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Allergy symptoms are responsible for more visits to the doctor’s office than any other single disease in the country. Over 40 Million Americans (about 1 in 4) suffer from one or more of the allergic diseases. Allergies are a leading cause of school absenteeism and loss of productivity in the working world. Fortunately, Allergy Care Center has a wide range of innovative testing and treatment techniques to make dealing with allergies easier than ever before…

What causes Allergies?

People suffer from hay fever when pollen is in the air; others develop skin rashes when they touch certain substances, some even experience stomach cramps after eating particular foods. All types of allergies cause discomfort and can slow you down.

An allergy develops similarly as an immunity against an infectious disease develops. Typical allergic reaction happens when a person is exposed, overtime, to pollen, house dust, dust mites, molds and animal dander. They can be exposed by swallowing as with food and medicine, or injected as with a bee sting.

The bodies of most people simply ignore these things, but others treat them as foreign invaders and cause a reaction. When this happens, a substance in the blood known as an antigen becomes active. Antigens cause the formation of antibodies whose job it is to fight off the invading substance. Upon further exposure, your body begins to release histamine-like substances, which cause your allergy symptoms of watery eyes, sneezing, congestion, runny nose and rashes. With more severe allergies, histamines can provoke an asthma attack or induce cramps and pain in the abdomen.

Many who have allergies belong to families in which parents and other close relatives also have allergies. Specific allergies, such as those to pollen, may not inherit. A person can become sensitive, or allergic, to pollen or foods over time.


Allergies and asthma go hand in hand the majority of the time. We have many different programs to help the asthma patient control as well lessen the severity of asthma attacks. Testing, training, medication and management are the keys we use to keep asthma from running you or your child’s life.

At Allergy Care Centers we conduct a through exam and work with you to find your best treatment. We go through your:

History: Reviewing history can establish how and when the symptoms appear, whether they are seasonal or year-round, and whether they can be associated with any particular activity, place or exposure.

Physical Exam: Your physical examination will focus on the eyes, ears, nose, sinuses, throat, lungs, skin and gastrointestinal tract. Our Doctors have the latest medical testing and treatment programs.

How Allergy Care Center is Different


Family background, personal history and a physical examination will help your physician determine if an allergy is likely. If your doctor suspects allergy, only an allergy test can tell for sure. Steps can then be taken to identify the specific allergens triggering your symptoms. Four types of tests can be used to confirm an initial allergy diagnosis. While any of these tests can give you answers, they do differ in regard to comfort and convenience.

Technology available. A tiny camera can take pictures of the inside of your sinuses, or a computer may help us check how well you are breathing.

Testing: Until recently the skin test was the major diagnostic tool for allergies. With this method, 50 to 200 tiny pricks or scratches are made – usually on the upper and lower back, and then small amounts of suspected allergens are placed on the open scratches. This method can be unforgettably painful and very difficult to perform on children.

Skin testing is done by applying suspected allergens directly to the skin (usually on the forearm or back) with a skin-prick device or needle. That means one prick or poke for each and every allergen for which you’re being tested. The appearance of a raised welt or other irritation means you’re sensitive to the test, but it doesn’t always mean you’re allergic. Skin testing carries a risk of reaction or even hospitalization if foods are used in skin testing, because the process requires that allergy triggers be injected directly under the skin. . Unfortunately some Allergists perform this type of testing routinely.


The Multitest is the latest of weapons Allergy Care Centers has in its arsenal to fight allergic disease. With this simple, but ingenious feather light plastic applicator we can test for multiple inhalant or airborne allergens simply, safely and easily.

Multi-Test II is the world’s most advanced allergy skin testing system. Building on the original Multi-Test’s proven excellence, Multi-Test II is extensively employed at prestigious teaching institutions, private practices and hospital clinics throughout the nation and worldwide.

This completely sterile and disposable Multitest II applicator is used to test for items such as dust, molds, trees, grasses, or other things that may come in contact with your skin. The nurse and physician then read the wheels or “reaction sites” that appears on the skin. The size of the reaction is then compared to the positive and negative “controls” or base line, then, the doctor can determine in minutes what you are allergic to with an incredible degree of accuracy.

When testing for food allergies, we use the Pharmacia CAP system some people are highly allergic to certain foods and the smallest amount can cause an allergic reaction or even anaphalactic shock. If skin tests were used for food allergies it could be very dangerous as it exposes your body to the concentrated allergens. It is also highly inaccurate to test for food allergies on the skin, so we take a small sample of blood to test for the exact substances that are making you sick, and then we test the blood for reactions in our own laboratory.

Treatment: Depending on what you test positive to, elimination, avoidance, medication and/or immunotherapy will be part of your personally tailored treatment program.

The ImmunoCAP¨ ELISA Testing

ELISA allergy testing (ImmunoCAP) and is one of the most sensitive testing methods available today! This laboratory procedure utilizes a test tube, rather than a needle stick reaction. A small part of your blood sample is mixed with different allergens and observed with a laser beam. The minute changes that occur in the light wave as it passes through the blood are recorded and then analyzed to give a detailed report on your suspected food allergens. Health Science Laboratories (An affiliated Partner) laboratory equipment and computers analyze and classify the results to help you understand the degree of your allergic reaction

Our doctors will discuss the importance of these results with you, and help select the appropriate treatment. Allergy blood test is the latest technology in allergy testing. ImmunoCAP is cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is endorsed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other health organizations. Leading institutions such as Johns Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic use ImmunoCAP for their patients. . Allergy Care Centers (Health Science Laboratories) are the only private allergy testing and treatment facilities on the east coast.

The Multitest and ELISA are superior to all other methods of testing for allergies. They are the most highly accepted testing methods named by the America Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology and America Collage of Allergy Asthma and Immunology Since a single blood sample is used to test for many different foods, and serum may be stored for later testing, fewer patient visits are required. Also, it’s much easier to subject children to just a few plastic applicators versus hundreds of needle sticks.

Food Allergies

A food allergy occurs when the immune system mistakenly believes that a food item is harmful to the body. In its attempt to protect the busy, it creates specific IgE antibodies to that food. The next time the individual eats that food, the immune system releases massive amounts of chemicals and histamines in order to protect the body. These chemicals trigger a cascade of allergic reactions that can affect the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, skin, or cardiovascular system.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction to food range from basic reactions such as congestion, wheezing and headaches to more severe symptoms including a tingling sensation in the mouth, swelling of the tongue and the throat, difficulty breathing, hives, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and even death. The best way to avoid an allergic reaction is through strict avoidance of the allergy causing food or testing via the Pharmacia CAP system.

Food Allergy Network

Allergy Care Centers in conjunction with the Food Allergy Network, a non-profit organization, make available various educational materials for patients. These books, brochures and other media are available at a minimal expense. You may contact them for more information at 703-691-3179.


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Medications to avoid – No antihistamines 5 days prior to appointment. They include Benadryl, or any products containing Benadryl (i.e. Tylenol PM and Motrin PM), Zyrtec, Allegra, Claritin, Clarinex, Alavert or Dimetapp Allergy. Also, you may not use Astelin, Astepro, and Patanase nasal sprays.

Please wear short sleeves for the skin testing.

Here are forms that are available for your convenience. Please print and fill out before your appointment, to help us better serve you in a timely manner:

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