We’re excited to welcome you to The Doctors Clinic for your appointment. Below are a list of frequently asked questions you may peruse to help prepare you and your family for your appointment.
Questions? Please contact our office at (360) 830-1706, we’re happy to assist you.
How much should I tell my child about the visit?
Only you can decide how much preparation to give your child regarding what to expect. Don’t ask the office to make the decision for you. Seeing any new doctor may produce anxiety so it’s a good idea to forgo stories of “shots and needles.” Just give the child the general idea, such as, “The doctor and nurse will ask us questions about the problems you’ve been having (sneezing, wheezing, etc.), examine your eyes, ears, nose, throat, chest, etc., and then decide what else needs to be done. I’ll make sure everything is explained to us before they do anything.
Encourage your child to share information
Encourage your child to be an active participant in giving information to the doctor and nurse; it’s good experience for the future. The more information your child can share, the more he or she will feel a part of the visit. Besides, it’s their body. You may be surprised to learn that the medicine your child is taking makes him feel nervous or tired, etc. This information is important for the doctor and nurse to know.
After the exam, Dr. Agarwal will inform you of the best course of action. If your child is suspected of having asthma, a Spirometry test may be ordered. This is a test which requires your child to blow into a machine that measures several aspects of pulmonary function and helps the doctor to determine the current status of his/her asthma. The nurse will explain the procedure. It does not hurt! Exhaled Nitric Oxide evaluation is often done to assist in diagnosis and monitoring of asthma. This allows more personalized treatment plans and minimizes unnecessary medications. This is also a very simple breathing test.
Allergy testing will quite likely be next. The nurse will place drops on the patient’s back and then make a small prick on each drop, moving the top layers of skin to let the antigen (what you may be allergic to) in. If your child is allergic to that specific substance, he will develop a wheal and flare reaction much like a mosquito bite. While the pricks can be uncomfortable, most children complain more about the tickling they experience. The most common remark we hear after performing an allergy test is, “Is that all?”
Some doctors do testing on the arm. These tests are a little more uncomfortable because they are done between the layers of skin and involve needles, a scary thing for small children. However, the test is done quickly and is over in a matter of minutes. Again a wheal and flare reaction will indicate positive reactions. After the testing is complete the doctor will meet with you again and discuss the test results and decide if more testing is indicated. When all the testing is complete, the doctor will meet with you to help decide on a treatment plan for you or your child. Contrary to popular belief, allergy injections are not recommended at first, except for children who are so allergic that medications and environmental controls cannot be effective. Blood testing is not the first choice for testing due to the fact that results are generally not the most reliable. This form of testing is also rather expensive and insurance companies hesitate to cover the expense.
Allergy testing can be performed on young children. There is no minimum age restriction for testing. The decision whether or not to test is based on the severity of symptoms. The point of allergy testing is to identify allergens so that they can be avoided in an attempt to better control your child’s or your own allergies and asthma. So go ahead and make that appointment.