Blog
Sep 08
Blog: Answers to Your Allergy Test Questions

If you are not sure what is causing those itchy, watery eyes and sneezes, Saratoga Hospital Medical Group – Allergy and Clinical Immunology can help. Led by allergist Dr. Lorelei Bourla, the practice specializes in diagnosing and treating allergies and asthma, as well as diagnosing and managing immunodeficiencies.

After an initial consultation and medical history, Dr. Bourla will perform tests to determine what triggers your allergic reactions. These frequently asked questions can help you understand what to expect. allergy

Q. What kinds of allergies can be tested in the doctor’s office? 
A.  At Saratoga Hospital Medical Group – Allergy and Clinical Immunology, you can be tested for allergies relating to pollen, mold, animal dander, and certain foods right in the office.

Q. What is an allergy skin test? 
A. The physician places a little bit of the allergen in question on a device designed to scrape the top layer of the skin. After 15 minutes, if you develop a hive (a red, itchy bump), then the test is positive. This test can be personalized to the area where you live, testing allergens common to your environment, including food items.

Q. What is an oral food challenge test? 
A. This test is used if skin or blood tests are inconclusive. Under medical supervision in the doctor’s office, you would slowly eat small amounts of the food in question, gradually increasing the amount, to determine whether or not you are allergic to that food item. This is not something you should try without a doctor being present.

Q. Will my allergy medicines, even over-the-counter ones, affect my allergy test? 
A. Yes. For best results, if you can tolerate taking a break from your antihistamines, stop taking your allergy medication for the week prior to your skin test. Always discuss discontinuing medication with your doctor before you stop. If you can’t take a break, a blood test can be performed instead. It is not as sensitive as a skin test, but it can provide some good information.

If you have more questions, or would like to see an allergist, talk with your primary care provider about a referral. Allergist Lorelei Bourla, MD, is a board-certified, fellowship-trained physician located at 3044 Route 50, Saratoga Springs. Dr. Bourla and her team are committed to providing personalized, compassionate care, working closely with a patient's primary care provider and other specialists as needed. The office can be reached at 518-886-5814. Learn more at SaratogaHospital.org
 


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