Below is a list of many of the treatment options we offer. Click on any title to show more information!
Allergy Skin Testing
Skin testing is an effective, popular, and relatively painless method of testing for specific allergies. The process involves pricking the skin with a small amount of certain allergens to look for swelling or any type of reaction.
In-office skin tests includes:
Percutaneous Skin Testing:Beneficial in diagnosing food, some medication, venom and airborne allergies. A small amount of the allergen is placed on the skin and the skin is lightly pricked in order to let the allergen penetrate the upper surface. The allergen will remain on the skin for approximately 15 minutes before results can be determined. This testing is usually done on the back. A positive reaction is indicated by redness, swelling, and possible itching at the testing site.
Intradermal Skin Testing:Beneficial in diagnosing airborne, venom, and some medication allergies. Intradermal skin testing typically follows percutaneous skin testing. Only allergens that were determined negative during percutaneous skin testing will be tested at this level. A small amount of the allergen is injected between layers of the skin. An allergic reaction can be determined approximately 15 minutes after application. A positive reaction is indicated by redness, swelling, and possible itching at the testing site.
Patch Testing:Used to screen for delayed allergic reactions, different substances or mixes are placed on the back in the form of a patch to evaluate for contact allergy. The patches are left on for at least 48 hours to determine a positive reaction. This type of testing may also be useful in patients diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis, in which foods are suspected to be an allergic trigger for symptoms.To learn more about allergies, click here.
Allergy shots are a long-term therapy designed to increase immunity by lowering sensitivity to the unavoidable allergens that cause symptoms. An extract is designed specifically for the items that tested positive during skin testing. A small amount of extract is injected weekly to bi-weekly to help your immune system build tolerance to those items.
In office allergy shot treatments include:
- Immunotherapy to aeroallergens (mold, animal dander, pollen)
- Stinging insect venom immunotherapy(honeybees, wasps, hornets)
Lung Function Testing
Spirometry makes use of a computerized device that measures the lung’s airflow, useful in diagnosing asthma and other breathing problems. A baseline spirometry test is often performed on patients with abnormal breathing symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. If the test is abnormal, a treatment may be given with a bronchodilator medication intended to open the airways. Following administration of the bronchodilator, a second spirometry test may be done to determine the effect of the bronchodilator as a means of assessing degree of airway tightening reversibility. These tests can help determine which treatment may be most useful in better controlling abnormal breathing symptoms.
Oral Food Challenges
These open challenges may be performed in a graded, stepwise fashion to securely rule out a food allergy. These graded challenges may be performed in the context of an appropriate history and following a negative skin prick test and/or laboratory results to the food in question. A graded open oral challenge is a multiple step process that involves exposure to the food in question in gradually increasing doses under close supervision.
Individualized Action Plans
Understanding that everyone has different health issues, Allergy & Asthma Consultants of Montana creates individualized action plans for our patients to make sure that the best, most effective treatments fit with each individual scenario. Based on your diagnosis, our office can provide you with a number of action plans, including but not limited to eczema, allergy, and asthma. These plans provide step-by-step instructions to be carried out at home, work, and/or school to maximize your quality of life.
Presently, allergy testing either by skin testing or by blood testing is limited to a small number of medications. Although few medications can be tested, our office is equipped to offer testing to those testable medications, as well as offer work around solutions or oral challenges to disprove allergy where appropriate. For those medications that cannot be tested it is often helpful to have a consultation with our office to evaluate the circumstances of the reaction and establish precautionary measures that may be taken to avoid or treat reactions in the future. Another strategy that may prove useful includes “desensitization” or induction of drug tolerance. This strategy may be used when a medication is absolutely required but has caused an individual trouble in the past.
Asthma education plays a large role in the action plans we create for Allergy & Asthma Consultants of Montana patients. Cindy Feddes is a certified asthma educator within our office. Every asthma patient will have the opportunity for a one-hour appointment with her to help understand asthma. This includes how to control specific triggers, different medication options, how and when to use these medications, and how to self-monitor asthma at home.To learn more asthma, click here.
Influenza Vaccine (Flu Shots)
Flu shots are available at Allergy & Asthma Consultants of Montana annually, beginning each fall.
Penicillin Testing & Local Anesthetic Testing
At Allergy & Asthma Consultants of Montana, we can test patients for allergic reactions to penicillin and local anesthetics. This testing would begin with a skin prick test, and, if negative, it would be followed by intradermal testing. An oral challenge would be completed in office for penicillin if all skin testing is negative. There will not be an oral challenge for anesthetic testing, but rather an injection of the medication(s) we are testing to.
Aspirin Desensitization is a treatment option for patients who have aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD) and whose asthma and/or rhinitis, sinusitis, or nasal polyp disease is not adequately controlled with the medications customarily prescribed for the treatment of those conditions.