The Allergy Clinic specializes in testing and treating environmental allergies, the things which we breathe that cause allergic reactions. The type of testing we do is called modified quantitative testing (MQT). This type of testing allows us to determine a person's sensitivities and then formulate a treatment extract based on each person's response and tolerance.
Concentrated amounts of things patients may be allergic to are placed on the forearms using an applicator that does not break the skin. After 20 minutes the skin surrounding the applications site are interpreted. They may be red, itchy and/or raised. Depending on the response, small intradermal sticks may be done on the upper arm which will help determine the correct dilution to be used for the immunotherapy (allergy treatment). Weekly treatment injections for 3 to 5 years are recommended to change and correct the immune system's response. During the testing, some people may experience an increase in allergy symptoms, such as watery eyes, sinus and/or nasal congestion or itching. Some people may feel more tired the day of testing. The symptoms usually do not last long and are no more bothersome than the person's normal allergy symptoms. The test sites are usually clear within a few hours. An antihistamine can be taken after testing to decrease symptoms.
Allergy Testing in Children
Most children tolerate the testing very well once they realize that it does not hurt. Children need to be able to sit still for 20 minutes. When testing children we can use a topical anesthetic cream to numb the upper arm prior to doing the intradermal sticks. The allergy testing takes approximately 1 hour, depending on the extent of testing appropriate for you. A Doctors order is needed to do the testing. We are also working with a specialized off site laboratory and can offer food testing and follow up counseling. In order to make the testing procedure more comfortable for you, we suggest you wear a loose fitting T-shirt or sleeveless blouse.
Medications to Avoid Prior to Testing
Some medications may mask skin reactions during testing. It is very important that you do not take ANTIHISTAMINES such as Zyrtec, Xyzal, Claritin, Allegro, Benadryl, Astelin, Patanase, Pataday, and several other over the counter medications for 5 days prior to testing. ANTIULCER medications such as Zantac, Tagamet, Pepcid; and ANTIDEPRESSANTS such as Amitriptylline, Nortriptyline or Doxepin must be stopped 3 days prior to testing. If you are taking BETA BLOCKERS it is very important that you let us know. If you are taking any other over the counter or prescription medications, but are not sure of their effects, please call us to see if they may affect testing.
If you have allergies, you will always have that tendency. However it is common for allergies to wax and wane or change the way in which they affect you. There are three main ways to control or relieve allergy symptoms. The first is to decrease your exposure to the allergens, second is the use of medications, and third is immunotherapy (allergy shots).
Please check with your insurance carrier regarding coverage for allergy skin testing (ICD codes 95004 and 95024) prior to your appointment. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum benefits. However, we are unable to guarantee any estimated insurance coverage. Financial arrangements are available, and our financial advisor can assist you with a payment plan. The approximate fee for your scheduled testing will be $500.00. Other fees will be discussed with you prior to starting your treatment.
Our office hours are Monday through Thursday 7:00 a.m. To 4:30 p.m. You may call 605.342.3280 and speak directly with an allergy nurse.