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Expectations and FAQs

At Sanford Sinus and Allergy Center, our goal is to help patients feel better as quickly as possible. If you are a new patient, you will be asked to provide new patient information so we know about you and your allergy or sinus problems. Appointments will be scheduled for future dates based on availability at the time of your inquiry. 

What will happen at my first appointment?

The physician will meet with you to ask questions about your medical history and provide a physical exam. You will be asked about your symptoms, current medications, the timing of your symptoms, and any previous diagnoses or treatments you may have received. You and the physician will decide if further testing is needed to clarify what you are allergic to, how well your lungs are functioning, or if other problems are present.

What is an allergy test and how long does it take?

We test allergies using skin testing. This involves using small amounts of allergens on your skin and look for small raised bumps to develop. There are two methods of skin testing that we do in our office: prick testing and intradermal testing. Each test will take approximately 45 minutes and are done on your back and arms.  We typically start with a prick test and those results will show if we need to do further testing with intradermal testing. Please plan on the appointment for skin testing to take two hours to ensure we have enough time should you need to complete both types of testing.

Can my allergies change over time?

Yes. It is possible to have an allergy to something but over time, your body may develop its own immunity to that particular antigen. You may also become exposed to new allergens that cause new allergies to develop.

What happens if my allergy test is negative but I still have symptoms?

Even if your allergy test is negative, we still want to help manage and treat the symptoms you are having. Having an allergy test helps eliminate certain factors that can contribute to the sinus allergy symptoms you are experiencing. This allows us to focus on other causes such as sinus problems or prescribe new medications to help treat your symptoms.

Can you test for food allergies?

We can offer some blood testing for food allergies, but do not do skin testing, food challenge testing, or provide treatment for food allergies. 

Can you help me with hives, rashes, and swelling?

There are many types of allergies that patients can experience. Sanford Sinus and Allergy Center specializes in allergy symptoms caused by environmental allergens. These cause symptoms of sneezing, runny nose, sinus congestion or itchy eyes to list a few. Hives, rashes and swelling are more commonly symptoms of other types of allergies such as food, medication or stinging insects.

Do I need a referral from my doctor?

No. If you are experiencing sinus allergy symptoms, you may request an appointment. A nurse will call you prior to scheduling an appointment to discuss your symptoms and review medications to be sure you will benefit from sinus allergy testing.

How old does my child need to be to have allergy testing?

Children need to be age 5 or older for allergy testing.