In-Office Allergy Tests at Georgetown Ear, Nose & Throat
Allergy is defined as an over reaction of your immune system to particles in which it is exposed and leads to symptoms such as runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing and watery eyes.
Allergy evaluation and skin testing involves deciding whether the patient’s symptoms are caused by an allergy and, if so, determining what triggers the allergy as accurately as possible. The resulting diagnosis will target the appropriate treatment or clinical intervention to allow avoidance of the allergic trigger which will help to eliminate or minimize symptoms.
An accurate diagnosis is obtained using a combination of approaches and tests that can include skin-pricks and blood tests to identify and confirm a diagnosis.
Common Allergy Tests
Skin Prick Allergy Test
The skin is pricked and a multitude of different allergens are placed on each part of the skin that gets pricked so it can get under the skin. You will wait 20 minutes and Dr. Franklin will look for swelling, redness, itching, or other signs of an allergic reaction. This is the most common test.
Intradermal Allergy Test
In this test, the allergen is actually injected into the skin. This is usually to test for allergies from things that naturally get injected into the skin, such as certain antibiotics (penicillin) or bee venom. Sometimes, this is done if the prick test fails by Dr. Franklin has reason to believe you are allergic to an allergen from that test.
Patch Allergy Testing
This test is usually used to test skin reaction to allergens that touch the skin. Allergens are taped to the skin for 48 hours, and Dr. Franklin will look at the area in 72-96 hours to look for reactions.
Blood Allergy Test
This test actually looks for changes in IgE antibodies, which are specific to allergic reactions, rather than just skin reactions.