Before you arrive, some aspects of our practice policy.
OHIP regulations require that all consultations must be initiated by a physician in Canada. You MUST have a referring note from your doctor. If his/her staff has not sent it to our office by facsimile, please do so yourself. At the very least, you WILL bring it to the appointment.
At the time of your visit, you will be asked to fill in a questionnaire - with up to 260 spots. This allows us to assess your symptoms, the prior clinical course, treatment that has been given and relation, if any, to environmental factors. (see samples)
Among the many medical specialties, allergy has been likened to a "detective" specialty. Please assemble the X-ray reports, blood/stool tests results, opinions from other specialists and names of your medications. Your pharmacist will be able to provide you with a list of your past and current prescription drugs. Don't forget to bring add-on device (for inhaled medications); Dr Ho will personally check its proper use for you.
An assessment may last up to 2 hours. (Please review the available investigative procedures below.) The parking requirement should not be violated. [Meter-parking is availble on Bloor Street and 1 street north.]
Feel free to bring in your favourite reading material: we provide hand-outs, literature and video-viewing. For young patients, bring 1 or 2 toys ... quiet and mind-stimulating ones please.
Siblings and underaged peers may distract (or even disrupt) the process of a thoughtful assessment. Our staff are not licensed child care providers.
For the consideration of other patients in the clinic who may suffer from food allergies, you are requested to finish food and drinks before entering the office. Definitely, no pets!
We have available reading glasses (for presbryopia), but most clients prefer using their personal pair. Dr Ho and the RN will go over the results of the tests and relevant information pamphlets. Make this an educational experience.
We appreciate you turning off your cell phone(s).
If your dentist wishes allergy test to a local anesthetic, please have him/her provide you with a sample of the suspected "freezing" as well as other alternate anesthetics.
After the visit...
Upon reviewing the discussion and the literature, feel free to call us should you require further information or clarification.
Your care will be assigned back to your referring doctor within 3 months of the visit as he/she continues to be your primary care physicain.
For patients who are in the allergen injection program (hyposensitization), re-ordering of the vaccine ("serum") may be arranged by yourself or through your physician. We deeply appreciate a feed-back on your progress from the health care personnel who administers the injections ("shots"). A tear section is attached to the bottom of the"Hyposensitization Schedule" for their convenience.
A notice of 48 hours before the appointment is required. Failing that, a $50 deposit has to be received at the office before a make-up appointment is offered.
Pin-prick with/without intradermal augmentation.
What To Expect:
Pin-prick testing involves a light pricking of the skin of the forearm with a pin. No bleeding occurs. Allergies are determined by the reaction to the testing material. We offer testing against inhalants, foods, latex, stinging insect venoms, and local anaesthetics.
The procedure itself takes less than one minute. The result takes 20 minutes to determine. Discomfort is minimal.
Due to the intensity of assessment and the availability of various testing procedures, the appointment may last up to 2 hours.
Do not take antihistamines as contained in cold/cough remedies, such as Reactine, Claritin, Allegra, Benadryl, etc. Prednisone may be continued. You do NOT need to stop taking blood pressure medicines, diabetic medicines, asthma medications, or birth control pills.
Contact our staff if you have any queries.
Cortisone cream will be applied to ease itchiness from positive results.
Breathing Tests/Pulmonary Function Testing
What To Expect:
Adults and children 6 years or older can usually take a series of breathing tests to determine the nature of a breathing problem. Common disorders are asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. The procedure involves blowing into a mouthpiece continually for 10 seconds. The computerized machine will give us the lung capacity and the flow rate.
Usually, there is no discomfort.
If abnormality is found, our staff may administer a bronchodilator and repeat the procedure to gauge your response.
Food or Drug Challenge Test
To verify whether a person is allergic to a food or drug.
What To Expect:
A miniscule amount of the suspected food item or drug will be administered. The patient will be observed for three hours in the office. We are equipped to respond to medical emergencies, should one occur. Dr. Ho will be on-site during the observation period.
Usually no discomfort, unless a genuine reaction occurs. This procedure is only offered at the Etobicoke Office.
Bring in the suspected food item or drug (a prescription will be issued beforehand). Bring in reading material, and toys for young clients.
If allergy is ruled out, please enjoy a normal diet or remove unnecessary avoidance toward the suspected drug.
Middle Ear Function Test/Impedance Tympanogram
Ultrasound scanning of the middle ears.
What To Expect:
A soft plug will be placed into the ears to allow ultrasound signals to travel in and out of the ear canal. You may hear a soft, short beep. This can be performed even on infants.
There is no discomfort.
If you are coming to our clinic for assessment of a rash, please provide us with photos on different days until the rash settles.