If you suffer from seasonal sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose, or you have other symptoms like a rash or an upset stomach after eating certain foods, allergy testing is the only way to discover which substances trigger your allergies. Srinagesh Paluvoi, MD, FAAP, FACAAI, at Allergy & Asthma Affiliates, has extensive experience performing allergy testing to identify your exact allergens, then developing effective treatment. To schedule an appointment, call one of the two offices in Lansdowne and Gainesville, Virginia, or use the convenient online booking feature.
Allergy testing must be performed before Dr. Paluvoi can recommend treatment or start immunotherapy. You should also consider allergy testing if you experience:
Some allergens trigger asthma and eczema flare-ups. Getting tested and treated for allergies can help improve both conditions.
Skin tests are often used for allergy testing because they’re quick and detect a wide range of allergens. There are three types of skin tests:
During a skin prick test, Dr. Paluvoi places a small drop of suspected allergens on your skin (usually on the forearm), then lightly pricks or scratches the skin underneath each allergen. If you’re allergic, you’ll develop a skin reaction within 15 minutes.
Dr. Paluvoi performs intradermal testing by injecting a small amount of allergen under your skin. Like a skin prick test, you’ll have a quick reaction if you’re allergic to the substance. You may need this type of test if your skin prick test was inconclusive or if you have a suspected drug or venom allergy.
Patch testing detects contact allergens, including allergens that trigger eczema. You’ll be tested for the most common allergens, as well as those that are specific to your situation. A small amount of each suspected allergen is placed on a patch, then the patch is attached to your skin, usually on your back.
After you wear the patch for 48 hours, you’ll go back to the office, where Dr. Paluvoi checks to see if your skin reacted to any of the allergens. You’ll wear the patch two more days to allow more time for a reaction.
An oral challenge tests for food allergies. Dr. Paluvoi first performs a skin prick or blood test. If they produce inconclusive results, he may recommend an oral food challenge.
During an oral challenge, Dr. Paluvoi asks you to eat a small amount of the suspected food, then wait a short time for signs of an allergic reaction. If you don’t develop symptoms, you’ll repeat the process with larger doses each time. If you get to the end of the test and haven’t had a reaction, you’re not allergic to that food.
If you need treatment for allergies, call Allergy & Asthma Affiliates or book an appointment online.