Allergy Testing Techniques

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SKIN TESTING

There are two types - percutaneous scratch tests and intradermal tests. For the scratch test, a plastic tipped device with the allergic substance is pricked into the skin causing very minimal discomfort. For intradermal testing, a very small amount of the allergenic liquid is put into the skin with just the tip of the needle and again, minimal discomfort is experienced.

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BLOOD TESTING

The most common form of blood testing is called the RAST test - a vial of blood is drawn with a needle and sent to a local lab for testing. We obtain results in a week. The blood test is not as accurate as the skin test, but may be used in patients on certain medications which do not allow us to perform skin testing. Some patients may prefer blood tests and others may prefer the skin test technique.

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PATCH TESTING

Patch testing is used to determine whether a patient is allergic to any chemicals. These are mostly substances which would come in contact with the skin. The patches are placed on the back and removed in 2 days and the results are determined. Avoidance of these compounds is reviewed.

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ORAL CHALLENGE

We perform the oral challenge when we want to make absolutely sure that a patient would be safe eating a food or taking a medication in the future. Generally the skin test is performed first, and if negative, the oral challenge is the final test prior to having a patient consume the food at home.

Allergens which can be Tested

  • Dust
  • Molds
  • Cat, Dog, Horse, Rabbit and other animal danders
  • Tree Pollen
  • Grass Pollen
  • Ragweed and other pollens
  • Bees
  • Yellow Jackets
  • Yellow Hornets
  • White Hornets
  • Wasps
  • Fire Ants
  • Over 90 Different Foods
  • Penicillins, Cephalosporins, Local Anesthetics such as Novocaine, Lidocaine, and many other medications
  • A variety of different chemical compounds
  • MSG, sulfites, food dyes

Asthma Testing Techniques

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PULMONARY FUNCTION TESTING

A computerized breathing test which is utilized to see how well the lungs are working and to determine if patients have asthma or COPD and to evaluate the level of severity It can also be used to determine the efficacy of medications.

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PEAK FLOW

A quick non-computerized measurement of lung function.

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PULSE OXIMETRY

Without any pain or blood test we can instantaneously determine the level of oxygen in the blood.

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