I heard that some Allergy practices don't do allergy testing at the first visit, so I would have to schedule another visit and pay another copay to get tested. Do you perform testing at the first visit?
Yes!...for environmental/airborne or food allergies. (Unless there's a safety issue--pregnancy, certain blood pressure medications, etc.) We can also usually perform penicillin testing and start "patch" testing at the first visit, if we know that's why you're coming.
I heard that some Allergy practices require a separate "Summary" visit to discuss the allergy testing results. Do you require that?
No! We are glad to perform the initial consultation, testing (environmental/airborne or food, sometimes penicillin), discuss the results with you and get your treatment plan started ALL at the first visit. (Unless there's a safety issue--pregnancy, certain blood pressure medications, etc.)
Does allergy testing hurt?
Most of our patients say something like, "That's it?! I was afraid that the testing was going to hurt."
If you previously had allergy testing with one allergy test needle at a time, repeated 30-40 times, that's kind of the old-school way to do it. We use a state-of-the-art skin testing device (Multitest) which can test 8 different allergens at a time. Applying the several Multitest devices needed for food allergy or airborne allergy skin testing only takes around 30 seconds. And we apply them on your arms where you can see what's going on.
Do I "have to" have allergy testing?
No. Most of our patients choose to undergo Allergy Testing. But Allergy Testing is not appropriate for some of the conditions we treat, or for some patients.
Doesn't everyone have allergies?
No....according to the medical literature, most people don't have ANY allergies--not to food, airborne allergens, medications, etc. Only approximately 25-30% of the US population has an allergy.
Do you often recommend allergy shots?
No. Fewer than 1% of our patients are started on allergy shots (subcutaneous immunotherapy.) Most of our patients get so much relief with other treatments that they don't need or want shots.
There are also some newer immunotherapy options without shots. Immunotherapy is the only "disease-modifying" therapy, as opposed to medications. Medications work very well and for most people are all that is needed. But those who want to address the "root cause" of allergies, allergen avoidance and immunotherapy may make sense.
Immunotherapy which doesn't require shots include:
--sublingual (under the tongue) "drops" of the same extracts used in allergy shots. However, that is not currently covered by health plans. There are also sublingual pills containing timothy grass allergen (Grastek) and ragweed allergen (Ragwitek.) We're also excited about the dust mite allergen sublingual pill called Odactra, which is coming out in 2018. So, there are lots of options besides shots.
Do I need a referral to be seen in your office?
WE don't require a referral, but your health plan might if you have an HMO type plan. Feel free to give us a call if you need help figuring this out. Ask Julia or Irena.
What if I don't have health insurance?
Then, you're probably wondering what the visit will cost. Please speak with Julia or Irena. Once we understand your allergy symptoms, we can give you a price for a consultation and any testing which may be recommended at the visit.
My question isn't on here...
Please give us a call-- 619 291 5800--We'd love to help!
We'll call your health plan for you
Telemedicine option for revisits
IN-Network: Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross and CA Blue Shield (group plans), Cigna,
Federal BC/BS, Medicare, United and others. (We're OUT-of-network for covered CA.)
Bernard A. Feigenbaum, M.D. FACP, FAAAAI
Locations and Links
San Diego Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Consultants, Inc
Office 619 291 5800
Fax 866 903 3908
9850 Genesee Ave, Suite 355
La Jolla, CA 92037
4060 4th Avenue, Suite 120
San Diego, CA 92103
Update January 1, 2022 Hi Everyone, it's Dr Feigenbaum. We're not accepting new patients right now. You could try my colleagues at Scripps Clinic Allergy Carmel Valley. If you're a current patient and need me for something, please leave a message at 858 215 2201.
Our fax number is (415) 634-1344.
San Diego Allergy Asthma & Immunology Consultants, Inc.