Frequently asked questions - FAQ

Q. What languages are spoken.

A. Apart from English, Doctor Balson is able to communicate

in Russian, Spanish and basic German

Q. When should I see an allergist?

A. Allergists are highly trained physicians, who take care of

allergic diseases of the eyes, nose, lungs and skin as well as allergic reactions to foods, drugs and different chemical agents. They take care of the patients with asthma, hay fevers, eczema, dermatitis, hives and many other allergic problems.

Q. Why should I see an allergist if I have asthma?

A. Asthma is an allergic condition of the lower airways. In addition to receiving expert treatment and evaluation of the severity of your

asthma, the allergist is able to identify allergies which might cause your medical problems. Elimination of these factors may tremendously improve

your asthma. Allergy shots have been shown to improve asthma severity in several studies.

Q. Why should I see an allergist if I have hay fever?

A. Hay fever is an allergic disease of eyes and nose which is always caused by specific allergens in environment (pollen, dust, animal dander).

Identification of these allergens and their avoidance will always help the patient. Conventional antihistamine medications and nasal sprays frequently relieve the symptoms, but only allergy shots (immunotherapy) can cure your allergies.

Q. What are allergy shots (immunotherapy)?

A. Allergy shots consist of a customized mixture of allergens that are given by injections throughout the course of several years. Allergens

used include pollen, dust mite, molds, animal dander.

Q. How effective are allergy shots?

A. Studies showed that allergy shots are effective in more than 80% patients with hay fever. Allergy shots have been shown to

improve asthma severity in several studies, though their efficiency was less noticeable than in patients with hay fever.

Q. Can allergy shots prevent asthma?

A. There are several studies showing that allergy injections can prevent asthma in patients at risk for asthma and who have hay fever.

Q. Does immunotherapy have side effects?

A. Immunotherapy has been performed for almost 100 years and, in general, is considered to be a safe and effective method of treatment. It does not have long-lasting side effects and can be performed in children and even pregnant women. However immediate reactions may rarely occur. Usually, they can be successfully suppressed with proper medications in the doctor’s office.

Q. Does every patient need immunotherapy?

A. Patients who have short term and mild manifestations of hay fever probably can be treated symptomatically with conventional antihistamine

medications and nasal sprays. However, in cases of severe and prolonged allergy problems as well as in case of constant exposure to an offending

agent, immunotherapy is always recommended.

Q. Is there the link between allergies and sinus infection?

A. Allergies do not cause infections, but by causing congestion and obstruction of drainage from sinus cavities, they facilitate the development

of sinus infections. Identification of the offending allergens by allergy testing and environmental control may be critical to the successful

treatment of chronic sinusitis.

Q. What is eczema?

A. Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is an allergic condition of the skin that frequently is worsened by food and environment allergens. Taking steps to

identify and avoid these allergens, in combination with their appropriate treatment, has been shown to greatly improve instances of eczema.