What are some common allergy symptoms?
Allergy testing is offered in our Highland location and takes about 2 hours to complete. Testing is used to identify which substances you are allergic to, as well as their severity. The nurse administering your test will provide you with the results as soon as they are read, about 15 minutes after they are placed on your back or arm. Dr. Wandzel will see you once testing is complete to review your results and discuss your treatment. The results of your test will be used to guide your treatment more effectively in the future.
There are many different types of allergy tests, two of which are used by Dr. Wandzel. The first type of testing is called "scratch testing" and is used to screen patients for the most common environmental and food allergens. Adults receive approximately 20 tests that are placed on the upper back using a very small prick. After 12-15 minutes, your results will become visible to the nurse. Based on these results, the second type or phase of testing may be necessary. This type is called "intradermal testing," in which different types of allergens will be injected just under the skin of your upper arm. Not all patients will need this type of testing. Intradermal testing can produce a more sensitive response because it is injected slightly deeper under the skin than scratch testing.
Positive tests are often accompanied by varying degrees of itching and redness at the test sites, and resolve within 30-60 minutes. If symptoms are bothersome or severe, medications are available to treat them. Children under 12 will typically be given only scratch tests and no intradermals. In specific situations, a different type of testing called "RAST" will be offered through a local laboratory.
Certain medications must be avoided before testing. If you would like to schedule an allergy test, or if you have questions, please contact our office.
Dr. Wandzel tests for a variety of allergens in each of the following categories:
Immunotherapy (allergy shots): Given to people with the most severe allergies to build resistance to allergens. Dr. Wandzel does not offer shots at this time, so you will be sent to an allergist if he recommends this treatment.
Medications: antihistamines, decongestants, eye drops and nasal sprays.
Avoidance: simply avoid the foods and allergens that cause symptoms, for example, don't eat peanuts if you are allergic to them!
Environmental Control: thorough household cleaning, dust covers for bedding, use of air conditioner, installation of HEPA allergen filter on furnace, controlling humidity level between 35-40%, etc.
Treating contributory factors: for example, deviated nasal septum (the cartilage inside your nose), sinusitis, or surgical opening of the sinuses. This may include a combination of medications and/or surgery.