Welcome to our Practice
Please fill out the New Patient forms completely and bring them with you to your appointment. We will also need a copy of your insurance card. We will call the insurance company for you to find out what services will be covered, any co-pays and if deductibles have been met. To do this in advance (so you will not have to wait at the time of your appointment) we will need the information on your insurance card. You can either call our office, fax a copy of your card (front and back) or mail the information to us- which ever is easiest for you.
The following is important information you will need to know, especially if you are taking over-the-counter or prescription medications.
ALLERGY SKIN TESTING
Skin tests are a method of testing for allergic antibodies. A test consists of introducing small amounts of the suspected substances, or allergens, into the skin and noting the development of a positive reaction, which consists of a wheal, swelling and/or flare in the surrounding area of redness. The results are available in 15 minutes after application of the allergen. The skin methods used are:
- PRICK METHOD: The skin is pricked with plastic prick devices, which are dipped in various allergen solutions. It takes only a few minutes to test for 72 different allergens.
- INTRADERMAL METHOD: This method consists of injecting small amounts of an allergen in the superficial layers of the skin.
- MULTI-TEST METHOD: Allergen solutions are placed on the individual prongs of a multi-prong plastic device which is placed firmly on the back for a few seconds, then removed. This method is very quick and is normally used on children.
You will be tested not only to important airborne allergens in the Southwestern Michigan area, but also some other allergens found in other parts of the United States, which is helpful to those who travel. You can plan on your appointment lasting from 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Please, before your appointment:
- Stop taking prescription or over-the-counter antihistamines for at least 5 days before your appointment. These include cold tablets, sinus tablets, hay fever medications or oral treatments for itchy skin. Some of the names of these drugs include; Benadryl, Allegra, Tylenol PM, Claritin, Clarinex, Zyrtec, Trinalin, Ornade, Seldane, Dristan, Dimetapp and many others. If you have a question as to whether or not you are using an antihistamine, please call our office.
- 2. Stop taking over-the-counter sleeping medications (Nytol) or other prescribed drugs such as amitriptyline hydrochloride (Elavil), hydroxyzine (Atarax), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil)- these drugs have antihistaminic activity and should be discontinued at least two weeks prior to testing. Please make our office aware if you are taking any of these medications.
- You may continue using allergy nasal sprays such as Decadron, Turbinate, Beconase, Rhinocort, Flonase, Nasonex, Vancenase or Nasalide. Afrin or Sudafed may be used temporarily but not on the day of testing
- You may use asthma inhalers (Intal, Beclomenthasone [Beclovent, Vanceril], Advair, Aerobid, Atrovent, Azmacort, alupent, Brethaire, Albuterol [Proventil, Ventolin], Serevent and oral theophylline [Theo-Dur, T-Phyl, Uniphyl, Theo-24, etc.). These do not interfere with skin testing and should be used as prescribed.
Please let us know at the time of your appointment:
- If you are taking any beta-blockers or anti-depressants
- If you are pregnant
- If you have a fever or wheezing (on appointment day)
Please bring a list of ALL the medications you are taking along with the dosages. We also suggest wearing a short sleeve or sleeveless shirt to your appointment.