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Allergy Testing

Allergy Testing

Is a blood test or finger stick test for allergies as good as skin testing?
The fingerstick or blood test is very sensitive at not only detecting allergies but determining how allergic to things in the environment or diet you may be. On very rare cases, a patient might be negative on serum tests, but positive on skin testing. We provide services in Frisco, Mckinney, Texas.
Do I need to stop taking my antihistamines or other allergy medicines before I get the Allergy test?

There is a detailed list of medications provided below that must be stopped prior to testing.

Are there any side effects to the test?

No. The benefit of the allergy testing is that it’s more specific than skin testing for allergies, but does not have any risks, such as local or systemic reactions (anaphylaxis).

What does it mean when the test says I’m a 4 on dust mites and a 2 for cats?

These tests reveal not only whether you are allergic to common environmental elements, but also quantified each allergen on a scale from 1-6, with the higher the number indicating more sensitivity to that particular allergen. We use these differences to determine starting points for your allergy treatment.

How do I decide whether or not to get on allergy treatment?

If you can control your allergy symptoms with a single daily medication with possibly the addition of a second allergy medicine during seasonal flare-ups, then you should utilize the allergy test results and make environmental changes as necessary. However, if you need two or more medications seasonally or year-round, and despite these medicines continue to have break-through symptoms, you should consider immunotherapy.

At what age can my child start immunotherapy?

Often, children are started on allergy treatment too soon. Staring too soon is ineffective due to rapid immune system changes occurring in young children. Often, the child’s maturity level is not adequate for weekly allergy shots. We have found that allergy test results become more uniform from year-to-year in children between the ages of seven and nine. Children this age are usually mature enough to handle a weekly injection. With sublingual delivery of immunotherapy becoming a mainstay of treatment we are able to treat children earlier comfortably

 My child has asthma. Should they be tested for allergies or receive allergy immunotherapy?
Yes. Of all the benefits of allergy treatment, the ability to impact the course and severity of asthma, especially in children, is one of the most compelling aspects of allergy treatment.
My child has eczema, should I be tested for food allergies?

Yes. Although skin manifestations of allergies may or may not be IgE mediated, most children, especially infants, will have positive test results on allergenex/immunoCAP and benefit significantly from the information as a guide for their diet.

My child has positive test results for food allergy and eczema/urticaria. Can they do shots, and if not, what can they do?
Children with skin manifestations of allergies need to be on daily AM antihistamines and daily PM antihistamines or Singulair; every day. They also need to adjust their diet to the lab findings. Immunotherapy is not recommended for food allergies, just avoidance.
I know that I am allergic, but the allergy test says that I have no allergies. How is that possible?

Well, it is not unusual for patients to be treated for allergies or have allergy symptoms, but not actually have IgE mediated allergies. This doesn’t mean that environmental elements can’t or don’t affect you; it just means your immune system isn’t sensized to those elements.

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How long until I notice an improvement in my symptoms after starting my immunotherapy?

Most patients will notice a difference within 4-6 months, and all should benefit by 12 months. This assumes no break in therapy, so it’s important that you do not miss your treatment doses.

I had allergies as a child and was on shots for 3-4 years and did well until I turned 40. Now, they seem to be back. Is this possible?

Some patients who suffered from allergies as a youth and underwent immunotherapy will have IgE hypersensitivity return later in life. You can benefit again from immunotherapy as an adult.

How does immunotherapy work?
The treatment contains varying concentrations of the exact allergens to which you are sensitive. By exposing your immune system to these allergens over me, and at increasing concentrations, your body will develop blocking antibodies that prevent you from reacting to the same allergens in the environment.
Do these blocking antibodies last forever?

No. They will slowly decrease after you stop therapy. But, a deeper level of your immune system termed the T helper cells, which control the type of IgE your body makes, changes after you have been on shots for a few years which can lead to the permanent benefit, or cure, for your allergies.

I read about a blood test that evaluates hundreds of substances in my diet or environment, but your Allergy testing only looks at 30-40. Why is that?

The tests you are describing evaluate for IgG recognition of those substances. There is no evidence that IgG mediates any reactions in our bodies to those substances. It merely reflects that your body has been exposed to them.

I have hives. Is it likely these are allergic in nature?

 No. patients with hives typically are negative on allergy assessment, except being an allergic food trigger. We provide services in Frisco, Mckinney, Texas.