The path toward easing your allergy symptoms begins with comprehensive diagnostic and evaluation services that pinpoint the cause of your reactions and determine the best course of treatment. Board-certified allergy specialists in the Sutter Health network employ a wide range of tests to determine the source and severity of your allergies.
Breathing tests like spirometry measure how quickly you exhale air. These tests help a doctor identify whether your allergies are interfering with your breathing and causing asthma or other lung diseases. Another test called bronchoprovocation measures the sensitivity of your airways. This test is performed while you engage in physical activity or after you inhale doses of cold air or a special chemical.
Food challenges help determine if a person has outgrown a food allergy. Ingestion challenges more commonly check for improved tolerance of a previously allergy-inducing food, such as peanuts. Both graded challenges and ingestion challenge testing involve introducing a potential allergen, gradually and under close supervision by a doctor, to test for allergic reaction. Medication challenges are also used as a method to rule out a drug as a cause of symptoms.
With skin prick testing, drops of suspected allergens are placed onto and scratched into the skin. The allergist then monitors any reaction that can be used to determine allergic sensitivity.
After testing, the allergist will review your results using your medical and exposure history to confirm or rule out a suspected allergic trigger.