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The type of allergy testing that is done at this clinic is somewhat different than allergy testing that you may have had done previously. The methods used at this clinic for testing allergic responses to inhalants such as dust, molds, pollens and dander is called Serial Dilution Endpoint Titration (SDET). SDET is an accurate and quantitative, as well as cost effective method of skin testing to diagnose environmental allergies.
Scratch and prick tests, as well as single dilution intradermal skin tests are not quantitative. SDET testing and interpretation techniques are well standardized while this is not the case with other forms of skin testing. SDET testing allows a safe and effective starting dose to begin immunotherapy. This can be determined quickly and individually for each allergen tested. This is not possible with single dilution tests such as scratch, prick and the usual intradermal.
Provocative Neutralization testing is the method we employ for evaluating food sensitivities. During this procedure, carefully produced skin wheals are made for each food tested. The whealing response with intradermal testing normally correlates well with the presence or absence of sensitivity to that food. Rather than just evaluating wheal response, the patient's symptoms are considered as well during the testing. Provoking symptoms is not required, but frequently occurs in this form of testing. One food is tested at a time rather than a whole group of them at once in order to be more precise in the diagnosis of food sensitivities.
Since foods are tested one at a time, this type of allergy testing takes longer than scratch, prick or previous forms of intradermal allergy testing. This technique of allergy testing also becomes a form of therapy. During this test procedure, a "neutralization dose" is also determined. The neutralization dose is the proper dose to alleviate the symptoms related to ingestion of the allergic food. The symptoms that are produced during testing are usually mild and rarely severe.
Both the SDET and Provocative Neutralization testing procedures allow us to determine the optimum dose to begin desensitizing one to the substances to which they are allergic. The appropriate antigens are placed into a vial so they can be administered sublingually. Testing procedures are done in a special, environmentally controlled, testing area. Food and chemicals are tested in a blind fashion i.e. the patient will not be told what he or she is being tested for. This is done to decrease any psychological influence on the allergy testing. The environmentally controlled unit helps decrease exposure to external allergens such as dust, pollens, and chemicals.
Sublingual extracts are administered daily. Most people get relief of their symptoms within three to four weeks and sometimes sooner. As they stay on the vaccines, their symptoms will usually lessen even more. Occasionally a person takes up to three or four months to notice a lessening of their symptoms. Most patients need to take one drop daily of each vaccine. However, it is not uncommon for patients to have to increase the dose up to two drops three times daily, if they don't start to get relief within a month. Do not increase the drops without talking to Dr. Linchitz or a member of the allergy testing staff first
After you have been on the desensitization vaccines for six to eight weeks, you should make an appointment to se Dr. Linchitz for follow-up. If your symptoms have not lessened by that time, then by all means, be sure to make an appointment to see Dr. Linchitz, as there may be other problems complicating your situation. Normally the desensitization process allows patients to eat all the foods to which they are allergic. We recommend, however, that patients go on a rotation diet so that they are not ingesting the same foods on a daily basis. If you continue to eat the allergic foods on a daily basis, you may need to increase the frequency of your allergy drops. Again, if there are any questions, talk to the allergy testing technician or make an appointment to see Dr. Linchitz.