ALLERGY TESTING PATIENT INSTRUCTIONS
Your appointment is on: ___________________________________________________________________________________
Your doctor or provider has recommended that you be tested for inhalant and/or food allergies to determine if various foods, pollens or other airborne allergens may be contributing to your currentsymptoms. Please read the following guidelines prior to your scheduled allergy testing appointment:
1. Certain medications can interfere with allergy testing. Please advise our staff of all
medications you currently take including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal supplements. A list of medications to avoid is included on the following page. If you have any questions about a particular medication, please contact our office at (503) 513-8693.
2. If you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant please notify our staff immediately.
You are not eligible for allergy skin testing at anytime during pregnancy.
for allergens is recommended during pregnancy.
3. You will need to notify our staff if you have a fever (100.5°
F or greater), current illness or
recent infection, or had an asthma attack within 3 days prior to testing. Call (503)513-8693 and our staff will give you further instructions related to your allergy testing appointment.
4. You should avoid exposure to suspected allergens for at least 24 hours before and after
testing. You should also avoid activities that will cause you to be overheated or increase your heart rate, such as strenuous physical activity or exposure to hot weather for at least 24 hours following testing.
5. Avoid applying lotions, creams, perfumes or body sprays on your upper arms for 2-3 days
6. Your allergy testing will take between 30 and 90 minutes to complete. Feel free to bring
reading materials, an iPod, handheld games or some other type of activity to entertain you during the test. Please do not bring small children in need of supervision to your appointment.
7. Please wear loose fitting clothing and/or a tank top under your shirt so that your forearms
and upper back can be accessed for allergy testing.
8. Please arrive at least 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment to fill out an allergy
symptom questionnaire and any other necessary paperwork.
MEDICATIONS TO AVOID PRIOR TO ALLERGY TESTING
It is important to know what medications to stop before allergy testing because some medications
may alter the results of your tests. Antihistamines that you may be taking for symptoms associated
with your nose, sinuses, or breathing can interfere with allergy skin testing. For this reason, we
recommend that you stop taking antihistamines at least 1 week before your allergy testing
. Be particularly careful about over-the-counter (OTC) cold, flu and sinus remedies as
most of these contain an antihistamine. Many OTC sleeping pills also contain antihistamines and
should be avoided. Certain antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications may also interfere with
testing. Please alert our clinic if you are taking medications for depression or anxiety. Remember
that stopping some medications may result in serious health consequences. Please contact our staff
at (503) 513-8693 if you have any questions regarding your medications and their possible affects
on allergy testing. Below is a list of common medications to avoid prior to allergy testing:
This list does not contain all medications that interfere with allergy testing. Please refrain from taking all cold medications, antihistamine nose drops and sprays, cough medications, cough drops and other antihistamines of any form.
ABOUT ALLERGY SKIN TESTING
All allergens used in testing contain extracts from pollens, molds, dust mites, insects or animal dander that may be causing your current symptoms. The allergens can be applied by various testing methods that will be determined by your physician or provider. Our testing methods include:
Skin Prick Testing (SPT)
A set of allergens is applied to the forearms using a small pronged device that pricks the superficial layer of skin and simultaneously applies a drop of allergen to the site. The prick sites are measured after 20 minutes. This test takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.
Intradermal Testing (ID)
Allergens of different concentrations are individually injected just beneath the superficial skin layer on the upper back. Each injection site is measured after 10 minutes to determine your sensitivity to a particular allergen. This test takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.
Modified Quantitative Testing (MQT)
A set of allergens is applied to the forearms using a small pronged device that pricks the superficial layer of skin and simultaneously applies a drop of allergen to the site. The prick sites are measured after 20 minutes and then a single injection of each allergen is applied at a concentration determined by your skin prick results. Each injection site is measured after 10 minutes. This test takes approximately 30 to 90 minutes to complete.
Benefits of Allergy Skin Testing
Allergy testing can aid in the identification of allergens that are causing your current nasal, sinus, eye, throat, ear or respiratory symptoms. Allergy testing can also identify the degree of sensitivity you may have to specific allergens. This information will aid your doctor or provider in developing an effective treatment plan to improve your allergy symptoms.
Risks Associated with Allergy Skin Testing
With allergy testing, as with any procedure that requires substances to be injected into the body, there is the possibility of adverse reactions. These generally are mild and include local reactions or mild systemic reactions. Although rare, more severe systemic reactions are possible.
Local Reactions (common):
Mild pain and tenderness at the injection site
Mild Systemic Reactions (occasional):
Nasal congestion and/or runny nose with itching of ears, nose and or throat and/or sneezing occurring within two hours of the injection.
Severe Systemic Reactions include (rare):
Wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and or airway swelling
Swelling of the tissue around the eyes, the tongue, and or throat
Stomach or uterine (menstrual-type) cramps
Loss of ability to maintain blood pressure and pulse.
We want to assure you that we place great emphasis on patient safety and well-being for all patients in our care. We maintain all the necessary equipment, medications and trained staff to respond effectively to these types of situations.
Alternatives to Allergy Testing
You are not required to undergo allergy testing. You may suspect certain allergens are causing your symptoms and choose to avoid exposure to those allergens. You may also choose to take medications to treat your allergic symptoms without confirming your symptoms are caused by allergy.
Factors Affecting Skin Testing
Several medications can interfere with the validity of data collected during allergy testing or withtreatment in the event of an adverse reaction. These medications include, but are not limited to, antihistamines, beta-blockers, tricyclic antidepressants, MAO-Inhibitors, herbal supplements and drugs used in the treatment of ADHD. Please disclose all medications you are taking when scheduling your allergy testing appointment.
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