Allergy and Asthma Testing

Allergy and Asthma Testing in Elmhurst, NY

Getting an allergy test can help you find out what you’re allergic to, whether it’s through eating, touching, or breathing in. Allergy tests are usually skin or blood tests and can help you avoid risky situations that you may not want to find yourself in. Our primary care providers will determine whether an allergy test is needed by looking at your medical history and taking an exam to see what allergies you should be tested for.

What is Allergy Testing?

There are a variety of allergy tests that our allergist and immunologist offers here at Rego Park Medical Associates. The two most common allergy tests are skin and blood tests, which look for reactions to common allergens including,

  • Pollen
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Pet dander
  • Mold
  • Medications
  • Foods

Since some food allergies can be severe and even life-threatening a blood test is actually safer than a traditional skin test. Skin tests are typically used to look for more mild-to-moderate reactions to indoor and outdoor allergens. Sometimes an elimination diet is necessary to figure out what food or foods you or your child is allergic to. This is something that we will discuss more in depth when your child comes into the office for an evaluation.

When Should You Seek Out an Allergy Test?

If you aren’t sure whether you’re allergic to something or not, but you start experiencing symptoms of allergy like it’s hard to breathe, you’re itchy, or you have hives, and you notice that your symptoms are not relieved by over-the-counter medications, it may be time to talk to your primary care doctor at Rego Park Medical Associates. Your doctor will be able to look at your history and take an exam to make sure that this may be an allergic reaction.

Once our team determines that you may have allergies, they will start performing tests. The most common form of allergy testing is skin testing, where your skin is pricked with a small irritant to see if there’s a reaction. If a skin test can’t be performed, your doctor may perform a blood test.

How Are Allergies Treated?

The most common way your allergies are treated is by avoiding your allergens. Our team will help you identify what can cause an allergy in your body and will help you to avoid these allergens. They may also recommend over-the-counter medications like nasal sprays or eyedrops.

If your allergies are severe, your doctor may recommend immunotherapy. This consists of a series of injections over a period of a few years. Another form of immunotherapy is through a tablet that is dissolved under the tongue and can be used to treat certain pollen allergies.

What is Asthma?

If you find that you have a hard time breathing and that you’re often struggling to catch your breath, there’s a chance that you may be dealing with asthma. It’s really important to be able to identify asthma so that it can be properly treated and managed. You might find that you’re coughing often, dealing with wheezing, or you have a shortness of breath. Asthma can range from a mild nuisance to a life-threatening condition that needs to be properly dealt with.

Types of Asthma

For some people, asthma can flare up in specific situations. These situations can point to what kind of asthma you might be dealing with. The types of asthma include:

  • Exercise-induced asthma
  • Occupational asthma
  • Allergy-induced asthma

Symptoms and Causes of Asthma

Asthma symptoms may vary for each person, and you might have asthma attacks infrequently or have symptoms all the time. Common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Wheezing
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Coughing or wheezing attacks
  • Urticaria, also known as hives

It’s not fully known what the cause of asthma is, but it’s thought to be environmental and hereditary. It's important to visit Dr. Audrey Weissman at Rego Park Medical Associates for comprehensive asthma testing. 

Asthma Triggers

There are various triggers and irritants that could cause an asthma attack. Common triggers include:

  • Physical activity
  • Allergens
  • Respiratory infections
  • Cold air
  • Smoke and other air pollutants
  • Stress
  • Sulfites or preservatives
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Diagnosing and Treating Asthma

Dr. Audrey Weissman will perform a physical exam to make sure they can rule out other conditions that may cause similar symptoms to asthma. They’ll also measure your lung function to determine how much air moves through your lungs as you breathe.

There’s no cure for asthma but there are ways to manage and treat it. You may need medication to control your asthma and make it less likely to have an asthma attack. You can also use an inhaler for relief from an attack. You might also need to treat allergies in order to lessen your allergy symptoms.

To learn more about allergy and asthma testing, contact Rego Park Medical Associates in our Elmhurst, NY office today at (718) 592-3200 to schedule an appointment!