
- Insurance Card: Please bring your valid insurance card to verify coverage and facilitate the billing process. This will help us provide you with accurate information regarding your insurance benefits and any associated costs.
- Identification: Bring a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license or government-issued ID, to confirm your identity during the check-in process.
- Referral: If your insurance plan requires a referral from your primary care physician or another healthcare provider, please ensure you have the necessary documentation before your visit. This will help us ensure a smooth transition of care and streamline the insurance authorization process, if applicable.
- Medical Records: Fill out the required documentation and send medical history records to MedicalRecords@carolinaasthma.com with the subject line: Last name, First name Medical Records. These forms help our medical team better understand your medical background, previous diagnoses, current medications, and any known allergies.
- List of Medications: To ensure comprehensive care, it is important to provide our team with a comprehensive list of medications you are currently taking. This includes prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and any supplements or herbal remedies. Please note the dosage, frequency, and duration of each medication. This information is essential for our specialists to evaluate potential interactions, identify medication-related allergies, and tailor an appropriate treatment plan for you.
Your First Appointment
When you come for your first appointment, it will likely be longer than subsequent appointments. It may be up to three hours, and the appointment will likely include a consultation as well as testing. We’ve learned from patients that combining these appointments into one longer appointment can be both cost effective and convenient, reducing copays and return trips to our office.
To provide you with the most accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, we will conduct a comprehensive allergy evaluation. This evaluation involves a detailed discussion of your medical history, including any previous diagnoses, symptoms, and environmental or lifestyle factors that may contribute to your allergies. Our medical team will carefully assess your specific situation and discuss the best course of action for your unique needs.
We may recommend allergy testing to identify specific allergens triggering your symptoms. We will explain the purpose, benefits, and procedures of various allergy tests. Our specialists will guide you through the process, addressing any concerns or questions you may have. We strive to create a comfortable and supportive environment during testing to ensure accurate results and your overall comfort.
During allergy testing, your skin is exposed to small amounts of suspected allergens, which may include foods, pet dander, medication, or environmental allergens. Your doctor will supervise your skin’s reaction and determine which substance or substances are causing the allergic reaction. From there, your doctor will work with you to create a management plan that’s effective and convenient for you/
Types of Allergy Tests
At Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center, we offer various types of allergy tests to accurately identify the specific allergens triggering your symptoms. These tests include:
- Skin Prick Tests: A small drop of the allergen extract is placed on the skin, and a tiny prick or scratch is made. The skin is then observed for any allergic reaction, such as redness or swelling.
- Blood Tests: A blood sample is drawn and sent to the laboratory, where it is analyzed for the presence of specific IgE antibodies against allergens.
- Patch Tests: Small patches containing allergens are applied to the skin and left in place for 48 hours. After this period, the patches are removed, and the skin is examined for any signs of allergic reaction.
- Specific IgE Tests: A blood sample is taken, and the levels of specific IgE antibodies against specific allergens are measured in the laboratory.
Preparing for Patch and Skin Allergy Testing
Before undergoing allergy testing, it is essential to follow any specific instructions provided by our physicians. These instructions may include:
- Temporary cessation of certain medications, such as antihistamines, for a specified period before testing. Download the instructions for medication avoidance here.
- Avoidance of certain foods or activities that may interfere with test results.
- Not applying lotions or creams to the skin on the day of testing. We ask that you prepare for patch testing by avoiding the following topical steroids:
- Aclovate (Alclometasone Diproprionate)
- Cyclocort (Amcinonide)
- Diprolene, Diprosone (Betamethasone)
- Clobex, Olux, Clodan, Cormax, Clarelux, and Temovate (Clobetasol)
- Cloderm (Clocortolone)
- Desonate, Verdeso, Tridesilon, DesOwen, and LoKara (Desonide)
- Topicort (Desoximetasone)
- Apexicon E (Diflorasone)
- Halog (Halcinonide)
- Halobetasol (Ultravate)
- Synalar (Fluocinolone)
- Vanos (Fluocinonide)
- Cordran (Flurandrenolide)
- Flonase, Veramyst (Fluticasone)
- Elocon (Mometasone)
- Dermatop E (Prednicarbate)
- Cinolar, Kenalog, Triderm (Triamcinolone)
- Hydrocort, Alphosyl, Aquacort, Cortef, Cortenema, and Solu-Cortef (Hydrocortisone)
After we’ve determined your specific allergies, we can work toward the best possible management paths, which often differ from adults to children. We customize all management paths for our patients, depending not only on their allergies but also on their lifestyles.
We offer a comprehensive range of treatment options to address your allergies effectively. These options may include:
- Medication: Our allergists may prescribe medications to manage and alleviate allergy symptoms. This can include antihistamines, nasal sprays, eye drops, or asthma inhalers, depending on your specific needs. Medications can provide short-term relief or long-term control of your allergies.
- Immunotherapy: For individuals with allergies that cannot be adequately managed by medications alone, we offer immunotherapy. Many people are most familiar with immunotherapy, or allergy shots. This treatment approach aims to modify your immune response to allergens, reducing your sensitivity over time. Immunotherapy options include allergy shots (subcutaneous immunotherapy) or sublingual tablets/drops (sublingual immunotherapy). If you chose immunotherapy, understand that the most essential active ingredients are patience and commitment; allergy shots take a while to work. While you will likely notice a change for the better in four to six months, you should allow a year of treatment to see real improvements. We believe that it’s worth the wait: the five-year success rate for allergy shots is about 85 percent!
- Lifestyle Changes: Our medical team will provide guidance on lifestyle modifications that can help minimize your exposure to allergens and reduce symptoms. This may involve recommendations on environmental controls, allergen avoidance strategies, dietary adjustments, or improving indoor air quality.
We understand that each patient’s allergies and circumstances are unique. That’s why we believe in developing personalized treatment plans tailored to your individual needs. Our physicians will take into consideration factors such as your specific allergens, symptom severity, medical history, lifestyle, and treatment preferences. By tailoring the treatment plan to your unique situation, we can provide the most effective and targeted care to help you manage your allergies and achieve long-term relief.
During your consultation, our specialists will discuss the diagnosis process, treatment options, and work closely with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that aligns with your goals and preferences. We are dedicated to providing patient-centered care and empowering you to take control of your allergies for a healthier, more comfortable life.
At Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center, our focus is on improving your overall well-being by accurately diagnosing your allergies and offering personalized treatment options that address your specific needs. We are committed to supporting you on your journey to better allergy management and helping you achieve a higher quality of life.