Allergy and Immunology Services

The physicians with Norton Children’s Allergy & Immunology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, provide general diagnoses and treatment of all allergy and immunology conditions, including:

  • Allergic atopic dermatitis (eczema)
  • Allergic conjunctivitis (allergic pinkeye)
  • Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
  • Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction that needs immediate care)
  • Asthma
  • Contact dermatitis (rash and blistering caused by direct contact with a substance)
  • Drug allergies, including drug testing, and challenge and desensitization
  • Food allergies
  • Hereditary angioedema (inherited disorder that causes swelling in the arms, legs, belly, genitalia, throat or face)
  • Hives (urticaria)
  • Latex allergy
  • Mastocytosis (a condition in which mast cells accumulate in the skin or organs)
  • Primary immune deficiency disorders (children with recurring infections)
  • Sinusitis
  • Stinging insect allergies

We treat common allergy symptoms, including:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Rash caused by allergies
  • Runny nose
  • Sinus conditions
  • Sleep issues

Food Allergy Testing and Treatment

According to Food Allergy Research & Education, one in every 13 children has a food allergy. Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to an emergency room. Food allergies can be life-threatening, especially in children. Suspected food allergies should be evaluated, diagnosed and treated by a board-certified allergist.

Testing for a food allergy will include a thorough family and medical history and may include:

  • Blood test
  • Oral food challenge (a supervised test in which a child eats foods he or she may be allergic to)
  • Skin prick test
  • Trial elimination diet

Testing is crucial, although it is not perfect. A positive skin or blood test may not mean the child is definitively allergic to a certain food. Oral food challenges must be done under the supervision of an allergist to get a concrete diagnosis. Our allergists perform food challenges to give children and families definitive answers on which foods to avoid, as well as lifestyle changes and treatment options.

Allergy Shots (Allergen Immunotherapy)

Allergy shots, also called immunotherapy, help increase the body’s tolerance to allergens after exposure. The body responds to the injected allergen (given in gradually increasing doses), building up resistance and tolerance over time. Allergy shots can lead to fewer or no allergy symptoms when the child is around triggers. Other immunotherapy benefits may include:

  • Disease prevention, including slower development of asthma and new allergies
  • Preventing deadly and serious reactions to stinging insects
  • Reduced need for medication

Our allergists can complete a thorough series of allergy tests to determine whether allergy shots can benefit your child.

Drug Allergy Testing and Treatment

While the term “drug allergy” or “medicine allergy” often is used, the majority of reactions people experience due to medications are “adverse reactions to drugs.”

Actual drug allergies are rare and caused by the body’s immune system. In a true drug allergy, the body’s immune system makes antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These IgE antibodies react with the drug and cause allergy symptoms.

Our board-certified allergists can determine if your child has a drug allergy. Common drugs that may cause allergies include:

  • Antibiotics containing sulfonamides (sulfa drugs)
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Aspirin, ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Penicillin

Common drug allergy tests include:

  • Skin test (penicillin)
  • Drug challenge (a test in which an allergist gives a small amount of the drug in slow doses and monitors for a reaction)

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