Dr. Layton and his staff strive to use the most accurate methods possible to test for a variety of allergies. We know that each child and adult is different so we make every effort to choose the most appropriate testing method for each patient. The following briefly summarizes the testing techniques used at Dr. Layton's office:
Intradermal Provocation/Neutralization Food Testing:
A measured amount of the suspected allergen is injected under the patient's skin in an attempt to objectively diagnose an allergic reaction. One of the benefits of this type of testing is that we can get an accurate representation of the sensitivity to an allergen by measuring the amount of skin growth around the dilution. Once we reach a point where there is no longer a reaction around the injected area, we know we have reached the neutralization dose. This testing technique rarely provokes symptoms and has proven to be at least 80% accurate in diagnosing food allergies.
Sublingual Provocation/Neutralization Food Testing:
Instead of an injection of the suspected allergen, this testing technique involves putting a few drops of the antigen under the patient's tongue. Because this type of testing does provoke symptoms, we conduct several tests to determine the amount of reaction. The first test is completed by checking the pulse 10 minutes before and 10 minutes after the test dose is administered. For adults and older children, we also compare handwriting or reading before and after the test has been performed. Frequently in children we'll see behavioral changes. The problem with the sublingual test is that it is subjective and can have a placebo effect on people with multiple complaints. The benefit is that if we are actually able to see the symptoms, and then resolve them. It can be, with certain patients, more effective than the intradermal technique.
This type of testing is best used when testing for pollen or inhalant allergies. It involves injecting 8 to 24 allergens under the patient's skin and measuring the resulting swelling 20 minutes later.
Elimination Diet Testing:
The purpose of our Elimination Diet Program is to identify hidden food allergies that may be causing some or many of your child's symptoms. In a controlled, medically supervised program, common food allergens are completely removed from the diet for two weeks. During this period, the individual is prescribed a responsible, balanced diet restricted to foods such as fruit, vegetables, chicken, turkey, fish and grains. After the elimination period, the foods are added back, one at a time, to see if a reaction develops. A direct cause and effect relationship is a signal to parents and physicians to limit or eliminate particular foods from the child's diet.