What To Expect

Allergy and Asthma Affiliates utilizes state-of-the art medical equipment while providing excellent medical care to all of our patients. In addition, we designed our facility to provide you with a comfortable and enjoyable experience while you wait. We have six exam rooms, each with a plasma TV. We also provide wireless internet access for you.

During your first visit, the practitioner will take a detailed medical history and perform a physical examination and order testing relevant to your diagnosis. Based on the evaluation the doctor will recommend treatment options. The treatment plan that you and the practitioner have chosen will be outlined in detail and customized to meet your particular needs. Education regarding your diagnosis and treatment plan is an important part of your initial visit and the continuum of your care.

The time and cost of this visit will vary based on your symptoms and the testing that the practitioner recommends, but please plan on 2-3 hours for your comprehensive evaluation.

Please arrive early so that we can complete your initial paperwork. Also, please bring the following:

  • Patient’s insurance card
  • List of current prescriptions and/or over-the-counter medications, including dose and frequency
  • Information about the patient’s medical and surgical history
MEDICAL TESTS & DIAGNOSTIC METHODS USED MAY INCLUDE:

SKIN TEST

Allergy testing is performed to find out whether or not a patient has allergies. Skin testing is a common and simple method of diagnosing allergies. Adults and children 2 years or older may be tested.

During the first part of test, called scratch or prick test, drops of allergy serum are applied to the arm or back of the patient. The skin is scratched slightly with a disposable device and the skin test is read within fifteen to twenty minutes. In the event of a positive reaction, the skin surrounding the allergen at fault will turn pink, and a small bump will appear. It looks much like a mosquito bite, and may itch for a relatively short period of time. This response to the allergen mimics the reaction that occurs in the eyes, nose, and bronchial lining. A positive scratch test is a reliable method of determining specific allergies, from common inhalant types to ingested allergens.

If the first test is negative, a secondary test, called an intradermal test is preformed. During this test, small quantities of a relevant allergen are placed beneath the skin and reliably identify allergies that were not confirmed by the previous test. This test is also read in fifteen to twenty minutes. A positive reaction will appear if there is redness or a small bump at the site.

Skin tests are used to detect sensitivity to inhaled substances (aeroallergens) such as mold, dust and pollen; or those ingested, foods such as fish, eggs, nuts, milk or wheat; and stinging insects. Skin testing provides the most cost effective, rapid and reliable method of diagnosing allergies. The test results can be obtained within your first visit.

Patients must refrain from taking antihistamines and/or decongestants for one week prior to skin testing, otherwise the results will not show up.

List of Antihistamines not to be taken for one week prior to testing:

Allegra (Fexofenadine)

Zyrtec

Claritin (Loratadine)

Xyzal

Hydroxazine (Atarax)

List of Antihistamines not to be taken within 48 hours of skin testing:

Benadryl (diphenyhydramine)

Other common cold/allergy medications containing antihistamines should not be taken within 48 hrs prior to skin testing.

SERUM IgE TEST
Blood, or serum, testing to evaluate allergies is sometimes performed typically by the (RAST) methodology. In this test a blood sample is obtained to evaluate specific allergic antibodies to relevant allergens. Testing may identify allergens responsible for anaphylaxis, to confirm sensitization to particular allergens prior to beginning immunotherapy (allergy shots) and to investigate the specificity of allergic reactions to insect venom allergens, drugs, foods, environmental or chemical allergens. IgE food allergy testing measures levels of antigen-specific IgE to several different foods, including peanut and shrimp, from a simple serum specimen.
LABORATORY TEST
If you’ve ever had to give a tube of blood or a little cup of urine in your doctor’s office, you’ve had a laboratory test. Laboratory tests check a sample of your blood, urine or body tissues. Laboratory tests are often part of an initial evaluation. Specialized tests are useful in aiding in the diagnosis of allergy, identifying the integrity of the immune system and evaluating metabolic function which may contribute symptoms.
PULMONARY FUNCTION TEST

Lung function tests (also called pulmonary function tests or PFTs) evaluate how well your lungs work. These tests determine how much air your lungs can hold, how quickly you can move air in and out of your lungs, and how well your lungs put oxygen into and remove carbon dioxide from your blood. The tests can diagnose lung diseases, measure the severity of lung problems, and check to see how well treatment for a lung disease is working.

In a pulmonary function test, you breathe into a mouthpiece that connects to an instrument called a spirometer. The spirometer records the amount and the rate of air that you breathe in and out over a period of time.

If you’re being diagnosed with or have asthma, you may receive specialized pulmonary function testing to evaluate the reversibility of air flow and any air flow obstruction. Likewise, patients with COPD may receive specialized pulmonary function testing to evaluate the integrity of the lung to process oxygen uptake and carbon dioxide removal as well as lung volumes.

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