Allergy Testing For Patients
What is “Allergy Testing”
Allergy testing is a diagnostic test that is utilized to identify what is causing a patients allergy symptoms.
Scratch test, also known as a puncture or prick test. The test scratches the outer layer of the skin to allow the allergen to penetrate. The skin will get irritated and may itch similar to a mosquito bite. The reaction will identify what allergen a patient may be allergic too.
Intradermal allergy testing is another method of skin testing to help determine whether an individual is allergic to a specific allergen. The test involves injection of a small amount of the suspected allergen under the surface of the skin. After about 10 minutes the area is examined for a reaction at the site.
How does it work?
The test scratches the outer layer of the skin to allow the allergen to penetrate or involves an injection of a small amount of the suspected allergen under the surface of the skin. The skin will get irritated and may itch similar to a mosquito bite. The reaction will identify what allergen a patient may be allergic too.
Benefits to the Patient
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Who can be tested?
Adults and children over the age of 5 can be tested for allergies. This is especially helpful for patients who suffer with asthma, allergic pneumonia, conjunctivitis (pink eye), undiagnosed cough, dermatitis (skin irritation), rhinitis, sinusitis, urticaria (hives) and angioedema (similar to hives, but beneath the skin).
Which allergens will I be tested for?
You will be tested for the 50 airborne allergens in your area and 20 non-inhalant foods. We will test for dust mites, proteins from pet hair and dander, trees, grass and weed pollen, molds and cockroach droppings and foods.
What is immunotherapy?
Allergen immunotherapy is a form of treatment aimed at decreasing your sensitivity to substances called allergens. It involves introducing increasing amounts of an allergen to a patient over several months.
How can I schedule an appointment?
Call or contact us and we will schedule an appointment with a physician in your area
Does the skin test hurt?
No, the skin test is a painless way to test a patient’s sensitivity to many different environmental allergens ranging from dust mites to pollen to various trees and grasses. During the test, plastic skin scratchers are dipped in antigens and gently pressed against a patient’s back or arms.
Does my insurance cover the cost of the test?
Yes, almost all private insurance providers (Blue Cross, Aetna, United, Cigna, etc.) allow for coverage of both the test and the medication to treat the results of the tests.
How quickly will I know what I’m allergic to?
Actually, you will know what you’re allergic to the same day of your test. Usually, within 20 minutes of the test being administered.
Is there any risk of an allergic reaction?
Yes, Anaphylaxis (allergic reaction) can occur and it is very rare.
How long do I have to take this medication?
It really depends on a patient’s individual allergies, including the number of allergies a patient has and the severity of each. Many patients start to physically feel better and experience some symptomatic relief within 1-3 months of starting their therapy. To achieve complete alleviation of patients’ allergies usually takes 2-3 years, but in rare cases it can require up to 5 years of therapy if a patient has severe allergies.