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Tests and Treatments

Some of the tests we do to get your child back to learning and play:

  • Skin prick: A small amount of an allergen (anything that causes an allergy) makes contact with the skin through a prick of a small needle. If the child is allergic, a small reaction will appear on the skin in about 15 minutes. Any skin reaction usually goes away in about 30 minutes.

  • RAST: This test requires that we get a blood sample, using a needle and syringe. Results are usually available in about a week. “RAST” is short for “radioallergosorbent.”

  • Skin Patch: We place bandages with small amounts of possible allergens, or items that cause allergies, on the child’s back and/or shoulders. The child is allergic to any allergens that cause a rash or hive.

  • Spirometry: This test measures air flow as a child breaths out into a mouthpiece. If the lungs are obstructed due to allergies or asthma, for example, the air flow will be lower.

  • NIOX: To help evaluate or diagnose asthma, the child breaths air from a tube and then back out into a mouthpiece. This test measures the amount of nitrous oxide a child breaths out.

If allergies are the problem, treatments might include:

  • Medication

  • Making changes to the places, or environment, which cause allergies. These changes might include removing carpeting, for example, or limiting time outdoors during pollen season.

  • Immunotherapy, or “allergy shots.” This treatment helps the immune system respond better to items that cause allergies. It might be used for children with allergic asthma, hay fever (allergic rhinitis), conjunctivitis (swollen, itchy eyes), and allergies to insect bites.