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Allergy & Immunology specializes in the treatment and management of an extensive spectrum of allergic, respiratory, and skin disorders in both adults and children, including:
Allergy testing is commonly performed with a prick or scratch test. A plastic prick dipped in an allergen is used to scratch the skin and apply the allergen to the skin. After about 15 minutes, the test is interpreted for a positive reaction. See below for more about the allergy testing process.
Immunotherapy, or allergy shots, are a series of injections that are created specifically for each patient with what the patient is allergic to. The injections continue until a "maintenance" dose is reached and the "maintenance" dose continues for a period of time.
Asthma is a respiratory condition in which the airway has chronic inflammation that can result in difficulty breathing and/or increased mucus production. It can be intermittent or persistent and have a wide range of severity.
The diagnosis of asthma will be based on the patient's history and physical exam and pulmonary function tests.
Treatment manages the symptoms of asthma to limit its effect on day-to-day quality of life and prevent triggers and exacerbation.
Skin tests are the most common method of testing for allergic reactions to substances, or allergens, in the environment. A test consists of introducing small amounts of allergens into the skin and noting the development of a positive reaction, which consists of a wheal (swelling) and flare (surrounding area of redness).
We employ the prick method, where the skin is pricked with a sharp device that introduces the allergen into the skin. Other allergy testing options include injecting the allergen with needles or going to a lab for blood tests.
We recommend that you check with your insurance prior to your appointment to see if allergy testing is a covered benefit. You may be responsible for applicable deductible, copay, or coinsurance.
The testing process itself will take about 30 minutes, however, do expect the entire appointment to last for 1-1.5 hours. We test a variety of important allergens that are found in the Metro Detroit region including trees, grasses, weeds, molds, dust mites, and animal dander. After administering the allergens, we wait approximately 15-20 minutes to review the results. A positive reaction occurs when the skin becomes red, raised, and itchy.
This skin reaction will gradually dissipate within 30‐60 minutes. Some people will experience local swelling beginning 4‐8 hours after testing. This is not serious and typically no treatment is required. It should disappear in the next few days. Less than 1% of patients may develop a systemic reaction to skin testing, which may consist of any or all of the following symptoms: itchy eyes, nose, or throat, nasal congestion, runny nose, tightness in the throat or chest, wheezing, lightheadedness, nausea or vomiting, hives, or anaphylactic shock. This is very rare, but in the event of such reactions, the staff is fully prepared and emergency equipment is readily available.
Some medications interfere with skin testing results. If you are having allergy testing in our office, we ask that you stop taking oral antihistamines starting 3 days (72 hours) prior to testing. If you are not sure if you should stop a certain medication, please call our office. Common oral antihistamines include:
Pregnant women should not undergo allergy skin testing. A pregnancy test can be ordered if you are unsure if you are pregnant.