How Are Allergy Tests Performed?

Typically, to perform an allergy test, small amounts of the suspected allergens are injected into a patient’s arm, which is then monitored for a reaction. Overall, allergy testing can require 1 to 2 hours to complete. Administering the injections themselves does not require much time, so this time is mostly needed to ensure we are viewing the most accurate results. 

How to Prepare for Your Allergy Tests

Like any test, proper preparation is necessary for accurate results. Please be sure to avoid taking beta-blockers, such as those used to treat high blood pressure, before testing. Check with the doctor who prescribed your medication to ensure this can be done safely for one week before testing. In some cases, a doctor may allow you to switch to a different class of medications until after you have completed your allergy tests.

Conditions Tested with Allergy Testing

  • Pollen allergies
  • Dust allergies
  • Other environmental allergies

Benefits of Allergy Testing

  • You will know exactly what is causing your allergies
  • It can be completed relatively quickly
  • Can ensure you are receiving the best treatment

The Allergy Testing Timeline at Texas ENT Specialists in Sugar Land

1 Week Before Testing

You receive an email from our team with a list of medications you should not take before allergy testing. If you have any questions regarding any of the items on our list, you can call our office. If you are experiencing any respiratory illnesses or if you have a history of respiratory issues, please let us know.

1 Day Before Testing

If you have hair on your arms, you will need to shave the area below the shoulder to above the elbow as well as both inner forearms 12 hours before testing. It is crucial that you do not do this on the morning of the test since this may cause skin irritation, which can interfere with allergy testing.

The Day of The Test

  • All caffeinated beverages should be avoided before the test
  • Take a shower in the morning
  • Do not use any scented products, such as perfumes or colognes
  • Avoid using any tobacco products for at least four hours before your allergy test

During your allergy testing appointment, your doctor will administer these injections along your arms and wait for a reaction. There will be a substantial amount of time between the injections and when the results are ready to observe, so it is recommended that you bring something along to pass the time, such as a book or a tablet.

Since the allergy tests are administered along the arms, you should wear something that is short-sleeved or something that can easily slide up your shoulder. If there is any reason why you cannot conduct these tests on your arms, such as sleeve tattoos, wear loose shorts that can slide up past your upper thighs.

Young children between the ages of 5 and 7 who have small arms should wear loose-fitting shorts to their appointment.

All patients will have a pulmonary lung function test performed. It will help our team ensure you are not suffering from a lung condition that may put you at high risk throughout the allergy testing process. Tell your doctor if you have asthma, a family history of asthma, or if you are aware of any other lung conditions and if you use inhaled medications.

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