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Allergy Conditions

Department Overview

The Allergy Program at the ENT Clinic of Iowa, P.C., has been providing comprehensive specialty care through the state of Iowa and surrounding areas since 2012.  Our Allergy program is under the direction of Dr. Douglas Hoisington, D.O., FACS.  Our goal is to provide medical care using evidence-based medicine, education, and patient-centered care to give people control of their health. Our efficient, knowledgeable, and kind staff will help you feel relaxed as we work together to improve your health.

What is an allergy? 

Allergy is a condition, often inherited, in which the immune system of the affected person reacts to something that is either eaten, touched, or inhaled that doesn’t affect most other people.  The patient’s immune system reacts to this substance as if it were an “enemy invader”.  This reaction leads to more symptoms that often adversely affect the patient’s work, play, rest, and overall quality of life.


Do allergens cause allergies? 

Any substance that triggers an allergic reaction is called an allergen.  Allergens “invade” the body by being inhaled, swallowed or injected, or they may be absorbed through the skin.  Common allergens include pollen, dust and mold.


What are the symptoms of ear, nose and throat allergies? 

People often think of allergy as only “hay fever,” with sneezing nasal stuffiness, runny nose, and itchy watery eyes.  However, allergies can also cause symptoms such as chronic “sinus” problems, excess nasal and throat drainage (post nasal drips), head congestion, frequent “colds,” hoarse voice, eczema (skin allergies), recurring ear infections, hearing loss, dizziness, chronic cough and asthma.  Even stomach and intestinal problems as well as excessive fatigue can be symptoms of allergy.  Symptoms of ear, nose, and throat allergies may include:

  • Repeated sneezing
  • Nasal itching and rubbing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Crease across bridge of nose
  • Frequent throat clearing
  • Mouth breathing
  • Diminished/lost sense of smell/taste
  • Recurrent, unexplained nosebleeds
  • Recurrent ear infections
  • Recurrent sinus infections
  • Fluctuating hearing loss
  • Cold-like symptoms more than 10 days
  • Symptoms recur same time each year
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Symptoms can range from minor to severe


What causes symptoms to begin? 

There is no “usual” way for an allergy to begin; the onset may be sudden or gradual.  Symptoms often develop following an unusual stress to the immune system, such as a severe viral infection.


Can an allergy be outgrown? 

No, but it is common for people to change the way their allergic symptoms affect them.  For example, a baby may develop colic, recurrent ear infections, or have eczema, but as it grows older, it may develop different allergic symptoms such as hay fever, fluid behind the ear drum, or asthma.

How do we make the diagnosis? 

The initial diagnosis is made by physical examination.  If you want to be certain of the diagnosis and proceed to treat the patient effectively, the findings must be confirmed by tests that identify the specific offending allergens.

Allergy Tests

Determining what a patient is allergic to can be a challenging task. Our Providers and experienced allergy technicians can assist you in identifying the things you are allergic to, and develop the best, individualized treatment plan for you based upon your specific symptoms and allergy test results. We provide the most up-to-date allergy testing and treatment options available for adult and pediatric patients. Your provider will determine which type of test would best benefit you based upon your specific symptoms.

The different types of allergy testing include:

  1. Intradermal Skin Testing: The Allergy Program at the ENT Clinic of Iowa, P.C., uses Skin Endpoint Titration to determine allergies.  This method is advantageous over other methods, as it identifies and quantifies (demonstrates the severity of) allergies.  Once our physician knows how severe a patient’s allergies are, the patient can be treated with allergy shots or sublingual drops in a safe, progressive, and tolerable manner.
  2. Blood Testing: With this test, blood is drawn from a patient and antibody levels are tested to determine allergies. This testing is done the day of your visit and results are determined within a few days.

Allergy Department Policies 

  1. Every allergy immunotherapy patient will be required to bring their EpiPen with them and show it to allergy staff in order to receive their injections or sublingual immunotherapy.
  2. All Allergy immunotherapy patients are required to wait for 20 minutes after their injections.
  3. All Allergy immunotherapy patients are required to have a yearly checkup appointment with their physician in order to receive further shots or vials.
  4. Any patients that are on a medication classified as a Beta-Blocker should not take allergy shots. Please inform the physician or allergy staff if you have been prescribed a Beta-Blocker.

West Des Moines Allergy Shot Hours

Mon & Fri: 7:00 – 10:45 AM and 12:15 – 2:45 PM
Tues, Wed, & Thurs: 8:30 – 11:15 AM and 12:45 – 4:30 PM

All patients are required to wait 20 minutes after their injections. All patients are prescribed an epi-pen which they are required to have with them at each injection appointment.