Allergy Patients

New Haven Allergy Practice

Our patients range in age from 6 to 90 and their problems include allergies to pollen, dust, animals, insects, molds, medications and foods. Typical symptoms are asthma, cough, sinus disease, sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, headaches, and hives.

Your First Visit includes a complete allergy history and examination. Please bring a complete list of your medications and all of you old medical records with you. Most patients are also skin tested to various allergy producing proteins (antigens) such as dust, pollens, animals, insects or foods. Complete skin testing to environmental antigens usually requires two visits. Patients must avoid all antihistamine containing medications for at least 5 days before skin testing. If you are not sure about a medication, please call our office to check. Some patients may also require blood tests or sinus x-rays to completely evaluate their disease. Once all the tests are completed Dr. Mangi will evaluate your allergy problem and help you determine a long term treatment plan.

Please Ask Questions! A well informed patient is a happy patient. We welcome all questions. The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.

Feedback. The goal of our practice is to satisfy your medical needs. Your suggestions and honest feedback are the best way we can improve our services. Please discuss your concerns with Dr. Mangi. If you are uncomfortable discussing any issue, please use the suggestion box located in our waiting rooms.

Allergy Treatment must be tailored to each patient. Generally, there are three types of treatment: avoidance or environmental control, medications and allergy immunotherapy injections. Many patients require a combination of these approaches.

Avoidance is the cornerstone of food allergy treatment and the only reliable way of preventing symptoms. While many patients with pet allergies would be symptom free if they found new homes for their pets, this approach is almost never acceptable. We therefore often recommend environmental control to decrease antigen exposure, especially for patients with animal or dust allergies.

There are several types of allergy medications available, including antihistamines, nasal sprays, leukotriene inhibitors, corticosteroid and bronchodilator inhalers. Each patient responds differently to medications and it takes time and patience to determine what combination works best for you. We have found that a systematic, carefully documented trial is the best approach. Dr. Mangi will help you with the process.

Some patients, particularly those with severe symptoms, allergic asthma, those with inadequate response to medications and those with insect allergies require immunotherapy to achieve relief. Immunotherapy or allergy injections are a proven treatment dating back over 75 years. Allergy vaccine is prepared for each individual patient based on their specific allergies. Gradually increasing doses of vaccine are injected, usually starting on a weekly basis until a high concentration maintenance dose is achieved. This vaccine is then continued monthly, usually for at least five years.

Immunotherapy changes the immune system in several ways to decrease your allergy symptoms. Most people experience some relief if a few months, but it make take a few years to achieve maximum benefit. Please note, that while there are no long term side effects from immunotherapy, most people experience local swelling and itching at the injections site. Occasionally immunotherapy may cause a generalized allergic reaction, and injections must be given by qualified medical personnel and patients must be observed for at least 20 minutes after the injection.

Dr. Richard  Mangi is board certified in Allergy and Immunology. He is past chief of the section of Allergy and Immunology at the Hospital of Saint Raphael in New Haven and directed the pollen count section at that hospital for over a decade.

As an arborist licensed by the State of Connecticut and a certified master gardener, he has particular interest in the allergies caused by our local trees and plants.

He has also written two books on the medical problems of athletes and has expertise in the treatment of asthmatic athletes.