Allergy & Asthma
If you’re affected by allergies or asthma, count on a Cone Health specialist to help you breathe easier and feel better. Our board-certified allergists and pulmonologists provide an accurate, expert diagnosis, and then work with you to create a care plan tailored to your condition and lifestyle.
Conditions We Treat
Find care for a wide range of allergic and immunologic conditions affecting children and adults, including:
Allergies – Immune system reactions to a substance that doesn’t bother most people
- Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
- Cosmetic allergy
- Drug allergy
- Dust allergy
- Food allergy
- Latex allergy
- Mold allergy
- Pet allergy
- Pollen allergy
- Stinging insect allergy
- Allergic conjunctivitis (eye allergy) – Watery, itchy, red or swollen eyes due to irritation from an allergen
- Allergic skin conditions (skin allergies)
- Contact dermatitis – Itchy, swollen, red, blistered or painful skin after coming in contact with an allergen or irritant
- Eczema – Swollen, red, itchy skin
- Hives (urticaria) – Red, itchy bumps on the skin
- Asthma – Chronically inflamed airways that swell even more upon exposure to a trigger, such as an allergen or exercise
- Eosinophilic Esophagitis
- Sinusitis – Inflamed sinuses
If you experience recurrent infections, ask about our immune system evaluations.
Diagnosing Your Allergies
If you have allergy symptoms but aren’t sure what’s triggering them, your Cone Health physician will begin with a thorough exam so he or she can accurately diagnose your allergy. Then, you’ll work together to create an effective care plan.
Your doctor will ask about your medical history and your allergy symptoms. You’ll also have a physical exam and take an allergy test.
Your Cone Health allergist will recommend the skin test that works best for you and your suspected allergy. You’ll probably get one of the following:
- Skin prick or scratch test – Places a small amount of an allergen on your skin, then scratches or pricks the skin to let the allergen in
- Intradermal test – Injects a small amount of an allergen into your skin
If you’re allergic to the substance, you’ll probably experience small red mosquito-bite-like bumps at the test site within 20 minutes. If you experience a delayed reaction (several hours after testing), call your allergist to report the results.
If your allergist checks for contact dermatitis, you’ll probably get a patch test. You’ll be asked to wear a patch with a small amount of an allergen on it for 48 hours. Then, you’ll return to the allergist’s office so he or she can look for a reaction.
Your Cone Health allergist may recommend a blood test instead of a skin test if you’re taking certain medications, are experiencing a skin condition or are at risk of a severe reaction. Blood tests may be needed for small children.
Oral Food Challenges & Elimination Diets
If your allergist isn’t able to diagnose a food allergy through a skin or blood test, he or she may recommend: Oral food challenge – Under a doctor’s supervision, you’ll eat gradually increasing amounts of a specific food and will be monitored for symptoms
Elimination diet – For two to four weeks, you’ll avoid specific foods while a doctor monitors your symptoms
To diagnose asthma, your physician will ask about your medical history and your asthma symptoms. You’ll also have a physical exam and some diagnostic tests, including lung function tests to assess how well you can move air in and out of your lungs.
Managing Your Symptoms
Your Cone Health allergist or pulmonologist will work with you to create a precise, simple and economical care plan to manage your specific condition. Your treatment plan may include:
- Allergy shots (immunotherapy) – Decreases symptoms of certain allergies Lifestyle modifications – Suggests changes to your diet or activities
- Medication – Controls allergy or asthma symptoms
If you experience life-threating asthma and need hospital care, you’ll benefit from the skill and training of Cone Health pulmonologists—the only physicians in the area who are equipped to treat the most severe cases.
New Treatments for Allergies & Asthma
If you qualify for a clinical research trial at the Allergy and Asthma Center of North Carolina, you may benefit from new treatments for allergic rhinitis, asthma, hives or eczema that aren’t yet widely available. You’ll receive medications and physician visits at no charge as our doctors closely observe how you respond to treatment.
Spanish Language Services
If you speak primarily Spanish, you’ll enjoy the ability to discuss your condition with a Spanish-speaking allergist, Jose A. Bardelas, MD, at the Allergy and Asthma Center of North Carolina.