Allergy Testing

Do you suffer from red, itchy, watery eyes, and/or swollen eyelids?  Don’t know what you’re allergic to?  At the Eye Specialists, we test for eye allergies or Ocular Surface Diseases (OSD), like red, itchy, watery eyes that are bothered by the same irritants that cause sneezing and a runny nose among allergy and seasonal allergy sufferers.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology estimates that 50 million people in the United States have seasonal allergies, and its prevalence is increasing — affecting up to 30% of adults and up to 40% of children.  And in some cases, eye allergies can play a role in conjunctivitis (pink eye) and other eye infections.

What Causes Eye Allergies?

Normally harmless substances that cause problems for individuals who are predisposed to allergic reactions are called allergens.  The most common airborne allergens that cause eye allergies are pollen, mold, dust and pet dander.

Eye allergies also can be caused by reactions to certain cosmetics or eye drops, including artificial tears used for treating dry eyes that contain preservatives.  Food allergies and allergic reactions to bee stings or other insect bites typically do not affect the eyes as severely as airborne allergens do.  We do not test for food allergies.

Allergy Testing

If you are suffering from red, itchy, watery eyes, and/or swollen eyelids, make an appointment to see Dr. Hwang.  Then, we can make an appointment for you specifically for the allergy test to see what you’re allergic to, educate you on preventative methods, and how to treat your condition.  The test is quick, simple, painless (no needles), and can help give you the answers and tools you need to get relief from your symptoms.

Allergy Testing Prep

How to prepare for your Allergy Testing appointment.  First, do not take any oral antihistamines at least 5 days prior to your appointment.  These include cold tablets, sinus tablets, hay fever medications, oral treatments for itchy skin, and allergy medications such as Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, Actified, Dimetapp, Benedryl, Tylenol PM and others.  Secondly, do not take any nasal and/or eye antihistamines medications at least 2 days before your appointment, such as Patanase, Pataday, Astepro, Optivar, or Astelin.  Thirdly, you can continue to use intranasal allergy sprays such as Flonase, Rhinocort, Nasonex, Nasacort, Omnaris, Veramyst, and Nasarel.  And lastly, you can continue to use an asthma inhaler and your oral medications and vitamins.

Skin testing will be administered at the office under the supervision of a technician and Dr. Hwang since occasional reactions may require immediate therapy.  These reactions may consist of any or all of the following symptoms: itchy eyes, nose, or throat, nasal congestion, runny nose, tightness in the throat or chest, increased wheezing, lightheadedness, nausea and itchy skin.

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