Allergy Department

To contact our Allergy department please call (515) 224-1622.

Mosby’s Medical Dictionary defines an allergy “as a hypersensitive reaction to common, often intrinsically harmless substances most of which are of environmental.”

How we treat allergies:

Allergies can be treated several ways, through medication, environmental controls, and/or immunotherapy. Your physician will determine the appropriate course of treatment for you. If your physician determines you need allergy testing an appointment will be made with the allergy department. You will be given information regarding testing procedures and instructions on stopping allergy medications.

Allergy Testing and Evaluation:

Our doctors have special training in the treatment of allergies. They are members of the AAOA (American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy). Our doctors and nurses use time proven methods to diagnose, and treat allergies while maintaining effective control of symptoms.

Testing consist of injecting a small amount of allergen under the skin. This causes a small bump similar to a mosquito bite. After ten minutes the site will be measured and results recorded. This will be repeated as necessary. You will be instructed on measuring the test sites and reporting the results.

Antihistamines interfere with test results. Avoid them six days before and 48 hours after testing to ensure accurate results.

Children tend to tolerate the testing when adequately prepared. Give them basic information, such as needles will be used, but you will have special cream on your arms to numb or make them not hurt.

A topical anesthetic cream, Emla, is available by prescription. When applied correctly the skin on the arms will be numb. An hour before testing a very thick layer is applied to the entire upper arm and wrapped with plastic wrap. Wrapping the arms insures the cream has time to absorb into the layers of skin.