WHEN TO ALLERGY TEST
To confirm a diagnosis
Identify clinically significant allergens and the degree of sensitivity
WHAT IS ALLERGY TESTING?
Our practice performs MQT (multi-prick testing) within our office. For this test, our allergy clinic will lightly prick the skin on your lower forearm with a comb-like tool. Then, they will add a small amount of suspected allergen over the pricked area.
Intradermal testing is also performed for food testing.
You’ll know, and feel, the results more quickly than with a blood test. If the allergy tester sees swelling or if the area begins to itch, that’s a positive reaction; this means you’re more likely to be allergic to that particular allergen. A positive reaction could happen right away, or it could take 20 minutes. If there is no reaction, it's unlikely you’re allergic to said substance.
Multi-prick testing is a more sensitive and less expensive alternative to blood testing. Though rare, it’s possible to have a serious reaction. For this reason, our office may avoid skin testing if your risk for anaphylaxis or a severe reaction is high. This is also why our office will give you a skin test onsite. Our providers and staff are highly trained to deal with any reaction that might occur.
WHAT TO ASK YOUR DOCTOR
What’s the most likely reason for my symptoms?
Do I need allergy testing?
What type of allergy testing do you recommend and why?
How accurate are these tests?
Are there any risks to doing said testing?
Should I stop taking any medications prior to testing?
When will I know the results?
What do these results mean?
What should I do next?
PRIOR TO ALLERGY TESTING:
If you’re getting a multi prick test, you’ll be asked to stop taking vitamins, some but not all antidepressants, GERD medications, Hydroxyzine, Ambien, and any antihistamine medication 48 hours prior to allergy testing.
WHAT IS RAST (RADIOALLERGOSORBENT) TESTING?
Blood testing is another common way to measure the potential for an allergy. Rast testing looks for IgE antibodies in your blood that are specific to certain foods and/or other allergens. The higher the level to IgE, the more likely you are to have an allergy to that particular allergen.
Rast testing is particularly important for people who are at a higher risk for a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction, as well as for those with unstable heart disease.
WHEN WILL I KNOW MY RAST TESTING RESULTS?
While skin testing results are available promptly, usually 20 minutes are placement, you won’t know your blood testing results for several days. You’ll likely have it done at a lab instead of your doctor’s office.
SELECTION OF ALLERGENS TO TEST
Selection of allergens for skin testing is based on knowledge of common mold spores, a combination of common food allergens and our practice's own developed food allergens (i.e. hidden ingredients soy, corn), dust mites, pets, insect debris, major allergenic pollens, and other prevalent airborne allergens in your area and patient population.