ALLERGY TESTING SERVICES IN HOUSTON & THE WOODLANDS
PURPOSE OF ALLERGY TESTING
An allergy test identifies airborne and some food agents you might be allergic to. It also guides us in further treatment of allergies. Skin testing is generally less positive with food allergies than with inhalant allergies. Typically prick testing is performed on the back only after it is clear that the individual did not take antihistamines, nasal steroids, oral steroids, singular or beta-blockers for one week prior to the skin testing.
Texas Sinus, Allergy, Snoring, and Sleep Institute specializes in helping people who suffer from seasonal and chronic allergies through immunotherapy and other treatment options.
If you are tired of sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, and sore throat due to allergies, give us a call or book an appointment with Dr. Khetarpal today.
TESTING FOR ALLERGIES
Generally speaking, there are two types of tests. However, the personal history of an individual is important in guiding allergy testing. Skin testing either as prick test and percutaneous or intradermal testing is performed more commonly and is more sensitive than blood or RAST testing.
SKIN TESTING FOR CHILDREN
Generally, we have been successful in skin tests especially prick testing in children above the age of 3. If your child is very queasy or squeamish, then a RAST test may be offered. A RAST test or radioallergosorbent test is a way of testing a person's blood to see if they have any allergies.
PURPOSE OF BLOOD RAST TESTING
While the RAST test is quite reliable, it tends to underestimate the incidence of milder allergies. While the RAST test is quite reliable, it tends to underestimate the incidence of milder allergies.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING AN ALLERGY TEST
We test for 74 different allergens including weeds, grasses, trees, dust mites, molds, cats, dogs, and cockroaches. We do a combination of 2 different types of tests:
A prick-puncture technique (applied to the back)
Intradermal dilutional testing (applied to the upper arms)
The testing takes approximately 1-1.5 hours. A lot of this time is utilized in patient education. We will show our patients a couple of videos and go over in detail what you can do to decrease environmental allergen exposure.
PREPARING FOR AN ALLERGY TEST
You will be given a preparation for allergy testing sheet as well as a history form which needs to be completed and returned on the day of testing. The allergy testing preparation sheet will let you know what, if any, medications need to be stopped prior to testing. Once testing is completed, you may resume taking your anti-histamines. The goal of allergy injections is to decrease the number of daily medications you are currently taking. Some patients start to notice an improvement in symptoms within 3 months of beginning allergy treatment.
INSURANCE AND ALLERGY TESTING
Someone in our office will verify benefits with your insurance company. We will attempt to give you an estimate of the approximate out-of-pocket expense for allergy testing, allergy serum, and allergy injections. This is not a guarantee of payment. We encourage all patients to verify benefits also. Once these benefits are obtained, someone from the allergy department will call to answer any questions and schedule an appointment for allergy testing.