Allergy Tests and Treatments

AllergyAllergy testing involves having a skin or blood test to find out what substance or allergen may trigger an allergic response in a person. Skin tests are usually done because they are rapid, reliable, and generally less expensive than blood tests, but either type of test may be used. Allergy tests are done to:

  • Identify inhaled (airborne) allergens, such as tree, shrub, and weed pollens, molds, dust, feathers, and pet dander.
  • Identify likely food allergens (such as eggs, milk, peanuts, nuts, fish, soy, wheat, or shellfish).
  • Find out whether a person may have a drug allergy or be allergic to insect venom
  • Treat hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and asthma symptoms that are not well controlled with medicine
  • To treat eczema, Hives and angioedema

IN OUR CLINIC, WE OFFER:

  • Allergy Testing (skin and blood)
  • Immunotherapy: injections and sublingual
  • Pulmonary Function Test to diagnose asthma
  • Blood draws to diagnosis Immunological Disorders

allergy testDuring a skin test, a small amount of a suspected allergen is placed on or below the skin to see if a reaction develops. The two types of skin allergy tests done in our office include:

Skin prick test. During a skin test, a small amount of the suspected allergen is scratched into your skin and the area is then observed for about 30 minutes. If the skin develops a red, raised itchy area (called a wheal), it usually means that the person is allergic to that allergen. This is called a positive reaction.

Intradermal test. During this test, a small amount of the allergen solution is injected into the skin. An intradermal allergy test may be done when a substance does not cause a reaction in the skin prick test but is still suspected as an allergen for that person.

Allergy blood tests look for substances in the blood called antibodies. Blood tests are not as sensitive as skin tests but are often used for people who are not able to have skin tests.

IMMUNOTHERAPY

Allergy shots are a form of treatment called immunotherapy. Each allergy shot contains a tiny amount of the specific allergens that trigger your allergic reactions. Allergy shots contain just enough allergens to stimulate your immune system — but not enough to cause a full-blown allergic reaction.

Over time, the dose of allergens will be increased in each of your allergy shots. This helps get your body used to the allergens (desensitization). Your immune system builds up a tolerance to the allergens, and your allergy symptoms diminish over time

Before your skin test, we ask you to stop all antihistamines for 7-10 days before the test. It’s okay to use nasal steroid sprays and asthma medicines. They will not interfere with skin tests.

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