Allergy Testing and Immunotherapy FAQ
How is the allergy test performed, and is it painful?
The testing is not painful. A tiny comb gently scratches or abrades the skin surface. After the test is performed, it takes about 15 minutes to develop. A positive test will appear as a raised, red bump on the skin, similar to a mosquito bite.
How long does the allergy testing take?
The testing takes approximately 30 minutes- 15 minutes to administer and 15 minutes to register the results- so you don’t have to wait long to learn the cause of your allergies.
Who can be tested?
Adults and children over the age of 2 years can be tested for allergies. This is especially helpful for patients who suffer with asthma, allergic pneumonia, conjunctivitis (pink eye), undiagnosed cough, dermatitis (skin irritation), insect allergy, rhinitis, sinusitis, urticaria (hives) and angioedema (similar to hives, but beneath the skin).
Which allergens will be tested for?
You will be tested for the 50 most geographically specific mold and airborne allergens in your area. We will test for products from dust mites, proteins from pet hair and dander, molds, trees, grass and weed pollens. The test does not detect food allergies.
What is immunotherapy?
Allergen immunotherapy is a form of treatment aimed at decreasing your sensitivity to substances called allergens. It involves introducing increasing amounts of an allergen to a patient over several months.
How long will I have to be on immunotherapy?
The course of immunotherapy varies by individual. The initial course of immunotherapy is one year, but full allergen immunity can take anywhere between two and five years.
How soon will I see results from immunotherapy?
Relief from allergies varies by individual, but the vast majority of patients see results within the first few months of immunotherapy.
What if I am currently taking antihistamines?
In order to achieve the most accurate test results, you should discontinue any antihistamines, over-the-counter or prescription drugs, for at least three days prior to allergy testing.
What are the benefits of allergy testing and immunotherapy?
One in five people suffer from symptomatic allergies. These symptoms can vary greatly from minor discomfort to severe disability. The cost of allergies can be significant when factoring in lost productivity and days off from work. Combined with expensive drugs that serve only to mask the symptoms, the average cost to patients can be upwards of $2,000 per year. And, at the doctor’s discretion, immunotherapy can be performed in the comfort and convenience of your own home, eliminating the need for costly and inconvenient visits to the office.
Is immunotherapy effective in eliminating allergies?
Yes, immunotherapy is very effective in greatly decreasing or even eliminating the symptoms of allergies. Up to 85% receive a complete cure or noticeable reduction in allergy symptoms.
Are the testing and immunotherapy covered by insurance?
Yes, most insurance plans cover allergy testing and immunotherapy. We will verify insurance benefits prior to testing.