If your allergist sent you to this page, welcome!
Are you concerned that your allergies are being affected by your indoor environment? Call Indoor Science at (312) 920-9393 to have us perform a home health assessment and potentially test for common allergens such as dust mite, cockroach, cat, dog, mold and others.
What are allergens?
In simple terms, allergens are substances that are recognized by our body’s immune system and cause an allergic disease. These environmental substances may illicit severe symptoms in some individuals, and nothing in other people. Allergy symptoms are the result of the immune system flagging a foreign substance as a problem.
There are several allergens that commonly produce allergy symptoms in the US population.
Dust mites come from the same family as spiders. The small feces of dust mites is a very common trigger to allergies and asthma. The scientific name for dust mites literally means “skin eater”. Don’t worry, it eats shed skin cells found in dust near areas when people spend time. Because we spend so much time in bed, in front of the TV, and at a desk, these are the prime areas to test for dust mites. Indoor Science can perform a dust test in key areas to determine if there are elevated levels of dust mite allergen.
Cockroach, Mouse and Rat
Cockroach allergens are commonly found in kitchens and other areas cockroaches are regularly seen. Cockroach allergen has shown positive associations with inner city asthma. Breathing difficulties may be a result of exposure to cockroach allergen.
Mice and rats also leave allergens behind which can trigger allergies in sensitized individuals. We often find mouse droppings during our site assessments, which is a telltale sign of a rodent problem.
Cat, Dog and other pet allergen
Cats, dogs and other pets will shed allergens. The allergens may be found in the animal’s saliva, skin oils and dander, urine or hair. Cat and dog allergen, in particular, can be passively transported for great distances. For example, a workplace that has never had a cat or dog present may experience high concentrations due to an employee bringing in pet allergen.
Mold is also a common indoor allergen. There are thousands of different types of mold, so it may be difficult for an allergist to determine if you are in fact allergic to mold. Many allergists will test patients for one or two different species and conclude “you’re not allergic to mold” even though there are tens of thousands of molds that were not tested.
Outdoor pollen comes from trees, grasses and other plants. Although the source of pollen is almost always outdoors, there can be pathways for the pollen to reach indoors. Indoor Science can perform an assessment and offer advice on how to minimize the infiltration of outdoor pollens.
What does Indoor Science do?
We start by asking a series of questions to understand the background and history of the situation. We follow that up by performing a visual inspection of the affected areas. We may recommend an environmental sample, such as a dust sample, to quantify the presence of a specific allergen.
If we do find an allergen in high concentrations, we’ll put together a plan for you to control that allergen. Don’t worry, we don’t sell any products so you can trust the advice we provide. We pride ourselves for having no conflicts of interest.
How much does an allergen assessment cost?
Call our office and briefly describe your concerns. Based on the information you provide, we will be able to provide you with a quote over the phone. Call (312) 920-9393 to get started.