Preparing for Your Appointment
Before You Come
Before you consider coming to an allergy specialist, you or someone in your family will have been experiencing some form of allergic problem. Your doctor will have taken a history, examined you and perhaps provided some treatment. Commonly these problems include:
Food allergies causing rashes, urticaria and sometimes more severe reactions
Dermatitis which can be caused by your allergies or things you may come into contact with during the day
Food sensitivities or intolerances
Rhinitis, a blocked and/or runny nose with sneezing and nasal itching often accompanied by itchy eyes and sometimes asthma
Chronic hives or urticaria
Of course there are many other conditions not in this list, but these are the common problems that require specialist allergy review.
Making an Appointment
You will need a referral from another doctor to claim your rebate from Medicare.
A few days before your appointment you will receive an SMS or email to confirm your appointment.
If you have any questions about the appointment, please feel free to phone the office or email us.
Stop Antihistamines a Few Days Before the Appointment
Many patients will need to have skin prick tests to determine if you have allergies and if so what you are allergic to. If you have been taking antihistamines you will need to stop taking them at least three days before the appointment so that these tests can be done.
Commonly available antihistamines are Telfast, Zyrtec, Claratyne, Polaramine and Phenergan. Many cold and flu treatments also contain antihistamines and these should also be stopped. If you are not sure if the medication is an antihistamine then please contact us to confirm whether or not the medication should be stopped ahead of time.
If stopping a medication, even for a short time, leads to significant discomfort, then either contact us to discuss your concern or continue the medication as there are other ways to deal with the problem and make a diagnosis.
On the Day of Your Appointment
Transport & Parking
On the day of your appointment, it is best to be organised and aim to arrive early. If you are late, it can make it difficult for other patients.
The offices are on Christie Street, close to St Leonards Railway station, but on the opposite side of the Pacific Highway.
It is easy to arrive by car. There is limited metered street parking in and around Christie Street. There is two hours of free parking available at the St Leonards Square with a vehicle entrance in Nicholson Street.. A Wilson parking station is located at 80 Christie Street and you can park casually or pre-book.
Food in the Office
Since the office is being visited by adults and children who may have severe food allergies, it is important that the office remains free of risk to other patients coming after you. For this reason we ask that you avoid bringing and consuming any food in the office and waiting room area.
Children in the Office
We like to see children and we certainly like to help children who are not feeling well to get better. Bringing some toys or something to occupy your child will make it easier for you to concentrate and ask what you need to ask and take in the information being provided. We want you to leave the appointment feeling that you have had a chance to ask all your questions and that your questions have been answered and you understand the information. If you have been distracted by bored little people, this can be difficult.
Very commonly patients with allergy problems will need skin prick tests. They are not very painful but they do require a little time to develop and will involve sitting in the waiting room for about 15 – 20 minutes. After this the doctor will call you in again and interpret the results of the test and explain what can be done to help you.
Sometimes patients also require blood tests, there is a pathology lab in the foyer of the building.
The fees depend on the complexity of the issues and the need for any tests.
It is important that your account is settled on the day of the consultation, and we are able to accept EFTPOS, VISA, Mastercard, and cash.
Follow Up Appointments
After your initial consultation, most patients will return for at least one follow up appointment, depending on the nature of the problem and the treatment.
Follow up appointments are generally shorter and focus on any developments or changes since the initial consultation, especially to review the effect of any treatment.
If you are to have immunotherapy or allergy desensitization, the allergen extract will be ordered at the time of your consultation or you may like to take the information and consider the options. You can then contact us to order sometime after the consultation.
When the extract arrives, you will be contacted to come for an appointment and you will have your first dose of the immunotherapy at that time. When you leave we will make sure that you understand when and how to re-order your extract and when you need to be reviewed. As this is a specialist prescribed medical treatment and you do need to be reviewed by the doctor at least yearly throughout the treatment.
Depending on your health fund, and your level of cover, you may be able to claim some refund for the allergen bottles.