Your first visit to the allergist will take approximately two to three hours. You may be asked to stop taking antihistamines or other decongestant drugs prior to your visit. Some drugs may interfere with the results of your tests, and getting the most accurate results from your initial assessment is very important. If you have any questions regarding medication you may be taking, please contact one of our nurses.
The allergist will conduct a patient history including an analysis of your symptoms, a relevant physical exam and a thorough environmental evaluation. The allergist will also conduct a skin test / allergy test to determine your specific allergens. Common Allergies in New Mexico include, Juniper, Mulberry, Cottonwood, Elm, Tumbleweed (Russian Thistle), Sage and Wingscale (Chamisa). This skin test is effective to evaluate both inhalant allergens and food allergens.
A skin test is a simple procedure that is best described as tiny scratches made on the surface of the skin on your back. The scratches are conducted with a small instrument similar to a plastic toothpick, which contains trace amounts of a single allergen. If you are allergic to a substance, a small mosquito bite-like bump will appear. For those patients who do not react to this type of skin test, an intradermal process may be performed. The allergist can determine your unique allergy profile and the severity of your allergies based on the results of the skin test. Because everyone has specific allergic triggers, knowing what you are allergic to is important for effective treatment.
Once the allergist identifies the allergens that are causing your symptoms, a treatment plan can be recommended. These treatment plans include avoidance of allergens, medications, and/or allergy shots (immunotherapy).