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Patient Information 2017-01-16T22:36:04+00:00

Prior to your first visit:

Discontinue all antihistamines for a week prior to your visit. Allergy testing is usually done during the first visit. Antihistamines interfere with test results. Antihistamines include medications such as Claritin, Alavert, Allegra, Benadryl, Xyzal, Clarinex and Zyrtec. There are many more, so if you are uncertain, call us to ask before you come. DO NOT STOP your asthma, blood pressure or other medications that you take daily. Again, please call us if you are uncertain.

Bring your current medications with you:

It is also helpful if you can tell us what has been prescribed to you in the past.

Please bring your insurance card and, if necessary, a referral from your primary care physician:

Most insurance companies do not require a referral from your primary care doctor. However, if it is required by your insurance, please contact your primary care doctor a week or more in advance of your appointment to request one. Your co-payment will be collected at the time of your visit. Please note that your financial responsibilities, such as deductible and the limits of your coverage are your responsibility. Please contact your insurance company before your visit to find out exactly what is covered and your financial responsibilities. We will submit your claims to your insurance carrier for you.

Be prepared to spend one to two hours at your initial visit:

After taking your history, we will perform an exam. Allergy testing takes 15-30 minutes. Lung function testing, if necessary, can take an additional 15-30 minutes. After we have completed our testing, we will discuss a treatment plan with you before you go home.

Wear comfortable clothing and a short-sleeve shirt or blouse:

Allergy tests are usually performed on the arms on our adult patients. We generally perform the tests on the back of children. Allergy skin tests usually involve some itching. Reactions occur only on the skin, and usually resolve within a couple of hours. These can be easily treated with topical cream.

Please notify us 24 hours in advance if you cannot keep the appointment:

Your courtesy makes it possible to schedule another patient who may be ill.

While we welcome children and family members to come with you on your visit, remember that you may need to be in our office for a couple of hours at your first visit.

Common Procedures

 Allergy skin testing. Allergy skin testing is performed to evaluate allergic rhinitis (hay fever), asthma, food allergy, stinging insect allergy, some drug allergies, and some allergic skin disorders.  In order to identify what airborne allergens or food substances you are allergic to, we generally perform a prick skin test. This involves applying a small amount of the substance to the skin on the arm or the back using a sterile, plastic device. We use a MultiTest II® device which allows us to test up to eight substances at once.  A positive test results in an itchy spot about the size of a mosquito bite. The testing procedure takes 15-20 minutes.  It is necessary to avoid antihistamines up to one week prior to the testing.
Allergy testing can be done by a blood test as well.  Blood testing and skin testing are equally sensitive and reliable; however, blood testing is generally more expensive, and the results are not available for a week after a blood sample is obtained.  Allergy skin testing allows us to obtain results and to develop a treatment plan at the time of your visit.

Patch testing. Patch testing is performed for evaluation of allergic skin disorders known as allergic contact dermatitis.  An example of this is poison ivy allergy, or nickel allergy.  This test involves applying the test substance to the back with hypoallergenic tape and leaving it in place for 48 hours.  After the test patch is removed from the back, you will need to return in another 24 to 48 hours to read the test site.  A positive reaction results in a localized rash at the test site.  A positive test allows us to advise you on how to avoid what you are allergic to.  You can read more about patch testing at www.truetest.com.

Lung function testing. We can perform lung function testing using a device known as a Spirometer.  This simply involves blowing into a machine as hard and as fast as you can in order to measure your lung capacity and how open your bronchial tubes are.  This test is routinely done to diagnose and monitor treatment for asthma and other lung disorders. It is a simple and painless test.

While we welcome children and family members to come with you on your visit, remember that you may need to be in our office for a couple of hours at your first visit.