Contact This Clinic
Phone: (319) 399-2022
Fax: (877) 876-2384

Located on Level 2, Suite 200 
PCI Medical Pavilion

Allergy Injection Hours
Monday: 7:30 am – noon
Tuesday: 7:30 am – 4 pm
Wednesday: 7:30 am – noon
Thursday: 11 am – 4 pm
Friday: 11 am – 4 pm
Weekends: Closed 

Patient Forms
Ear, Nose & Throat Questionnaire

Outreach Clinics
Anamosa
   Jones Regional Medical Center
Belle Plaine
   Eastern Iowa Sleep Center
Independence
   Buchanan County Health Center
Manchester
   Regional Medical Center 

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Allergy

Improve Your Allergy Symptoms

Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa has helped thousands of patients in Cedar Rapids manage their allergies. Eighty percent of our patients experience significant improvement or complete relief from their allergy symptoms.

Environmental allergies can affect everyone in the family – allergies in children are typically overlooked at a younger age. At PCI, we are committed to listening to your concerns, performing thorough exams, and providing personalized allergy treatment options for you and your family.

Seasonal Allergies or a Cold?

Depending on the time of your seasonal allergies, you may chalk them up to just being a common cold. Don’t forego treatment and live the season with the symptoms that you are able to treat! While allergies and colds share many of the same symptoms, like runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes and congestion, there are ways to differentiate between the two. Cold symptoms generally appear one at a time, whereas allergy symptoms hit all at once. Cold symptoms, unlike allergy symptoms, also last for roughly a week. If symptoms last longer than a week, you may be suffering from seasonal allergies. Generally, seasonal allergies take place during the spring and fall months, with colds being more popular during the winter.

Allergy Symptoms Sinus Condition Symptoms
Sneezing
Itchy/Watery Eyes            
Runny Nose
Nasal Congestion
Facial Pain or Pressure
Runny Nose/Postnasal Drip
Nasal Congestion
Decreased Sense of Smell


Are you suffering from these symptoms? PCI's allergists can help! Make an appointment today by calling (319) 399-2022.

Allergy Tests and Treatment

Allergy Evaluations/Diagnosis --Skin Testing – uses a small drop of diluted allergen on top of the skin, which acts as a proxy for the lungs or nose. Sometimes, a very small portion of the allergen is injected right below the skin to test for allergies.

Avoidance—By eliminating or decreasing your exposure to an allergen, symptoms can be minimized, controlled, or eliminated. Finding a new home for pets, avoiding specific foods or drugs, and restricting use of scented chemical products can significantly improve your symptoms. If an allergen cannot be avoided completely, reducing your exposure can be helpful.

Pharmacotherapy—Medications used to combat allergy symptoms include oral antihistamines, oral and inhaled decongestants, anti-inflammatory steroid nasal spray, and saline nasal sprays/rinses.

Immunotherapy (allergy shots/desensitization)—Immunotherapy for inhaled allergens reduces sensitivity by building your tolerance through regular exposure. We use in-office intradermal skin testing and results help determine sensitivities and treatment dosages. Allergy injection therapy can bring relief within 3-6 months, but may take longer.

We also offer sublingual drop therapy delivered through serum that is placed under the tongue. This is a convenient option for home administration and children. (Sometimes sublingual drop therapy is not covered by insurance. It is best to check with your plan carrier prior to treatment. Custom serums can be taken to your primary clinic for convenience.) Our physicians recommend that individuals continue allergy therapy for 3-5 years.


What Are Allergies?

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An allergen is any substance that causes an allergic reaction in your body.

An allergy is the body’s abnormal reaction to a substance found in the environment or diet that does not affect most other people. The individual’s immune system reacts as if this substance is the “enemy.”

When an allergen enters the body, the immune system reacts by producing a specific antibody. The next time the immune system recognizes the allergen it causes a series of reactions at the cellular level. This produces inflammatory chemicals, including histamine. Histamine produces symptoms such as sneezing, scratchy throat, hives, or shortness of breath, and an antihistamine may be prescribed to block the reaction.

The tendency to develop allergies can be inherited, but can also be triggered by stress or illness which adversely affect the immune system. The onset of allergies varies from sudden to gradual and may lead to symptoms that affect your quality of life.

Allergic reactions may include: sneezing, watery/itchy eyes, stuffy/runny nose, postnasal drip, head congestion, chronic cough, wheezing, asthma, headaches, skin rash, dizziness, hoarse voice, fatigue and/or recurring ear/sinus infections.

It is not unusual for your allergy symptoms to change over time—but the allergies themselves don’t go away. Diagnosing allergies involves a history and physical exam and possible allergy testing. We specialize in diagnosing and treating, ear, nose and throat allergy symptoms.

Common Allergies

Pollens

Pollen consists of tiny, light, and dry particles that can travel hundreds of miles in the wind. Pollen counts are higher on dry, hot, windy days and lower when it has rained. Pollen counts are highest from 5-10 AM. Exposure to pollen also occurs indoors, as pollen is carried in on clothing, shoes, pets, and can enter through open doors and windows. Indoor pollen is stirred up when you walk around the house or vacuum.

Tips for Controlling Pollen Allergies

  • Keep windows and doors shut and use air conditioning in your house and car.
  • A high efficiency air filter may be helpful.
  • Avoid yard work early in the morning when pollen counts are high.
  • Use a mask and gloves when doing yard work. Shower and change clothes when you are done.
  • Do not air-dry clothes outside.
  • Limit outdoor activity on days when pollen counts are high.

Animal Dander

Animal dander consists of small particles from an animal’s skin or fur that are deposited anywhere the animal touches. Dander is light and stays airborne longer than pollens. Cat dander is especially sticky and can linger in a house up to six months after a cat is gone.

Tips for Controlling Animal Allergies

  • Avoid animals in your bedroom.
  • Bathe animals weekly.
  • Remove reservoirs for dander/hair—especially carpeting.
  • Avoid feather and wool bedding.

House Dust / Dust Mites

Dust settles everywhere including furniture, linens, mattresses, clothes, and children’s stuffed animals. Dust mites are microscopic insects that feed on dead skin cells. They thrive in heat and humidity, and therefore do poorly when humidity is less than 50% . They also thrive when temperatures are between 65-85o F.

Tips for Controlling Dust Allergies

  • Use allergy-proof covers on your mattress, box spring, and pillows.
  • Wash bedding weekly in hot water and dry in a hot dryer.
  • Avoid heavy draperies; use washable throw rugs.
  • Dust and vacuum your home and car regularly.
  • Change furnace filters regularly.
  • Avoid clutter and dust-collecting knickknacks.
  • Avoid using ceiling fans that keep dust stirred up.
  • Use High Efficiency Particulate Arresting (HEPA) air filters to keep the air cleaner in your home.

Mold

Mold feeds on decaying matter and produces spores that become airborne. Exposure occurs year round, especially in the spring and fall when moist, humid air fosters growth. Mold spores thrive in warm, dark, moist areas and once inhaled can cause an allergic response.

Tips for Controlling Mold Allergies

• Control your house temperature and keep humidity less than 35-50%.
• Clean and fix water spills/leaks promptly.
• Install fans in bathrooms and over stoves.
• Avoid house plants in your bedroom.
• Limit outdoor activity on days mold counts are high.
• Avoid eating foods containing mold.

Food Allergies

Food allergies can develop from an overreaction of the immune system to a particular food. Not all adverse reactions from eating foods are food allergies. Symptoms can also be from overeating, eating spoiled foods, chemicals in foods, or food intolerances.

Fixed food reactions are relatively uncommon. Symptoms occur immediately and are severe. Symptoms may include: hives, itching, swelling of the tongue and throat, and can be life threatening. Treatment involves complete elimination of the food from the diet.

Hidden food allergies are more common. The connection between the foods causing the symptoms is more difficult to identify because there is no direct correlation. Hidden food allergies develop slowly with repeated exposures over a long period of time. Symptoms are not severe and immediate, but slow, chronic, and lingering. The symptoms produced often contribute to chronic ENT problems such as headaches, runny nose, cough, ear and facial pressure, congestion and drainage.

Common food allergies may be found in the average person’s diet (i.e. milk, wheat, corn, egg, soy, and yeast.) The actual pattern of exposure to a food affects the presence, absence or severity of symptoms. A person may crave the food they are allergic to. Treatment is to avoid eating the offending food.

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