Environmental Allergy Skin Testing

Do you have the cold that never ends?  Have you been suffering from allergy symptoms, such as a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, nasal congestion, red, watery, runny, itchy eyes, headaches and even migraines, sinus pain, and frequent sinus infections or sinusitis?  Consider getting tested for the possible environmental triggers and allergens. Knowledge of the specific allergies (trees, grasses, weeds, ragweeds, cats, dogs, etc.) and how to avoid them or manage in cases in which avoidance is impossible is imperative in ending the misery.  We have both adult and pediatric panels to perform allergy skin testing in order to detect the correct allergy trigger.

Skin prick allergy test, also performed as a scratch test (scratching of the skin gently with an allergic substance that, when the patient is positive, produces a wheal and flare reaction).  This test can be performed on the back or forearm and is best performed and interpreted by an experienced Allergist.  Testing is the most important step in tackling your allergies

Food Testing

Symptoms of food allergy include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and life-threatening anaphylaxis symptoms such as a decrease in blood pressure, shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, swelling of the throat and tongue typically accompanied by some form of skin symptoms (flushing or hives).  Some people can have eosinophilic esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus caused by allergic cells), characterized by difficulty swallowing, food impaction (food getting stuck in the esophagus), heartburn symptoms, and vomiting, very similar to severe acid reflux.  Eczema can also be caused by food or environmental allergies and is characterized by itchy, red, cracked skin, sometimes thickened, sometimes blistering, vesicular (small blisters on the skin), or papular (elevation of the skin) rash. Depending on the food, food allergy can be very unpredictable sometimes with the first exposure being mild and the second exposure being life-threatening and even fatal.

For this reason, often the first visit is spent collecting past and current medical history, possibly ordering blood testing.  This is a safer assessment then direct testing if the current status of allergy is uncertain or if the allergic reaction was severe. ImmunoCAP testing can be used to measure the presence of food-specific IgE antibodies (allergy-specific proteins that flag the allergic cells, starting the allergic reaction in many cases) in the blood.

Simple food allergies can easily be identified with skin prick testing. Food allergy tests aid in identifying food allergies. The skin allergy scratch test to identify specific allergens.  In some cases, food allergy is ruled out by oral food challenge testing, in which under controlled environments and careful medical supervision, a person is challenged by eating the food to be tested in graduated amounts to look for any allergic symptoms.

Depending on the severity of the allergy, we conduct food allergy testing in a graduated investigative sequence in order to avoid any complications such as severe anaphylactic reactions. In other words, if a skin or blood test gives positive results we do not progress to further testing.

Testing is imperative in empowering you with the knowledge you need to make healthy food choices.

2017-11-06T18:49:37+00:00 November 6th, 2017|