Burlington Allergy Clinic
JBN’s allergy clinic is referral-only and focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and management of a patient’s complex allergic reactions to a wide variety of allergens. For your convenience, no appointment is necessary for allergy shots. Please follow the Allergy Shots calendar as it is updated daily.
Penicillin Allergy Clinic
A penicillin allergy clinic treats the body’s immune system’s abnormal response to penicillin or other antibiotics that have penicillin in them.
Animal Allergy Clinic
Animal allergies are the body’s adverse reaction to proteins found in an animal’s saliva, dander or urine. All warm-blooded animals can trigger these symptoms.
Environmental allergies are caused by both indoor and outdoor allergens, and can be triggered by things such as seasonal pollen surges and dust mites.
Food Allergy Clinic
Food allergies occur when the body’s immune system has a negative reaction to consuming or being exposed to certain types of food or produce.
Allergy tests are now more convenient and accurate than ever before, and can be performed using either a skin test or blood test, depending on the patient’s condition(s).
Allergy testing can be conducted for most common allergies including plant pollens, molds, penicillin, dust mites, animal dander, insect stings, foods and drugs.
Skin Prick Test
A skin prick test, also known as a scratch test, is a relatively painless procedure that does not involve drawing blood. It is typically conducted on a patient’s back, if they are very young, or on the forearm, where a drop of purified allergen solution is placed on the skin. A small lancet needle is used to prick/scratch the solution into the top layer of the skin; the feeling of a skin prick test is equivalent to a scratch on the skin with a plastic toothpick.
If a patient is allergic to one of the allergens, redness and swelling will appear at the site of the skin prick test within 15 minutes. Skin prick tests are considered to be more reliable, convenient, and less expensive than a blood test for diagnosing an allergy.
Intradermal Skin Test
An intradermal skin test is slighting different from the skin prick test. Where a skin prick test only scratches the very surface of the skin, an intradermal skin test works under the top layer of skin.
To conduct an intradermal skin test, a needle injects a small amount of allergen under the skin of the patient’s forearm. The allergen solution is left to sit for 15-20 minutes. The allergist will read the skin’s reactions to the applied allergens to determine which specific allergen is causing negative effects.
To use blood tests to diagnose an allergy, a small amount of blood is drawn from a patient’s arm, and sent out to a specialized laboratory to test for the presence of antibodies to specific allergens.
Results from a blood test may take a few weeks to receive. An allergist will conduct a blood test to diagnose an allergy under the following conditions:
- A physician advises against the discontinuation of medications that can interfere with test results or cause medical complications
- A patient suffers from severe skin conditions, such as widespread eczema or psoriasis
- A patient has such a high sensitivity level to suspected allergens that any administration of those allergens might result in potentially serious side effects.
Allergen immunotherapy, also referred to as allergy shots, is a long-term treatment option for minimizing allergy symptoms.
Note: Patients seeking Immunotherapy Treatment for environmental allergies should be tested a few months before the pre-season begins. If the allergist has recommended allergy shots/pills, patients must follow the procedure in order to start injections in a timely matter.
Serum is ordered and created specifically for each patient and will be delivered to the JBN clinic. Once the custom-made allergen serum arrives, the clinic will contact the patient.
Allergy Patient Checklist
- Check calendar for scheduling
- Bring all current medications
- Be aware that patients receiving an allergy shot will be required to wait in the clinic for up to 30 minutes to ensure no adverse side effects occur
- Do not wear any strongly scented perfumes or colognes
- If you want to bring food for a snack, please be considerate to other patients who may have food allergies
Preparing your Child For a Visit to an Allergist
- Talk to your child about the appointment well in advance
- Tell your child what to expect at the appointment:
- The allergist will use a blood pressure cuff to “hug the arm”
- The allergist will look in the mouth (and will need to hold the tongue down with a special stick see the throat)
- The allergist will look at the eyes and into the ears
- The allergist will listen to the chest and back using a stethoscope
- Shots/taking blood: will involve a needle, but are very quick, and feels like a small pinch –remind your child that this is an important part of helping to find out what they may be allergic to
- Scratch test: tiny scratches or a prick with a needle (a feeling similar to having a plastic toothpick pressed against the skin)
- Assure your child that you will be there with them every step of the way
- Involve your child in the process, and help them gather any questions they may have for the doctor
- Use visual aids and pictures to help your child understand the process, and what they will see during the appointment
For more on coping with allergies, helpful tips and educational material, please connect with any of the following online resources, or visit our own patient resource centre.