Your First Visit
An accurate diagnosis is important to determine your individualized treatment program. During your first visit to MAA we will conduct a comprehensive physical history, environmental history and physical examination. Based on our findings, laboratory tests such as blood counts and lung function testing may be obtained. A decision will be made to determine if skin testing is required. If skin testing is recommended, your initial visit will require approximately three to four hours of your time. Upon completion of your testing and/or examination, the provider will review all of the results and discuss your treatment options with you. This may include measures of avoidance, the use of medications, allergy injections, or a combination of treatments.
About Allergy Testing
Using extracts of common allergens, a few skin tests demonstrate whether allergy is present. MAA first uses the prick testing method. It is associated with a bit of discomfort and small children may shed some tears. The test is performed by pressing a very small needle coated with the testing solution into the outermost layer of the skin of the forearm.
If the prick tests are negative, intradermal tests may be required in order to not miss significant allergy factors. Intradermal testing involves the injection of a very small amount of testing solution into the top layer of skin on the upper arm. The procedure causes only mild discomfort and less discomfort than with the prick tests.
About Allergy Injections
Allergy injections, also known as immunotherapy, are injections of allergenic extract given in gradually increasing amounts over a period of time. The goal is to build tolerance to the allergens and to reduce symptoms. Your MAA physician will develop an injection plan and schedule designed specifically for you.
Although many MAA patients choose to receive their allergy injections in our office, some do not. If you will not be receiving your allergy injections in our office, we can coordinate your care with your primary stop-ed-meds.com. We will provide your primary clinic with your allergy extract and injection schedule. Please be sure to let us know where you will be receiving your allergy injections.
About Asthma Treatment
Asthmatic symptoms may be caused by allergy. Therefore, controlling allergy symptoms may be an important part of adequate asthma care. It is important to understand that even non-allergic asthma is very controllable. Your MAA provider will work with you to arrive at an acceptable and successful treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
If you have experienced an adverse reaction to aspirin (ASA) such as hives, swelling, runny nose, nasal polyps or asthma, you may be a candidate for aspirin desensitization. This procedure is usually performed in the hospital, but in milder cases may be performed in our office. There is some evidence that people with nasal polyps, recurrent sinusitis and ASA sensitivity who undergo desensitization may experience improvement in their polyp and sinus symptoms. In other situations the desensitization allows the administration of ASA for its antiplatelet (blood thinning) or pain reduction properties. Contact our office for an appointment to determine if you are a candidate for ASA desensitization.
Subsequent to your initial visit and evaluation, office visits will be scheduled at appropriate intervals. These check-ups will provide us with the opportunity to monitor and discuss your progress, and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.
If you are having problems with symptoms related to your allergy or asthma, we are available to speak with you or see you at any time during the course of your treatment.
For your convenience, MAA will send you a reminder to call our office when it is time for your check-up. You will receive the reminder one month before your check-up is due, allowing you flexibility and notice in planning your personal schedule. If you are unable to keep your appointment, please notify us at least 24 hours in advance.
MAA does not require an appointment for allergy injections. We are available on a walk-in basis anytime during our regular business hours (see clinic hours). As a precautionary measure to potential allergic reactions, we require that you wait in our office 10-20 minutes after receiving your injection. If you choose to receive your injection at the end of the day, please arrive at least 30 minutes before our closing time.
If you receive your injections in our office and are having problems related to your allergy or asthma, please call us. If you receive your allergy injections out of our office and are having problems, it is advisable to first call your primary care physician. Please feel free to call us for consultation if your physician requests you to do so.
Health Plans and Referrals
We participate with most major health plans and will submit a health insurance claim form on your behalf. Please remember to bring your health insurance identification card to every visit. Co-payments required by your health plan are due at the time of service.
If your health plan requires a referral in order to receive care at MAA, it is your responsibility to make sure an appropriate referral has been requested prior to your visit. Some health plans require a referral for each visit, others do not. If we do not receive a valid referral from your primary care physician, and your health plan will not pay for our services, you will be responsible for payment.
If you do not have insurance coverage, you will be asked to pay for your visit at the time of service.
MAA Physicians are on the hospital staffs of Abbot Northwestern, Children’s Healthcare, North Memorial in Robbinsdale, Fairview Ridges and Fairview Southdale. (Note: we are not on staff at Methodist Hospital any longer.)
A physician is available 24 hours a day. If an emergency occurs after clinic hours, please call us at (612) 339-0807. Our answering service will contact the on-call physician who will promptly return your phone call. The best arrangement for your care will be made at that time. You may be instructed to visit an urgent care center or, if the condition warrants, you may be directed to an emergency room. In case of a life-threatening emergency, please call 911 and then notify our office of the emergency as soon as you are able.
Please call your pharmacy when you need a refill on your medication. They will call our office with all the pertinent information. Our providers can offer you the fastest response if you request your medication refills Monday-Thursday. Please allow 72 hours for refills requested on Friday or the weekend.
Apnea is literally “absence of breath”. Breathing problems such as apneas can result from central brain related absence of signals, blockage of the airway, or mixed. Obstructive apnea is the most common form. It is also called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is due to flabby soft tissues at the back of the throat resulting in lack of firmness that may cause obstruction of the airway during sleep. Sleep apnea is a common disorder and is often not recognized by individuals who have it.
- Loud snoring or long pauses in breathing as reported by partner
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Sore throat and dry mouth
Undiagnosed and untreated, OSA can pose problems for long term cardiovascular and respiratory health.
Risk Factors for OSA include:
- Untreated Allergies
- Male gender, older than 65
Complications may include:
- High Blood Pressure
- Diabetes (type 2)
- Impaired performance at work or school
- Cardiovascular events
We at MAA have started identifying at-risk patients for OSA and have provided treatment options.
The diagnosis is made by a test called Nocturnal Polysomnography (NPSG). The test is done in the comfort of an individual’s home while sleeping, on three consecutive nights.