|Allergy Skin Testing:
Information from allergy tests may help your doctor develop an allergy treatment plan that includes allergen avoidance, medications or allergy shots (immunotherapy).
Allergy skin tests are widely used to help diagnose allergic conditions, including:
• Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
• Allergic asthma
• Dermatitis (eczema)
• Food allergies
• Penicillin allergy
• Bee venom allergy
• Latex allergy
Skin testing can be used for people of all ages, including infants.
Blood tests aren't done as often as skin tests because they can be less sensitive than skin tests and are more expensive.
In general, allergy skin tests are most reliable for diagnosing allergies to airborne substances, such as pollen, pet dander and dust mites. Skin testing may help
diagnose food allergies. But, because food allergies can be complex, you may need additional tests or procedures.
Spirometry Testing (Lung Function Testing)
Spirometry Tests Your Lung Function
Pulmonary function testing measures how well you are breathing. There are different types of pulmonary function tests that can be done. Spirometry is one type of
pulmonary function test. Spirometry is a simple test to measure how much (volume) and how fast (flow) you can move air into and out of your lungs
Why test my lung function?
Through routine spirometry, lung diseases can often be diagnosed in the early stages when treatment is most effective. Once a lung disease is diagnosed and
treated, routine spirometry tests can monitor changes in lung functions with specific treatment. This will help your doctor find the best treatment plan for you.
What happens during the spirometry test?
You will be instructed how to perform spirometry. Basically, you will take in a deep breath and blow into a mouthpiece attached to the spirometer. You will blow out as
hard and as fast as you can until your lungs feel absolutely empty. You will be asked to repeat the test several more times until there are two to three good efforts.
You will be coached and encouraged to do your best during the test. A good effort during the test is important to get good results.
A computerized sensor (which is part of the spirometer) calculates and graphs the results. The results demonstrate an person's air flow rates or the volume forced out
within the first second. This is the Forced Expiratory Volume in the first second (FEV1). This indicates whether or not there is airway obstruction. Spirometry also
records the total volume of air forced out of the lungs. This is the Forced Vital Capacity (FVC). We also check the smaller airways reflected by the FEF 25-75 values.
Patch tests (contact allergy testing)
Dermatologists apply patch tests in patients with skin rashes that are chronic and not specific, to find out whether their skin condition may be caused or aggravated by
a contact allergen. Patch tests are not the same as allergy prick skin testing, which are used to diagnose hay fever allergy (house dust mite, grass pollens and cat
dander). Skin prick tests have very limited value for patients with skin rashes.
A range of substances can be used for patch testing. There are set panels that we use, TrueTest, but empty wells will be used to test for your own products at times.
Contact dermatitis is different from allergies, it develops over several days after exposure and goes on for days or weeks. Therefore, patch tests are placed and left
on for several days and read at 2,3 and 7 days to evaluate if a reaction develops.
Further testing may be necessary. Patch tests do not always explain the cause of a dermatitis.