Since every human body is different, certain allergy tests are more appropriate than others for each individual. In fact, allergy testing is not always necessary and can be very misleading when performed arbitrarily without first understanding the problem at-hand, which requires the expertise of a specialist. As such, Dr. Patel evaluates each patient and tailors an individualized testing plan for him/her. We then use the results of the testing to guide appropriate treatment options.
Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are noninvasive tests that show how well the lungs are working. The tests measure lung volume, capacity, rates of flow, and gas exchange. This information can help your healthcare provider diagnose and decide the treatment of certain lung disorders.
A home sleep apnea test is a very simplified breathing monitor that tracks your breathing, oxygen level, and breathing effort.
This type of testing includes answering the question “What Am I Allergic to in the Environment?” There are many culprits in the air that can lead to “allergies” or sinus symptoms, and skin testing can identify materials such as pollens, mold spores, dust mites, or animals that could be linked to your allergy symptoms. This is a safe and simple in-office procedure customized to include allergens specific to the Valley and beyond.
The test itself consists of our medical staff applying allergen extracts to the skin (forearms or back) using small prick devices, and usually only takes a few minutes to place. Dr. Patel describes the prick test as “feeling like a kitty scratch” or “a pinch” and the worst part of the test is usually itching at the site of any positive pricks, which usually resolves by the time you leave the office. Raised bumps or hives at the site of the prick can indicate sensitivity. Sometimes, additional tests called intradermal skin tests are performed depending on the patient history.
Testing for foods is not as straightforward as for environmental allergy testing, but more research is occurring every day and our providers at Desert Center keep up with the latest guideline-based recommendations. Consultation with Dr. Patel can determine which foods are helpful to test for and may include any combination of the following tests:
If you’ve experienced dermatitis or rash and have ever wondered “Could something that’s contacting me be causing this?”, then patch testing may be a reasonable test for you. The purpose of patch testing is to identify if a particular chemical or substance is causing the rash. Because this type of allergic reaction is a delayed-type reaction, stickers (“patches”) are placed on the patient’s back and worn for 48 hours at home. The patient then returns to clinic and the skin on the back is read by our medical staff to determine any reactions. We then access product databases to help identify the culprit agents and provide alternatives for the patient to use.
Penicillin and other medication allergies can be evaluated. As with all other forms of testing, Dr. Patel will first review the patient’s history and then determine the best test needed. Options for drug testing include skin prick testing and intradermal testing (mentioned above) as well as in-office challenges when appropriate.