Common Questions

What should I bring to my first appointment?

Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time to provide us with the necessary paperwork and insurance information so we can input it into our system. Some of you may prefer to print the New Patient Forms located on our forms page and complete it prior to your appointment.

What is your cancellation policy?

We require a 24 hour notice to cancel all appointments. Please be sure to contact us if you will not be able to make your scheduled appointment to avoid a cancellation fee.

What is your Inclement Weather Policy?

Our office will make every attempt to notify all news channels in the event of a closing due to inclement weather.  We will also leave a message on our answering machine and place an announcement on the website.  

What are your hours for allergy injections?

Monday & Wednesday:  8am - 5pm
Tuesday & Thursday:  8am - 6:30pm
Friday:  8am - 1pm

*You MUST be signed in for an allergy injection 30 minutes prior to closing.

 

Click This Link For Additional Frequently Asked Questions Ask the Allergist?

 

Why see an allergist?

The first step in an effective allergy treatment plan is to undergo testing and come to a correct diagnosis.  This is best accomplished by an Allergist, a Physician who specializes in treating allergies and asthma.  Many people with allergies never see a physician for testing because of misconceptions about the procedure.  But allergy tests, which have been greatly improved over the years, are now more convenient, accurate, and relatively painless.  Along with a good medical history, the results of allergy testing can confirm that symptoms are the result of allergies rather than some other cause and can identify the specific substances that trigger allergic reactions.  An allergist can then determine the most appropriate and effective treatment.  

How are allergy tests performed?

Allergy tests are performed using either skin tests or blood tests and should be conducted by an experienced clinician who will select the move effective testing method based on individual patient conditions.  

How do skin tests work?

There are two types of skin tests: percutaneous, also known as prick-puncture testing; and intracutaneous, or intradermal, testing.  During a percutaneous test, a drop of suspected allergen (in a purified solution) is pricked or scratched on the surface of the skin.  The test is performed on a patient's back or forearm with multiple allergens tested at once.  If a patient is allergic to one of the allergens, redness and swelling will appear at the site of the scratch.  In addition to confirming the presence of an allergy, the amount of redness and swelling also can help determine the severity of that allergy.   If a prick-puncture test is inconclusive, a physician may perform an intracutaneous test.  During an intracutaneous test, small amounts of purified allergen solution are injected into the patient's arm or forearm.  Because the allergen is injected below the surface of the skin, it is a more sensitive test.  

How long does it take to get skin test results?

One of the advantages of skin testing is that the results are known quickly.  Positive reactions usually appear within 20 minutes for both types of skin testing.  Delayed reactions can occur several hours after intracutaneous skin testing, sometimes causing swollen, reddened bumps at the spot where the injections were administered.  The delayed reaction usually disappears 24 to 48 hours later.  

Is skin testing painful?

Both types of skin tests are relatively painless, as evidenced by the many young children who undergo testing with little complaint.  Prick-puncture tests are only mildly uncomfortable becuase they scrape the skin without drawing blood.  The intracutaneous test produces mild discomfort because it uses only very fine needles just below the surface of the skin.  

Do medications interfere with test results?

Some medications interfere with skin test results. Fortunately, most asthma medications do not.  You should not abruptly stop taking any prescripted medications without first checking with your physician.  In most cases, we advise stopping the following medications at least 5 days prior to allergy skin testing:  Benadryl, Chlor-Trimeton, Dimetapp, Tavist-1, C.P.M., Periactin, Tylenol PM, Atarax, Phenergan, Allegra, Claritin, Zyrtec, Clarinex, Astelin, Tofranil, Nardil, Parnate, Elavil, Sinequan, Wellbutrin, Zantac.  The following medications

DO NOT

have to be discontinuted prior to testing: Oral steroids, Inhaled steroids (for nasal allergies and asthma), Oral decongestants (Pseudoephedrine, Phenyephrine), Nasal decongestants (Afrin). Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI), Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRI), Proton Pump Inhibitors(PPI).

When are blood tests used?

Blood tests, known as radioallergensorbent testing (RAST), often are used to test for allergy when:

  • A physician advises against the discontinuation of medications that can interfere with test results or cause medical complications
  • A patient suffers from severe skin conditions, such as widespread eczema or psoriasis
  • A patient has such a high sensitivity level to suspected allergens that any administration of those allergens might result in potentially serious side effects

Which testing method is best?

Prick-puncture tests more reliable, precise, convenient, and less expensive than blood tests.   A new blood test, called ImmunoCAP, is now available and may be more accurate than the RAST tests, particularly for indentifying food allergies.   Allergy tests alone do not confirm or rule out the presence of allergies.  All test results, regardless of type, require a trained specialist to interpret the results in conjunction with the patient's medical history.

Are there risks or side effects associated with allergy testing?

Any medical procedure involves certain risks, but the risks associated with skin testing are minimal.  Most often the side effects are limited to symptoms very much like a minor local allergic reaction.  In very rare cases, reactions can be systemic (generalized).  That is why it is important to have skin tests performed by expert physicians in a medical facility where appropriate emergency equipment and medications are available. 

 

 

 

Contact Us

Office Hours
Monday:8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday:8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Wednesday:8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday:8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Friday:8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Saturday:Closed
Sunday:Closed