On your first visit, we will spend time with you and your family to listen to your concerns, learn the history of your condition and how it affects your life. We will do a physical exam and then discuss with you the options for treatment and testing, if testing is necessary.
There are many different kinds of tests we can perform if necessary. Testing can be performed on people of all ages. Some of these tests require advance preparation and would need to be scheduled on a second visit. Allergy skin testing determines allergic sensitivity using the skin. They are performed by scratch testing, intradermal testing or patch testing:
- Scratch testing is done by placing a drop of allergy extract on the skin, usually the back, and scratching the skin through the drop. Reactions are read in 15-20 minutes and if positive show a significant wheal (hive) and flare (redness) at the location of the prick.
- Intradermal skin testing uses a small amount of allergy extract introduced into the skin, usually the upper arm, using a very small needle. The reactions are read in 15-20 minutes with the same reading technique as the scratch test.
- Patch testing is a skin testing method to determine the presence of contact allergy. The chemical in question is place on the skin, usually the back, using a paper patch for 48 hours. After 48 hours the patch is removed by our office staff and is interpreted on the following day.
Using these testing techniques we are able to detect allergic sensitivity to allergens in the air (such as pollens from trees, grasses, weeds, and from mold spores, dust mites, and animal dander), in foods, or from latex, bee or wasp stings, or medications (such as penicillin).
In addition, we have state-of-the-art pulmonary function testing. This test measures how much air you can blow out of your lungs and how fast the air flows out. We can perform this test before and after bronchodilators (asthma inhalers) to measure improvement. We also perform this test with exercise to assess exercise induced asthma.