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At Premier Allergy, we’ll use various diagnostic procedures to determine a patient’s allergies or asthma. Included are some of the following tests we conduct to better help diagnose your condition.
Our skin testing procedure checks for insect, food, and airborne allergens through the measurement of your allergic antibodies levels to these allergens. To do this we use a small plastic device that applies tiny amounts of solutions to the skin with a prick or scratch that contain the various types of allergens. By checking for an area of raised skin, we’ll be able to determine if there is a positive reaction. However, even if there is an area of raised skin, it does not necessarily mean you are allergic to an allergen, as other factors play a role in the test. If an allergen does not show up on a prick test, we will repeat the test using a tiny needle in which we will inject a small amount of that allergen into the first layer of skin, which will form a small, mosquito-like bite bubble.
This test typically yields results in 15-20 minutes, and the area tested could get itchy, but not for very long. Prior to having this test administered, you should avoid using antihistamines 5 to 7 days before coming in to get tested. This skin test is not usually performed on those who have suffered a life-threatening reaction, or to someone who has hives or severe eczema.
Patch Testing checks for chemicals that cause a delayed reaction, such as contact dermatitis. This test is performed by placing a safe, chemical patch on the person’s back. In order to have the patch placed on, patients should properly clean the skin and be freshly showered. No rubbing alcohol should be used in the cleaning process, and the patch will not be able to be properly placed if the subject is still wet. It the tape peels off, the entire process will have to be repeated. This patch stays on the skin for two days before being removed to be examined. It is again examined three to four days later to make sure nothing new has developed. The test is considered positive if blisters, bumps, or swelling develops. When you are preparing to have this test done, you should avoid taking any systemic immunosuppressants or oral steroids up to one month before, and topical steroids should not be used on the area of the skin that the patch will be placed one week before having the test done. Any use of inhaled steroids, leukotriene receptor antagonists, or antihistamines are still allowed to be used.
By breathing into a mouthpiece that is attached to a spirometer, the physicians are able to determine the the amount of air in your lungs and your ability to move the air out of your lungs. It is designed to diagnose issues with asthma and monitor any treatment methods. The test is non-invasive and the results are immediate. Upon taking the test, you might be given a bronchodilator treatment that will relieve some of the effects of asthma.
This test is typically administered for those who are unable to undergo a skin test due to antihistamine use, skin diseases, chronic hives, or an immune system disorder. By taking a sample of blood, this test can determine environmental allergies and food allergies, as well as immune system deficiencies. It can also evaluate those with chronic hives. Test results are not immediate and typically take a few days to a couple weeks to become available.
Theses tests are performed at a hospital or radiology center where X-rays or CT scans are taken of the chest or sinuses in order to diagnose various lung diseases. Following the scan, a report will be sent to us and we may request that you bring a copy of the X-ray or CT scan to your appointment in order to go over the results. If it is determined you suffer from a lung condition, we will help determine the best course of action for treatment, which might include avoidance, allergen immunotherapy, and medication.