Alpine Medical Associates
“What to expect when Dr. Brown prescribes Allergy Testing”
Preparation for Allergy Testing
1. It is very important that when you come in for allergy testing that you DO NOT wear perfumes, colognes or scented lotions/creams/hair products. We ask this for the comfort of others who might be sensitive to them. 2. DO NOT use antihistamines or decongestants for 48 hours prior to testing. Common brand antihistamines include: Claritin, Clarinex, Zyrtec and Allegra. There are many store brand and over-the-counter cold and sinus medications that also contain antihistamines or decongestants. Common over the counter allergy medications include (but are not limited to) Benadryl (also called diphenhydramine) and sudafed. Be careful of using any “cold and sinus” formula or any “nighttime” formula. If you have questions about the medications you are taking, please contact our office. 3. It is important to eat protein before allergy testing. If your testing is in the morning, make sure you have a breakfast that contains protein. If you are testing in the afternoon, your lunch should include protein rich foods. 4. Allergy testing is conducted on the upper part of your arm so please wear a short sleeved, loose fitting top. Short paper gowns are available if you forget. 5. Please let your allergy technician know if you have asthma or serious allergic reactions before the testing begins. NOTE: If you are wearing scented items (as listed above) or have taken an antihistamine or decongestant within 48 hours prior to your allergy testing appointment, we will not be able to test you and your appointment will have to be rescheduled.
Allergy testing at Alpine Medical Associates utilizes the intradermal method, that is your allergy technician inserts a very small amount of antigen under the first layer of skin. Your technician then reads the reaction of your body. Usually a positive reaction is evidenced by a bump or redness or both. There are 3 broad categories of allergy testing: Weeds, Trees and Grasses; Dust, Molds, Mites and Fungus and Foods. WEEDS, TREES and GRASSES testing includes about 75 of the most common allergy producing pollens found around Lake Tahoe and Western Nevada including pine trees, rabbit brush and sagebrush. Testing is approximately two hours. DUST, MOLDS, MITES and FUNGUS testing includes 100 various allergy producing irritants commonly found in homes and businesses., Testing time is approximately 2 hours. FOODS testing targets those foods most likely to be the source of the problem. Your technician will discuss your eating habits before testing to focus on foods you may be sensitive to. There are approximately 100 foods we test for but most patients will require only about 20 -30. Foods testing requires about 1 hour. You will need to make an informal (drop-in) follow-up appointment to see your allergy technician after the testing is completed so the technician can explain the results of the testing, answer any questions, you may have and help you to get the maximum benefit from the allergy tests. NOTE: The time required to complete allergy testing is only approximate. Some patients may require additional time depending upon the severity of their reactions.
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