Preparing for Your First Appointment
During Your First Visit
Dr. Gary A. Incaudo received his medical training at the University of California, Irvine. His post-graduate training includes Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. His specialty Board Certification in the field of allergy, asthma, and clinical immunology was completed at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Incaudo is a Fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, the American College of Allergy, and is a member of the California Allergy Society and the California Medical Association. Dr. Incaudo currently serves as a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine in addition to his private practice serving Butte, Glenn, and Tehama counties. Dr. Incaudo and his wife have lived in Chico since 1979. During that time, Dr. Incaudo has been awarded the “Outstanding Community Volunteer” from the Chico Chamber of Commerce and has received a special commendation from the United States Congress for his outstanding community service in the areas of family and child welfare.
Dr. Anton Dotson attended college and medical school in Nevada after which he completed residency in internal medicine at University of California, Davis, followed by a sub-specialty fellowship in allergy and clinical immunology at University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Dotson has received board certification from both the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. After his specialty training, Dr. Dotson spent several years in mixed academic and private practice in San Francisco serving as a clinical instructor at both Stanford University and University of California, San Francisco's training programs. He also served as chief of UCSF's Mount Zion Hospital Allergy Clinic and editor of the asthma publication Inspiring News. Dr. Dotson spent eight years in private practice in Las Vegas, Nevada, during which time he was awarded Best Doctor by Las Vegas Life Magazine. Dr. Dotson and his family relocated to Chico in 2008 to join Allergy Associates, where Dr. Dotson plans to practice for the duration of his career.
Nicole Hicks, PA-C, received a Masterís Degree with distinction in physical education and exercise physiology from California State University, Chico. She conducted her medical training and earned certification as a Physician Assistant from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California. Prior to joining Allergy Associates Nicole worked for six years in Northern California as a Physician Assistant building extensive experience in the areas of general medicine and pediatrics. She has since expanded her professional knowledge to the specialty field of allergy, asthma and clinical immunology. Nicole is also certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a health/fitness Instructor.
Allergist/immunologists are specialists trained in treating disorders caused by problems of the immune system. Major allergic diseases treated by allergist/immunologists include:
Allergic rhinosinusitis (commonly referred to as hay fever)
Allergic conjunctivitis (an eye reaction)
Asthma (cough and wheezing)
Atopic dermatitis or allergic skin reactions (itchy skin)
Urticaria (hives) and angioedema (allergic swelling)
Severe allergic reactions to substances such as foods, chemicals, medications, and insect stings
Sinus problems including congestion, headaches and infection
Allergist/immunologists are also trained to evaluate individuals with frequent or unusually severe infections or immune deficiencies.
Preparing for Your First Appointment
Prior to your first visit we ask that you complete an Allergy Questionnaire regarding your medical history. This form provides vital information that our doctors require to properly diagnose and treat your illnesses. It is a lengthy form and may unnecessarily extend your appointment if it is not completed before you arrive at our office. You can either download the form for completion prior to your visit or we can mail it to you.
A complete evaluation may require diagnostic tests that cannot be completed if you are taking certain types of medications for up to 7 days prior to your first visit. These medications are either ANTIHISTAMINES or some other medications that have antihistamine effect. If you are taking:
- Antihistamines: discontinue 5 days prior to your appointment.
- Brand Name: Alavert, Allegra, Atarax, Claritin, Clarinex, Vistaril, Xyzal, Zyrtec
- Generic: ceterizine chlorpheniramine, desloratadine, diphenhydramine, fexofenadine, hydroxyzine, levoceterizine, loratadine
- Over-the-counter: Benadryl, Chlor-trimeton, anything containing the word “allergy” and most meds containing words “sinus,” “cold,” or “flu”
- Antihistamine nasal sprays: discontinue 5 days prior to your appointment.
- Brand Name: Astelin, Astepro, Patanase
- Generic: azelastine
- Eye drops: discontinue 3 days prior to your appointment.
- Brand Name: Elestat, Optivar, Pataday, Patanol, Zaditor
- Over-the-counter: anything containing the word “allergy”
- Itch or hive medications: discontinue 5 days prior to your appointment.
- Brand name: Atarax, Doxepin, Hydroxyzine, Vistaril, Benadryl
- Acid reflux medications: discontinue 5 days prior to your appointment.
- Name Brand: Tagamet, Zantac
- Generic: cimetidine, famotidine, ranitidine
- Over-the-counter: Pepcid
- Motion sickness/dizziness medications: discontinue 5 days prior to your appointment.
- Name Brand: Antivert, Dramamine
- Generic: meclizine
- Antidepressants: call our office for instructions but few interfere with the evaluation process. The only ones that interfere with testing are a group called “tri-cyclic” antidepressants.
- Sleep aids: call our office because over-the-counter medications commonly interfere with testing and most prescription medications will not.
- Asthma medications: PLEASE CONTINUE USE as prescribed. They do not interfere with the testing and evaluation process.
If you are unsure if a drug store product or medication you are taking will interfere with the evaluation process, please immediately call our office at 530.896.2200 for advice.
On the day of your appointment do not use body lotions, oils or creams on your back or arms.
Please allow up to 2 hours for your office visit because your allergy evaluation and testing is a lengthy, detailed process.
Be prepared to pay $100 at the time of your first visit. A first visit can cost between $100 and $800 depending on the number of tests needed and we require a minimum payment of $100 for the first visit. We take payments by cash, check, ATM and credit card.
During Your First Visit
After taking a careful medical history from you and reviewing your completed patient questionnaire, your allergist/immunologist will determined whether or not diagnostic tests are necessary. As many tests as possible will be completed during your first visit.
If you may be allergic, you are reacting to a particular substance in your environment called an allergen. There are many different kinds of allergies and allergens. The most common allergens are:
Products from dust mites (tiny bugs you can't see) that live in your home
Proteins from furry pets, which are found in their skin secretions (dander), saliva and urine (not actually their hair)
Molds in your home or in the air outside
Tree, grass and weed pollen
More serious allergic reactions can be caused by:
Venoms from the stings of bees, wasps, yellow jackets, fire ants and other stinging insects
Natural rubber latex, such as gloves or balloons
Drugs, such as penicillin
All of these allergens are typically made up of proteins. Allergy tests determine which of these proteins you may be reacting to. Your allergist/immunologist will safely and effectively test your skin, or sometimes your blood, using tiny amounts of commonly troublesome substances chosen based on your history and the type of allergy suspected. Refer to the medical condition titled Allergies, for additional information regarding allergies and allergy testing.
Some medications can interfere with skin testing. Antihistamines, in particular, can inhibit some of the skin test reactions. Use of antihistamines should be stopped several days prior to skin testing. Refer to Preparing for Your First Visit, for additional information on medication changes in preparation for your new patient appointment.