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Wells Allergy Associates

Houston Location:
5618 E Sam Houston Pkwy N
Houston, TX 77015

Allergy Shots

Allergy shots are also known as Immunotherapy and is the administration of small amounts of allergens you are allergic to in order to help your body build tolerance to them. The injections are given at first weekly and then will gradually be spaced out to monthly for most patients. Typically allergy symptoms improve within the first year of therapy and some patients can come off shots within 3-5 years.

Those who are candidates are individuals who are greater than 5 years of age, poor response to medications or mediations are not an option, and other reasons as determined by your allergist. If you are already on allergy shots and become pregnant, the allergy shots can be continued at the same dose strength throughout your pregnancy safely. Allergy shots will not be started if you are pregnant but can be started after you recover from having your baby.

Certain medications should not be taken during the length of time that you are on allergy shots such as "beta-blockers" used to treat high blood pressure. A complete list of medications to avoid while you are taking allergy shots will be provided.

Important: You may receive allergy shots without seeing the allergist and must wait in the office 30 minutes after your allergy shot. This 30 minute wait is mandatory in order to observe you for any development of rare severe allergic reactions. We ask that you also bring you Epinephrine injectable to all of your allergy shot visits. Our clinic staff are trained in emergency procedures and have medications/equipment available if a severe allergic reaction occurs.

The benefits of allergy shots are many and include sustained relief from allergy symptoms, less or no use of oral/nasal medications to control allergy symptoms, and prevention of the development of asthma.


Skin Testing

Skin testing is a fast and reliant way to determine if a person has food allergies, outdoor/indoor allergies, or insect sting allergies. The test is performed on the skin using disposable tools used to scratch the top surface of the skin. The procedure is nearly pain free and children of any age can tolerate it with encouragement. The results are read after 15-20 minutes of placement.

For foods, the allergist may request that you bring the food item into clinic in order to do "prick to prick" skin testing where the food is scratched and then the patient's skin is scratched in order to determine if the patient has a specific food allergy. Again, the results are read after 15-20 minutes of placement.

Important: Antihistamines and oral steroids may interfere with skin test results. All antihistamines including nasal spray antihistamines must be discontinued 1 week prior to skin testing. All oral steroids must have been completed 2 weeks prior to skin testing. Please call clinic to obtain specific instructions prior to scheduling your skin testing. If skin testing cannot be performed, the patient may have the option to have blood work sent for allergy tests.


Food Challenges

Food challenges are the gradual administration of a food that the patient may have had an allergic reaction to in the past but recent history or allergy testing indicates that the patient likely has outgrown or does not have the food allergy. Only one food can be done at each visit and includes the patient preparing and bringing the food item into clinic for consumption.

The food will be weighed and small amounts per protocol will be given  until a reasonable typical portion of the food has been consumed without reactions.  After the last portion has been consumed, the patient must wait 2 hours for monitoring of any reactions.  Typically from start to finish, a food challenge will last 4 to 6 hours and for this reason can be scheduled only in the morning and only one food challenge a day in clinic.

If a reaction occurs, the food challenge will end immediately and the reaction will be treated with proper medications/intervention and the patient will be asked to continue to avoid the food item.  Those with history of anaphylaxis to a food item will NOT receive oral food challenge with that food item and should continually avoid the food item indefinitely.


Lung Function Test

Lung function testing is also called Spirometry and requires that the patient blow into a small mouthpiece device that is hooked up to a computer. The computer program can determine the patient’s lung function which can help the allergist diagnose lung conditions such as asthma and manage treatment effectiveness. The only criteriais that the patient be old enough and capable to inhale deeply and blow out continually without cough or interruption of breath for about 6 seconds. The results are known immediately after the testing and will be interpreted by the allergist.


Patch Skin Test

Patch skin test is used to determine if a patient has contact skin allergies secondary to irritants or allergens such as nickel, rubber, perfumes, and other chemicals commonly found in the home and in some work environments. The test is performed by placing panels of allergens to the back and securing them with adhesive coverings for 48 hours. At the 48 hour mark, the patient removes the coverings and returns to the clinic for review and again at 72 hours, and one week later to determine if a positive reaction has occurred.

Important: the patient can NOT get the area where the test is placed wet and is advised to take sponge baths for cleaning for the entire week of the testing. Antihistamines can be taken throughout the test for comfort but the patient is asked to avoid oral and topical steroids for at least two weeks prior to testing and during the week of testing. The patient must also avoid direct sun exposure to the test area for at least 3 weeks prior to the Patch Skin Test placement and for the entire week of testing.


Exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO)

Exhaled Nitric Oxide testing known as FeNO "fee no" is used in assessing inflammatory markers found in the breath of those who suffer with asthma. Elevated FeNO levels may indicate the need for a patient to be on an inhaled corticosteroid containing maintenance medicaiton to gain asthma control.


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