Mayo Clinic's Division of Allergic Diseases offers a comprehensive selection of tests to assist in diagnosis and evaluation of allergic conditions.
Chronic asthma evaluations
To evaluate asthma, Mayo Clinic allergists complete a comprehensive history and perform a physical examination. Their individualized investigation may include tests to find causes that make asthma more troublesome and resistant to treatment. Your specialist will use the information to diagnose your condition specifically and work with you to tailor a treatment plan to your needs. The care team will also answer any questions you may have and arrange follow-up visits.
You may also work with an asthma nurse, who will provide you with the tools you need to ensure the treatment works for you once you get home. This may include an asthma action plan with written instructions on what to do if your asthma worsens. The nurse will help you understand your medications — how and when to take them and how much. They, or another member of the care team, will give you information about who to call with questions or concerns.
Immunotherapy for allergies
Allergy immunotherapy (also called "allergy shots") is designed to decrease your reaction to specific allergy-producing substances called allergens. Most people benefit from this therapy, although some do not. Allergy injections are administered under supervision either at Mayo Clinic or with your local doctor. They are given as part of your allergy treatment, usually in conjunction with allergy-avoidance measures and medications. A clinician will complete an initial consultation and evaluation before therapy begins.
People who are starting an immunotherapy will undergo a "build" phase. The immunotherapy "build" slowly and safely increases your exposure to the immunotherapy serum. You have three options when it comes to your build:
- Rapid desensitization
- Cluster build
- Conventional build.
You will be required to stay in the clinic after an immunotherapy shot in order to ensure you do not have an adverse reaction.
If you receive each injection on schedule and have no adverse reaction, the dose of each injection will increase until you reach a maintenance dose. Then the time interval between doses will gradually lengthen until you are on monthly injections. Mayo extracts can be mailed to your local doctor's office.