What You Need to Know About Allergy Testing
What Is an Allergy?
An allergy is a condition of having an exaggerated response to an aeroallergen, an otherwise harmless airborne substance.
- Allergic Rhinitis: Commonly known as hay fever, symptoms may include nasal congestion, runny nose and eyes, sneezing, and itching
- Allergic Conjunctivitis: When your eyes are exposed to an aeroallergen trigger, you may experience itching, burning, redness, swelling, and excess tear production
- Asthma: People with Asthma will often suffer from a worsening in asthma symptoms when exposed to an aeroallergen trigger such as red, swollen airways, thick mucous production, chronic cough, wheezing, and shortness of breath
Know Your Triggers
When an allergic person encounters a trigger such as pollens, spores, moulds, animal dander, house dust or mites, the immune system reacts by releasing chemicals called histamines, which cause allergy symptoms.
If you suffer from rhinitis, conjunctivitis, or asthma, allergy testing can determine which specific aeroallergens trigger your symptoms. Modern allergy treatment is simple, safe, and effective.
If a clearly identified trigger is found, one treatment option to prevent future symptoms is immunotherapy (allergy shots or drops)
Immunotherapy, taken as either a shot or a drop, is a safe and effective method to prevent repetitive allergic disease and can offer long-lasting relief and even a cure for many people.
Book Your Appointment
Allergy Testing appointments are available at the following Appletree Medical Centres:
C153-240 Sparks, Ottawa ON, K1P 6C9
Thursday 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Saturday 12:00pm – 2:30pm
2-1582 Bank Street, Ottawa ON, K1H 7Z5
Thursday 8:30am – 12:00pm
2573 Baseline Road, Ottawa ON, K2H 7B3
Thursday 2:00pm – 7:00pm
Friday 9:30am – 12:00pm
2948 Baseline Road, Ottawa ON, K2H 8T5
Monday 10:00am – 2:30pm
4-2150 Robertson Road, Ottawa ON, K2H 9S1
Saturday 10:00am – 1:00pm
150 Katimavik Road, Ottawa ON, K2L 4A2
Thursday 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Greater Toronto Area
100-2025 Midland Avenue, Scarborough ON M1P 3E2
Friday 1:00pm – 4:00pm
20-1450 O’Connor Drive, East York ON, M4B 2T8
Wednesday 10:00 – 12:30pm
1A-545 Steeles Avenue West, Brampton ON, L6Y 4W5
Tuesday 10:00am – 2:00pm
Wednesday 1:00pm – 5:30pm
Friday 12:15pm – 4:45pm
900 Albion Road, Etobicoke ON, M9V 1A5
Wednesday 9:00am – 12:00pm
Friday 4:30pm – 7:30pm
4700 Keele Avenue, North York ON, M3J 1P3
Tuesday 1:00pm – 5:00pm
102-3603 Highway 7 East, Markham ON, L3R 8W3
Tuesday 1:00pm – 4:00pm
2077 Lake Shore Boulevard West, Toronto ON, M8V 4C2
Friday 9:30am – 12:30pm
13-3355 Hurontario Street, Mississauga ON, L5A 4E7
Tuesday 11:00am – 1:00pm
Saturday 1:00pm – 2:00pm
4062 Confederation Parkway, Mississauga ON, L5B 0G4
Monday 9:30am – 11:30am
Wednesday 3:00p – 5:00pm
106-1971 Queen Street East, Toronto ON, M4L 1H9
Wednesday 10:30am – 12:00pm
What to Expect During Your Appointment
An allergy assessment begins with a questionnaire to document the history of the problem and relevant environmental factors. Once the history is documented a skin prick test is done on the forearm to identify which allergen is causing the problems.
Patients will be asked to complete a Pulmonary Function Test to determine lung function.
15 minutes after the skin prick test is completed, the forearm will be reviewed to evaluate the reaction(s).
The doctor will review the results of your skin test and pulmonary function test to determine what is the best course of action – no further action required, symptomatic treatment, or immunotherapy.
After Your Appointment
If immunotherapy is determined to be the best course of action, the prescription will be faxed to the pharmacy. The pharmacist will call you to finalize the order and it will be shipped to your preferred location within 6 weeks.
When your immunotherapy serums are received in clinic, we will call you to come in to start your treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a referral?
Is there anybody who shouldn't have an environmental allergy test?
If you are taking any of the following medications or have any of the following medical conditions:
Beta-blockers (medications ending in “olol”)
Blood-born virus (HIV, Hepatitis etc.)
Asthma that is not well controlled
How often can I be tested?
OHIP covers 1 allergy test per year
How should I prepare for the test?
Bring a list of all medications that you take. 72 hours prior to the appointment, stop taking;
Antihistamines: Claratin, Reactin, Allegra, Benadryl, Clarinex, Aerius, Zaditor, Alocril, Patinol
Decongestants: Cold and Sinus Medications
Tricyclic/Tetracyclic antidepressants: Amitriptyline, Nortriptyline, Amoxapine, Desipramine, Doxepin, Imipramine, Maprotiline, Protriptyline, Trimipramine
Anti-Acids: Pepcid/Famotidine, Axid/Nizatidine, Zantac/Ranitidine, Tagamet/Cimetidine
If possible, avoid taking any puffers on the day of the test. Wear clothing that you can easily expose your forearms.
What allergens are included in the test?
Inhalants: House Dust, Dust Mites, Cockroac
Animals: Cat, Dog, Guinea Pig, Horse, Birds (mixed feather), Mouse, Rabbit
Moulds: Mould mix, Botrytis, Fusarium, Dreschelera, Phoma, Stemphylium, Smuts, Aspergillus, Alternaria, Cladosporium, Epicoccum, Neurospora, Mucor, Penicillium, Pullularia, Rhizopus
Tree Pollens: Tree mix, Ash, Beech, Birch, Elm, Maple, Oak, Poplar, Sycamore, Willow, Alder
Grass: Grass mix
Weeds: Ragweed mix, Cocklebur, Goldenrod, Marsh Elder, Sage, Dandelion, Kochia, Lamb’s Quarters, Nettle, Pigweed, Plaintain, Russain Thistle, Sorrel