Allergy Testing

Allergy Testing services offered in Alexandria and Lansdowne, VA

If your allergies are making you miserable, it’s time to get serious about treatment. Dealing with sneezing, watery eyes, and stuffy noses can be tiresome, which is why allergy testing is your first step in your path to relief. The team at CN Internal Medicine in Alexandria and Lansdowne, Virginia, offers comprehensive allergy testing in the office, followed by at-home recommendations. To schedule an appointment for allergy testing, use online booking or call the office nearest you.

Allergy Testing Q&A

When should I consider allergy testing?

If your allergies are causing you trouble multiple days a week, it’s time to be tested. There are two key treatments for allergies. The first is to avoid your allergens as much as possible. The second treatment is immunotherapy, which is often called allergy shots. Before you can get either treatment, you must know your exact allergens. Immunotherapy only works when your shots contain specific allergens. You also need to know your allergens before making a reasonable plan to avoid them. You can schedule allergy testing whenever you need symptom relief. However, you should get tested and seek treatment when your allergies cause:

  • Chronic nasal congestion or sinus infections
  • Allergy symptoms several months out of the year
  • Allergies severe enough to affect daily activities
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath

If you have asthma, getting immunotherapy to treat your allergies helps improve asthma symptoms.

What types of allergy tests are there?

There are several basic types of allergy tests: Skin test Sometimes called a skin prick test, a skin test helps measure visible reactions to allergens. Your provider at CN Internal Medicine places a small amount of allergen on your skin; then, the area is pricked or scratched so the allergen can get under your skin. If you’re allergic to the allergen, you’ll have a small skin reaction in about 15 minutes. Intradermal test This is similar to a skin test, except that your provider injects the allergen under your skin. Blood test Your blood can be tested for allergies if you can’t do a skin test due to a skin condition. The providers at CN Internal Medicine perform your skin test in the office and check for multiple potential allergens, including local or regional allergens.

What happens after allergy testing?

When your skin test is finished, you’ll talk with your provider about the substances you’re allergic to. They’ll advise you on how to avoid your allergens as much as possible, and whether you want to start immunotherapy, or allergy shots. If you decide to undergo immunotherapy, you’ll take a series of shots that contain a small amount of your allergen. Over time, your body builds up a tolerance to the allergen so you stop having allergic reactions. The providers make immunotherapy easy to obtain by prescribing allergy shots. Keep in mind, however, that there’s only one way to treat a food allergy, and that’s to eliminate the food from your diet. If you’re interested in allergy testing, call the office or book an appointment online.