Our Florida allergy specialists test for food, drug, latex, metal, mold, and animal allergies, and also offer the oral food challenge (OFC).
If you intermittently experience sudden sneezing, itchy eyes or wheezing, you could be suffering from allergies. An allergy test is an important exam carried out by a trained allergy specialist that determines if your body has allergic reactions to pollen, mold, latex, or any other known substances. Skin tests are the most common type of allergy test, although blood tests are occasionally necessary. Our office also provides patch testing, which is a needle-free exam that tests for allergies to various metals used in dental and orthopedic surgeries. Read our most frequently asked questions about allergy testing or contact us to find out how we can help you find allergy symptom relief.
If you’re ready to address your allergy, schedule an appointment with us today.
An allergy is a hypersensitive reaction from the body’s immune system to one or more otherwise harmless substances. Substances that trigger allergic reactions are known as “allergens”.
We are equipped to test for all types of allergies, including:
Under the guidance of an allergy specialist, an allergy test is conducted one of four ways: a skin test, blood test, patch test, or an oral food challenge (OFC.)
The first step of allergy skin testing generally involves a slight prick with a tool that has about the same sharpness as a pen. If further testing is required, we may introduce allergens through intradermal needles. (We may also ask for further blood testing for some patients.) Our methods are generally painless and most people only experience a slight pinch. Skin tests give fast results and typically cost less than blood tests. Certain medications can interfere with test results, so it’s important to tell your doctor about any medication(s) you currently take.
An allergy blood test also involves a single needle prick, but it takes a little longer to get results. Unlike skin tests, medicine will not interfere with these results. Doctors may have a patient do a blood test instead of a skin test if the patient:
In order to test for metal allergies or metal sensitivity, allergens are placed onto a patient’s skin, covered with a patch, and secured with hypoallergenic tape. No needles are involved. After the patches have been applied, they must be left in place for 48 hours. Our office provides two different types of patch tests: orthopedic and dental.
An oral food challenge (OFC) is a procedure where foods that are believed to trigger allergies are eaten slowly and in gradually increasing amounts in order to properly confirm or rule out a food allergy. Occasionally, an OFC is conducted on a patient with a known food allergy to see whether or not they have outgrown it.
OFCs are conducted when allergy skin/blood tests have produced inconclusive results. An OFC is considered the gold standard for food allergy diagnosis. It is a highly accurate diagnostic test because it allows the doctor to see whether the patient reacts to a particular set of foods or not, and how severe their reaction is.
The doctor or allergist will start by feeding you a test food in small, carefully measured doses. If no allergic reaction occurs after 15-30 minutes, the dose of food is slightly increased. Patients are unlikely to have allergic reactions upon the first ingestion since the first dose is very small. The majority of allergic reactions during an OFC are mild. If and when a reaction occurs, the doctor will stop the test, give the patient medication to relieve symptoms, and discuss ways they can avoid the food. If no reactions occur, the doctor will rule out that particular food allergy.
There are several ways you should prepare for an OFC:
If you have questions about allergy shots or would like to explore allergy immunotherapy, request an appointment or call our offices.