Allergy and Asthma Care, P.A.
12000 Elm Creek Blvd
Arbor Lakes Medical Building
Maple Grove, MN 55369
We ask that you arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled time so we process your information before you see the doctor.
What to bring to your appointment
When you arrive
- Your insurance card
- Physician referral forms, if required by your insurance company
- List of prescription and/or over-the-counter medication, including dose and frequency
- Information about your medical/surgical history
- Recent x-rays or other relevant medical records
If you wish, you may go to the Helpful Forms page to print these forms, complete them, and bring them with you.
You will first see the nurse who obtains your vital signs-your blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate, etc. along with other useful information.
Your allergist will then meet with you to obtain a complete medical history and examine you. Allergists are especially interested in your allergy symptoms, exposures, the timing of your problems, and the effect of past treatments. The allergist also looks at how your other medical conditions may relate to your allergies.
With this information, you and your allergist decide if further testing is needed to clarify what you are allergic to, how well your lungs are functioning, or if other problems are present. Three typical tests are described below; further testing may include CAT scans, X-rays, challenges, and blood tests.
The lung (pulmonary) function test detects and measures airway obstruction and response to treatment. It is often repeated on a regular basis. The lung function test will help you and your physician determine how severe your asthma is and how much medication you need. Furthermore, the test will help assess if your current therapy program is effective. Pulmonary function tests (also called spirometry) are among the most important tests for asthma.
Peak flow is the maximum speed that you can blow air out of your lungs after taking a full breath. You can measure your peak flow with a peak flow meter. A peak flow meter measures changes in the size of your airways. It measures the rate of flow in liters per minute (peak flow rate).
This technique involves introducing a small amount of allergen into the skin by making a small puncture through a drop of the allergen extract, usually on the back. The sensation is like a light pin prick, followed by mild to moderate itching. The discomfort is minimal, even for children.
Test results are available within 15 minutes of testing, so you don't have to wait long to find out what is triggering your allergies. And you won't have any other symptoms besides the slightly swollen, small hives where the test was done; this will go away in a short time.
Parents of small children may find it difficult to tend to them while being tested; for your peace of mind, we suggest you arrange for a baby sitter rather than bring your children with you.
Sometimes your allergist will do a blood test, called a RAST test. Since this test involves drawing blood, it costs more, and the results are not available as rapidly as skin tests. RAST tests are generally used in cases in which skin tests cannot be performed, such as on patients taking certain medications, or those with skin conditions that may interfere with skin testing.