Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) is addressing the importance of having an allergy test for children and adults. Having allergies means a person’s immune system could potentially overreact to something touched or inhaled.

According to American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, more than 50 million people in the United States suffer from allergies each year. Allergic reactions can cause patients to experience symptoms such as itchiness, swelling, difficulty breathing, vomiting, hives and other severe symptoms.

“Finding out what someone is allergic to is an important first step to effective allergy treatment. Allergy testing can identify the specific things that trigger allergic reactions,” said PMC Otolaryngologist, William Hoskins, DO.

Allergy testing is performed on the skin. When combined with a physical examination and medical history review, testing can reveal information about substances and their positive or negative effect on the patient.

“Prevention is key. It is important to address any allergy issues you may be having. Ignoring allergy symptoms could lead to chronic sinus problems and cause patients to develop secondary sinus infections,” said Dr. Hoskins.

Untreated allergies can cause people to experience symptoms that mimic sickness. Untreated allergies can cause many people to miss school, work and other events.

“Allergies can make patients feel fatigued and tired. They can also experience drainage and a sore throat. It is important to get tested and get rid of those feelings,” added Dr. Hoskins.

PMC’s Clinic 9 offers allergy testing for adults and children. In addition to common allergy medicine, PMC offers weekly allergy shots and sublingual immunotherapy.

PMC is one of a few allergy treatment centers offering sublingual immunotherapy to people in this area.

Sublingual immunotherapy is an alternative way to treat allergies without injections. A patient takes small doses of an allergen under the tongue to boost tolerance to the substance and reduce symptoms.

“We see more compliance with sublingual immunotherapy. Our patients are able to take the medication drops home and apply the needed amount under their tongue. This cuts down on the weekly trips for shots to a doctor’s office,” said Dr. Hoskins.

PMC performs the basic skin test to determine a patients allergies by using a drop of a suspected allergen through a prick on the surface of the skin. The test is performed on the back or forearm.
“The test includes exposure to multiple allergens at the same time. A positive result will cause redness and swelling at the site where the allergen was applied,” said Dr. Hoskins.

He said a numbing cream can be used on small children to make the testing easier for younger patients. Testing can be performed on patients as young a one year old.

PMC determines each patient’s individual needs and can offer medication, allergy shots, sublingual immunotherapy, etc.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment with PMC (Otolaryngologists) physicians, Dr. William Hoskins or Dr. Gregory V. Hazelett, call 606-218-2209.