Tests to Determine Drug Allergies

Tests to Determine Drug Allergies It isn’t uncommon for people to discover allergies when introduced to new drugs. There are a few different drug tests doctors can do to determine the source of the problem.  Skin Tests – In some cases, including specific antibiotics, skin tests can be performed to figure out if you’re allergic. This test is performed by injecting a small amount of a drug into the skin on your back or forearm. Should you develop a raised bump or a red rash, it’s safe to assume you’re allergic to that drug. Blood tests – Only a few drug allergies, like insulin, muscle relaxants, and a few antibiotics, can be discovered through blood tests. However, these tests aren’t preferred over skin tests, as skin tests are much more accurate. Physical exams – Paired with questions about medication and symptoms, a physical exam will help the doctor get a better idea about the allergy. Provocation tests – If blood or skin tests are not conclusive, a provocation test can be administered. This type of testing includes gradually increasing doses of a drug while watching for any reactions. This is a rare test that is usually performed only in specialized allergy centers as its risks include possible anaphylaxis and a severe...

Skin Biopsy

The WHATs, WHYs, and HOWs of Skin Biopsies If you’re experiencing troublesome or chronic skin problems, your doctor will likely request a skin biopsy. Here’s what you need to know about this common procedure. What’s Involved? Skin Biopsy Methods A skin biopsy is a process for removing and examining skin cells. It helps doctors understand skin diseases. Three types of biopsies exist:  Shave (razor-like tool removes a portion of epidermis and dermis)  Punch (small circular tool removes a portion of epidermis, dermis, and top fat layer)  Excisional (small knife excises a small area or abnormal-looking mass) Why Skin Biopsies are Useful A skin biopsy helps the doctor diagnose and treat skin infections, moles or other suspicious growths, actinic keratosis, and skin cancer. If you take blood thinners, have allergies, or are on medications that suppress your immune system, inform your doctor. Biopsies are generally very safe, but occasionally bleeding, bruising, or infections occur. How Biopsies Work Before any biopsy, you will be prepped and the targeted area will be anesthetized. Biopsies usually take about 15 minutes. Punch and excisional biopsies generally require sutures, and wounds heal in about 3 weeks. AAIR  wants you to understand all our skin procedures. Have further questions? Contact...

Spirometry

What is Spirometry? Spirometry is a simple, painless evaluation of lung functionality that helps determine the extent of breathing problems. A spirometer measures the amount of air you inhale as well as the amount and force of the air you exhale. All you have to do is take a deep breath in and then exhale as hard and as fast as you can into the spirometer. An analysis of your breathing will then be generated and recorded. AAIR can provide you with all the spirometry equipment you need. How Can Spirometry Benefit Me? Spirometry is a fantastic way of diagnosing lung and breathing problems. This can indicate if you will benefit from the use of a bronchodilator (breathing machine) or related treatment. A spirometer also shows if lung and breathing treatments are effective, as patients and doctors are able to measure change on the spirometer. If you have breathing problems, come see the lung experts at AAIR. We will examine your condition and help you decide if spirometry can improve your lung capacity. You don’t have to live with debilitating asthma or shortness of breath. AAIR can help you get control over these conditions so you can breathe easily...

Rhinolaryngoscopy

Getting a Better Look at the Nose and Throat There is an office procedure known as rhinolaryngoscopy that is used by allergists to gain a better visualization of a patient’s nose and throat. Local anesthesia and a topical decongestant are used in the procedure in the form of nose spray to make the procedure more comfortable. Though anesthesia is applied, the patient is not sedated and is still conscious. Through the use of a fiber optic scope, the doctor can see the inner linings of the nose along with the opening of sinuses to check for any structural abnormalities, like septal defects or nasal polyps. If necessary, the doctor may continue the rhinolaryngoscopy to examine the throat and voice box to check the motion and appearance of the vocal cords and the surrounding tissue. This type of procedure is usually only used if a patient has nose bleeds, a cough, changes in vocal quality, hoarseness, or congestion. Be sure to speak with your doctor if any of these symptoms affect you frequently. This procedure don’t usually take more than 30 minutes and doesn’t require any special preparation, like fasting. In fact, a patient who undergoes this procedure can drive themselves...

Patch Test

Find Your Allergies with a Patch Test Contact dermatitis, a skin reaction to a number of allergens or irritants, is itchy and uncomfortable. If you’ve had a rash or an allergic reaction from an unknown source, learn which substances are causing your discomfort through the patch test. What Does the Test Involve? With this form of allergy testing, a doctor applies a patch with multiple test substances on your back. You will leave that patch in place for 48 hours, and afterward, you should have a small, localized rash or irritation where the allergen is located. Your doctor can expose your skin to over 30 substances, depending on what your doctor suspects may be causing the reaction. The test extracts include chemicals found in:  Metals (most commonly nickel)  Latex Fragrances  Hair dye  Medications  Preservatives  Resins What Do I Need to Do? Your doctor will advise you to stop taking certain medications before the test. Allergy medication, for instance, can prevent reactions so you won’t know which substance is the culprit. While you’re wearing the patch, avoid bathing or participating in activities that cause a lot of sweating. Don’t live with discomfort. Call AAIR today and identify the allergens that irritate your...