- What is Allergy Testing?
- Allergy testing, also known as skin, prick or blood testing, is a method for determining to what substances you are allergic to.
- Skin allergy testing is relatively a painless form of allergy testing which is reliable.
- A skin allergy test determines specific allergens based on skin reactions.
- A small “prick” or puncture is made on the surface of your skin and a minimal amount of certain allergens are put into your skin.
- Reactions occur within about 15 minutes.
- You don’t have to wait long to find out what is triggering your allergies.
- The preferred method is skin test but if it is unsafe or not possible (due to skin condition), the Blood tests are performed. If you are taking certain medications, then blood test will be preferred for testing.
- Always inform your treating Physician if you are currently using any anti-allergy medications, antidepressants, heart burn or asthma medications because these can interfere with the results.
- Generally for Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Northern emirates policies, allergy testing is exclusion.
- Always check benefits and exclusion list in your health insurance policy. All eligible services/benefits require prior-approval from NEXtCARE.
- What are the Indications?
- Severe dermatitis that excludes skin testing.
- Patient receiving symptomatic treatment (e.g. anti-allergy drugs).
- Allergens that cannot be used for skin testing (e.g. toxic, insoluble).
- Patients with suspected high sensitivity to the allergen where testing could be dangerous.
- Rhinitis – not controlled by medications and allergen avoidance (e.g., Hay fever).
- Asthma – ongoing symptoms due to exposure to indoor allergens.
- Suspected food allergy – based on previous systemic reaction to a certain food.
- Insect sting (e.g., Bee and Fire ants).
- Suspected drug allergy – based on previous systemic reaction to a certain drug.
- Testing drug allergy before starting the treatment (e.g., Penicillin or Omalizumab therapy).
- Eczema and Dermatitis in children.
- Recurrent skin infections with pus.
What are the common risks/complications?
- Development of slightly swollen, red, itchy bumps (wheals). These wheals may be more prominent during the test and may disappear in few hours to a couple of days
- Swelling, redness and itching at the site of the test
- itching of the eyes
- itchy and/or runny nose
- Itching of throat
For Healthcare Providers
- All Allergy testing require pre-approval from NEXtCARE.
- When clinically significant symptoms exist and conservative therapy has failed.
- If any of the initial test results is positive, including a total IgE level or a complete blood count (CBC) and white blood cell differential (specifically eosinophils and basophils). Increases in these test results may suggest an allergy, but they may also be elevated for other reasons.
- Routine repetition of skin tests is not indicated 86001 & 86005 (e.g., annually).
- Retesting with the same antigen(s) should rarely be necessary within a 3-year period. Exceptions include young children with negative skin tests or older children and adults with negative skin tests in the face of persistent symptoms.
||Specific Allergy Tests
||Gamma-globulin (immunoglobulin); IgE
(For total quantitative IgE)
|Not Covered CPTs
||Specific Allergy Tests
||Allergen specific IgG quantitative or semi quantitative
||Allergen specific IgE; quantitative or semi-quantitative, crude allergen extract
||Allergen specific IgE; qualitative, multiallergen screen
- https://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/0815/p621.html Østergaard, P. A., Ebbesen, F., Nolte, H., & Skov, P. S. (1990). Basophil histamine release in the diagnosis of house dust mite and dander allergy of asthmatic children: comparison between prick test, RAST, basophil histamine release and bronchial provocation. Allergy, 45(3), 231-235.