Primary Care Physicians Can Offer Allergy Testing

At least 1 in 5 people suffers from allergies. That means that if you are a primary care physician seeing 20 patients per day, you will likely see at least four patients each day with allergies. You may be used to referring patients out for testing. However, primary care physicians can now test their allergic patients in-house using a turnkey allergy testing program.

Primary Care Physicians offer Allergy Testing

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Identifying symptoms

The most common allergy symptoms include a congested or runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, recurring ear and sinus infections, and hives or eczema. But watch for allergies to manifest in less common ways as well, including persistent coughing, headaches, fatigue, oral allergy syndrome (itching and tingling in the mouth when eating certain fruits and vegetables), and eosinophilic esophagitis (inflamed esophagus).

Doctors should also watch for symptoms of food allergy which include many of the symptoms above plus gastrointestinal problems, including diarrhea, cramps, nausea, and vomiting.

Allergy skin testing methods

There are a number of allergy testing methods, but skin prick testing is considered the gold standard by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Physicians can order an allergy test kit through turnkey allergy testing programs such as AllergyEasy.

Doctors can opt for an environmental allergy test kit to measure patients’ reactions to dust, pet dander, mold, and pollen (trees, ragweed, grass, etc.) A food allergy test kit can help doctors test for the most prominent food allergens, including eggs, wheat, milk, rice, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, and more.

Incorporating allergy testing into your practice

Once you have ordered an allergy test kit, it is easy to start offering allergy testing to your patients. With an hour or so of time, your nurse or medical assistant can receive the necessary training. Testing kits differ, but AllergyEasy uses a 10-pronged device called an OmniTestor. The nurse can dip the OmniTestor into wells containing different allergens, then penetrate the top layer of the patient’s skin (usually on the arm). The nurse can then let the test develop and measure the resulting “wheals” (small red bumps that form on the skin) to gauge a patient’s sensitivities to different allergens.

Studies show that most patients would rather be treated by their primary care physician than an unfamiliar specialist. By incorporating allergy testing into your practice, you can help patients better understand the nature and scope of their allergies in a familiar setting.

You can also adopt a turnkey allergy treatment program and prescribe sublingual immunotherapy for long-term allergy relief for your patients. Adding these services to your practice will allow you to increase your medical practice profits while better serving your patients’ needs.

About The Author

Stuart H. Agren, M.D.

Stuart H. Agren, M.D. completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1974. He completed additional training at L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and then established his private medical practice starting in 1975. Dr. Agren completed a mini-residency in Industrial Medicine at the Robert Johnson School of Medicine at Rutgers University and also completed training to become a certified Medical Review Officer.

Dr. Agren was the Medical Director at TRW and McDonnell Douglas in Mesa, Arizona and at Stauffer Chemical and Kennecott Copper in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University.

In his private medical practice, Dr. Agren specialized in family practice and allergy. In his work as a private practice allergist, he was one of the first doctors in the country to prescribe sublingual immunotherapy to his patients as an alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots). He has also been a trailblazer in the field of food allergy treatment and research, developing a program to treat multiple food allergies simultaneously using sublingual immunotherapy. Dr. Agren has been featured on local CBS, NBC, and ABC news affiliates and won the peer-nominated “Top Doc” award from Phoenix Magazine.

After 20 years in private practice, Dr. Agren became the Founder and President of AllergyEasy, which helps primary care physicians around the country offer allergy testing and sublingual immunotherapy treatment to their patients. Over 200 physicians in over 32 states use the AllergyEasy program to help their patients overcome environmental and food allergies and asthma.