Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between suffering from “Sinus” and “Allergies”?
“Sinus” and “Allergy” are often used interchangeably to describe chronic allergic rhinitis. Symptoms include sinus congestion, sneezing, itchy nose, and post nasal drip.

Are allergies and asthma related?
Yes. Up to 90% of asthma in children has an allergic component. By middle age, other factors including smoke, pollution and chemicals, start to significantly affect someone’s ability to breathe.

Does allergy skin testing hurt? Do allergy shots hurt?
Skin testing involves a poke on the back with a small plastic instrument per allergen tested, and sometimes a few tests on the arm similar to a Tb skin test. The needle used in allergy shots is smaller than those used for most childhood vaccinations (less painful). Most patients tolerate skin testing and allergy shots very well.

Do you see kids, adults or both?
Both. All of our doctors are specially trained to see kids and adults.

What is the difference between skin testing and RAST testing (blood tests) for allergies?
Skin testing for allergies offers immediate results which are clearly visible on the skin within minutes. Blood tests for allergies, often called RAST or ImmunoCap RAST, provide only the level of antibody to a given allergen in someone’s blood, which may or may not translate to real symptoms. It is generally reserved for patients unable to stop antihistamines or patients who cannot be skin tested.

Are allergy shots effective?
Allergy shots are the most effective treatment for sinus allergies, eye allergies, allergic asthma and stinging insect allergies. Shots are the only form of treatment that can actually reverse the allergic process, essentially “fixing” most of someone’s allergies, rather than just temporarily treating the symptoms with medication. Without allergy shots, it is unlikely patients will “outgrow” their allergies.

What is the difference between seeing an “allergist” and an “ear, nose and throat doctor” (ENT) for allergy symptoms?
Allergies often affect multiple organ systems, including the sinuses, ears, eyes, lungs, skin and the gastrointestinal system. Board certified allergists are extensively trained to treat all of a patient’s allergy symptoms, no matter what part of the body is affected. All of our physicians have completed extensive training programs in allergy and are board certified in Allergy, a specialty recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.

Can food allergy cause eczema in children?
Eczema commonly affects the back of the knee, inside of the arm, wrists and ankles. Recent studies have shown that up to 40% of eczema in infants is related to food allergies. Unfortunately, if the food is not withdrawn before they outgrow the food allergy, the skin changes due to the eczema may be permanent. We recommend that all kids with eczema be evaluated for food allergies.

Why do I have to wait in the office after my allergy shot?
A patient may rarely experience a reaction to an allergy shot. If this occurs, he or she needs to be treated immediately. Studies show that most reactions occur within 20-30 minutes after receiving an allergy shot. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology recommends a patient wait 30 minutes after receiving a shot before leaving the office. At Kentuckiana Allergy, we understand your time is valuable. We use specially designed computer software and “swipable” ID cards to ensure patients get their shots as soon as possible, thus reducing the time patients must spend in the office.

Are allergies and asthma related?
Yes. Up to 90% of asthma in children has an allergic component. By middle age, other factors including smoke, pollution and chemicals, start to significantly affect someone’s ability to breathe.