Services include but are not limited to:
Allergy Skin Testing
This form of testing is the most convenient, reliable, and efficient means of diagnosing airborne, food, stinging insect, and penicillin allergy. A small drop of allergen is placed on the skin surface of the forearm or back and is then minimally punctured. Any resulting red, itchy bump that develops within 15 minutes is evidence of an allergic sensitivity. A second battery of tests where allergen is placed just under the skin is also routinely performed.
While allergy skin testing is the preferred method of diagnosing allergies, allergy blood testing, especially in the evaluation of food allergies, is often performed. This provides additional data on which to base recommendations. Lab testing is also frequently done when evaluating patients with recurrent infections and chronic hives and swelling.
Pulmonary function tests such as spirometry measure how much air one’s lungs can hold and the speed at which one can move air in and out of their lungs.
After baseline testing, a medication that opens the airways is often then administered to assess response to treatment. This is an important tool in evaluating and determining treatment for patients with asthma and chronic cough.
Oral Food and Drug Challenges
An oral challenge is a closely supervised procedure that aids in the evaluation and management of food and drug allergies. Incrementally greater amounts/doses of food or medication are administered to the patient while they are carefully monitored. This testing can be used to document whether a patient has a true food or drug allergy or has lost their sensitivity.
Allergy injections have well-documented efficacy in the treatment of airborne and stinging insect allergies. Patients typically receive injections to the allergens to which they are allergic on a weekly basis that gradually tapers to a monthly schedule. Treatment has been shown to enhance control and reduce medication needs in allergic asthma and allergic rhinitis and virtually cures venom allergy. Oral immunotherapy for airborne allergies that will obviate the need for injections is now available for patients with severe grass or ragweed allergy.
This injectable medication for severe allergic asthma is typically administered on an every four-week basis. Xolair is currently indicated for patients 12 and above and has been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of asthma episodes, and use of oral steroids and other asthma medications. Xolair was also recently approved for chronic unremitting hives.