Detailed History of the Medical Problem on Hand
From the initial patient encounter, Dr. Shawky Hassan will obtain the most complete and accurate information from you and from any past medical records that you may have from other medical facilities. This is an important step. Accurate diagnosis to determine allergy and asthma services and treatment relies on a detailed medical history, analysis of the patient lifestyle, and evaluation of the patient's environment.
Comprehensive Physical Examination
This examination is conducted on the patient by the physicians themselves and not by anyone else.
Nasal or Sputum Cytology
In this procedure, samples are taken from the nasal secretions or from the sputum following a productive cough. The samples are then stained and examined under a microscope. This is a quick and informative procedure. It is done right in the office to help distinguish allergic reactions from infections in the nose, sinuses, and lungs.
Allergy Skin Tests
This is done right in the office. Allergy Skin testing is specific, sensitive, and less costly than blood testing for the diagnosis of allergies. Allergy Skin testing consists of two parts, but not every patient requires both parts:
- Prick Tests: This is done by placing several drops of the allergens on the skin of the back and making a prick in the middle of each drop. This allows a small amount of the allergen to enter the superficial part of the skin which results in an allergic reaction if you are allergic to this substance. The reaction consists of redness and swelling (like a mosquito bite), which appears a few minutes after the application of the test and reaches its maximum in about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Intradermal Tests: If the prick test on the back is not conclusive, the intradermal testing is done by injecting the allergens that failed to react on the back, in the skin of the arms using a fine needle. This test could be uncomfortable but is not painful. It is more sensitive than the prick test.
Endoscopy of the Nose, Throat, or Larynx
This procedure is done right in the office using a special scope. When compared to CT scans of the nose and sinuses, this procedure has no exposure to radiation, which is a common hazard whenever CT scans are done. We do not recommend CT scans of the nose and sinuses except if there is a specific and absolute indication that warrants this imaging. In addition, CT scans are very expensive procedures when compared to endoscopy examinations that expose patients to unnecessary high amounts of radiation.
Lung Function Tests
It is very simple, accurate, and conveniently done right in the office. Results are usually available immediately after the test is completed.
Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots)
This is a very effective method for treating allergies and is done right in the office. It is an injection program to increase the immunity of allergens that are specific in your case. Given usually by injection still is the gold standard of this form of treatment. The principle of this treatment is to gradually inject increasing amounts of allergens over several months. Immunotherapy reduces allergy symptoms, has been shown to prevent the development of new allergies and it can prevent the progression of allergic diseases. It increases immunity to allergens which has shown to be effective in approximately 85% of the cases. It offers more permanent relief from allergy symptoms than medications can ever do and can be administered during pregnancy and to breastfeeding mothers.
Laboratory or X-Rays
Whenever there is a need, blood, urine, sputum, or other tests or x-rays will be ordered from another facility.
Diagnosis of Food Allergy
- Physical examination
- Allergy skin tests
- Selected laboratory tests
- Trials of elimination diets
- Food challenges