Allergy Care & Relief: Testing and Treatment Options

Over a quarter of American kids and adults have at least one allergy, including seasonal allergies, food allergies, or eczema. Some allergies form during infancy while others crop up in adulthood.

No matter how long you’ve lived with your allergy, Your Jersey City doctor can help. Allergy testing can open the door to targeted, lasting allergy care and relief.

What kinds of tests do we perform at NJ Primary Care to learn more about our patients’ allergies? What treatments are available and why is allergy treatment important? Read on to find out.

Allergy Symptoms and Complications

Allergy symptoms are actually immune responses. They occur when the immune system reacts to a typically harmless substance, like pollen or tree nuts, as though it were a threat. Allergy symptoms can range from mild and irritating to severe and life-threatening.

Symptoms vary based on what you’re allergic to. For example, people with seasonal allergies tend to experience symptoms like:

  • Sneezing
  • Congestion
  • Itchy eyes
  • Post-nasal drip

Food allergies can cause symptoms like:

  • Tingling or swelling in the mouth and throat
  • Hives
  • Digestive upset

When allergies go untreated, they can increase your risk of certain complications. For example, seasonal allergies increase your chances of developing asthma or regular sinus infections. Severe food allergies can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction that can restrict airways, reduce blood pressure, and more.

Allergy Testing Options

Patients who experience moderate to severe allergic reactions but aren’t sure what is causing them can benefit from allergy testing. This is also beneficial for anyone who doesn’t respond to OTC allergy medications. Here are some of the allergy testing options we offer at NJ Primary Care.

Skin Prick Testing

A skin prick test (also called a scratch test in some offices) involves placing a small amount of a potential allergen on the skin and making a small prick mark to allow the allergen into the bloodstream. If a patient is allergic to the substance, a small red patch called a wheal will form, usually within 15 minutes. The wheal should clear on its own within a few hours.

Blood Tests

Blood testing for allergies involves drawing blood and measuring immunoglobulin (IgE). IgE is an antibody formed to protect the body from harmful substances, and a high IgE reading tends to indicate a moderate to severe allergy. We can also test what potential allergen produces the most IgE to determine what you’re allergic to, specifically.

Patch Tests

If you’re searching for the cause of a rash (contact dermatitis), a patch test can be a very useful tool. Patch tests involve exposing the skin to a wide variety of commonplace substances, like latex, dyes, metals, and fragrances, by taping them in small quantities to your back or arm. After 48 hours, we then remove the tape to determine if one or more of the substances produced a rash.

Elimination Diet

Many people have mild food allergies or sensitivities that cause symptoms like fatigue or digestive upset, and it’s not always easy to determine what food (if any) is causing those symptoms. An elimination diet involves eliminating one food group (e.g., wheat or dairy) from your diet at a time. The goal is to determine which elimination produces a positive shift in well-being.

Allergy Treatment Options

Allergy testing can help your medical care provider pinpoint the type of treatment that would work best for you. These are some of the allergy treatment options that are able to provide symptom relief or protection.


There are many types of OTC allergy medications, typically in the form of pills or nasal sprays. If antihistamines aren’t effective in treating seasonal or airborne allergies, your doctor may prescribe mast cell stabilizers, inhalers, or leukotriene inhibitors. A potential alternative to daily medication is allergen immunotherapy, which involves gradual exposure to your allergen to reduce the immune response.

Emergency Care

There are fewer options when it comes to treating food allergies, and knowing what you’re allergic to is a must. If you have a severe allergy to a food or food type, it’s important to keep emergency care on hand. Most commonly, this will include an EpiPen that is only to be administered after you’ve come into accidental contact with the substance you’re allergic to.

Trigger Avoidance

Trigger avoidance is less of a medical treatment and more of a lifestyle change. As the name suggests, it involves making adjustments to avoid the substances that trigger your allergic reactions. For example, people with severe seasonal allergies may need to invest in air purifiers and avoid prolonged outdoor time on days when their allergen is present in high volumes.

Allergy Care and Relief FAQs

Though allergies may seem commonplace, many people benefit from talking to their doctor about allergy care and relief. Here are a few of the questions we often get about seeking medical help for allergies.

Does Insurance Cover Allergy Care?

Check with your provider to see what kind of allergy care coverage you have. Some insurance plans will cover all aspects of allergy care, from testing to treatment. Others may only cover medically necessary allergy care.

Can You Cure Allergies?

Some research indicates that children may grow out of certain food allergies, like milk or egg allergies. However, there is no known “cure” for allergies. Ongoing allergy treatment will often reduce the allergic reaction or provide an antidote to life-threatening symptoms.

How Can I Book My Allergy Testing Appointment?

At NJ Primary Care, you don’t need a referral to book an appointment for allergy testing. Both new and existing patients can call or book their appointments online. For emergencies, please call 911 or go to the emergency room for immediate care.

Need Relief from Allergies? Jersey City Medical Care Can Help

Even a mild allergy can have a major impact on your day-to-day life and well-being. Allergy care and relief often involve allergy testing followed by targeted treatment.

NJ Primary Care prioritizes preventative methods and solution-oriented care. Our incredible team goes above and beyond to make every patient feel valued and empowered to manage their health. Contact us to schedule an appointment or use our online booking tool so we can get to the root of your allergy issues.

Jersey City Downtown Office

NJ Primary Care
200 Hudson Street, Suite 145
Jersey City, NJ 07311
(201) 241-3769

Jersey City Journal Square Office

NJ Primary Care
26 Journal Square, Suite 0800
Jersey City, NJ 07306
(551) 292-7675

For all correspondence, please use the downtown office address.

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