- 1 What Is Allergy Skin Testing?
- 2 How Is It Performed?
- 3 What Am I Being Tested For?
- 4 Does Testing Hurt?
- 5 How Long Does The Allergy Testing Take?
- 6 Who Can Be Tested?
- 7 Is There Anything I Have To Do To Prepare For My Appointment?
- 8 How Soon Will I Get The Results Of What I Am Allergic To?
- 9 What’s The Next Step After My Testing Is Finished?
- 10 Are The Results Permanent?
- 11 Does My Insurance Cover Allergy Testing?
What Is Allergy Skin Testing?
Perennial and seasonal allergy sufferers endure symptoms ranging anywhere from itchy/watery eyes and stuffy/runny noses to wheezing and hives. Specific allergens are determined through allergy skin testing. Once the allergens are identified, treatment begins and allergy patients can start to feel relief.
How Is It Performed?
Allergy skin testing is done using the skin prick test (SPT), which is also known as the puncture or scratch test. This test involves a needle or lancet that barely breaks the skin of the forearm. Each lancet administers small traces of an allergen extract into the forearm with the purpose of eliciting a reaction (IgE reaction). Once the skin-prick test is performed, results will take from 15 to 20 minutes to appear.
What Am I Being Tested For?
Dr. Abramson tests for 70 different types of environmental allergens, including tree, grass and weed pollen, molds, and dust mites, to name a few.
Does Testing Hurt?
Because the lancets just barely penetrate the skin, skin-prick test patients often feel nothing more than mild and brief discomfort. Patients undergoing food allergy testing will have two to five tubes of blood drawn using standard venipuncture procedures.
How Long Does The Allergy Testing Take?
Testing takes approximately 30 minutes – 15 minutes to administer the skin-prick test, and a 15 minute wait time to determine whether an allergic reaction has occurred.
Who Can Be Tested?
Anyone over the age of two can be tested for allergies. Patients with a history of anaphylactic reactions or patients who suffer from severe asthma should not take the test.
Mild or moderate asthma sufferers not receiving medication or treatment, as well as women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, should also not have the skin-prick test administered, and instead should inquire about blood allergy testing.
Is There Anything I Have To Do To Prepare For My Appointment?
There is no preparation required prior to having a skin-prick test performed. Patients taking antihistamines should discontinue use five days prior to their appointment date. All patients are advised to inform the nurse of any medications they are taking at the time their appointment is made.
How Soon Will I Get The Results Of What I Am Allergic To?
For patients who have had the allergy skin test, results are ready immediately following the 15-minute waiting period. Food sensitivity/intolerance test patients can expect to wait anywhere from 7 to 10 business days for their results.
What’s The Next Step After My Testing Is Finished?
For allergy skin test patients with a positive result, an individual treatment plan to desensitize them from their allergen is implemented. The patient is also advised to avoid or limit exposure to the environmental allergen that causes distress. Patients with a positive food sensitivity/intolerance result have several treatment options available. Dr. Abramson will determine the best treatment for the individual patient. It is also advised that foods tested positive for sensitivity or intolerance should be avoided completely.
Are The Results Permanent?
Proper treatment can provide a patient with relief from their allergies by eliminating adverse reactions to the allergens. As there is no medication or cure for food sensitivities/intolerances, the best course of action is to avoid these foods completely.
Does My Insurance Cover Allergy Testing?
Most insurance plans cover allergy testing. We will contact your insurance carrier prior to your appointment to verify insurance coverage for the test. We will then contact you and explain the benefits covered by your insurance, and address any other of your questions or concerns.