How Does Allergy Testing Work?

How Does Allergy Testing Work? 

Over 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year, with billions of dollars spent on over-the-counter treatments and medications. An allergy is a reaction to a foreign substance. Individuals can experience seasonal allergies as well as ones they have to manage every day. Symptoms of allergies may include sneezing, an itchy, runny, stuffy nose, watery or itchy eyes, a rash, wheezing, shortness of breath, swelling, and more. The most severe type of allergic reaction is anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening. Learn about common allergens, the allergy testing process, and treatment plans with the knowledgeable team at Breathe Clear Institute. 

Common Allergens

People can experience many different types of allergies. Some common types of allergies are due to food, drugs, and the environment. Food-related allergies are often caused by eggs, wheat, shellfish, soy, milk, tree nuts, peanuts, and fish. Triggers of allergic reactions to drugs include antibiotics, including penicillin and sulfa drugs. Environmental factors can cause allergies and include pollen, mold, dust, grasses, and trees. Additional common allergy-triggering culprits include pet dander, dust mites, and cockroaches.

Allergy Testing Process 

While some may find it easy to identify their triggers, it may be more difficult to diagnose others. A person could be allergic to something without even knowing it. To get a better understanding of what a person is allergic to and to best treat their symptoms, a skin allergy test may be ordered. At Breathe Clear Institute, we begin with a detailed assessment, focusing on allergy triggers such as pollen, molds, animal dander, and foods. We test for 40 allergens at the same time. Bumps on the skin will determine whether or not a person is allergic. The process takes about 1 hour and a patient may experience itchiness. In order for the skin test to be accurate, a patient is asked to avoid taking antihistamines 3-7 days before testing occurs. Once the allergens are identified, we will discuss treatment options. 

Treatment Plans

First, it is important to try to avoid or eliminate the allergens that are triggering a reaction. For some, medications will be helpful, while others may undergo immunotherapy. Allergy drops are customized to the patient and work over time to reduce the immune system’s overreaction to allergens by desensitizing their system. Allergy shots are another option that slowly increases the resistance to allergens in order to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. 

Schedule an Appointment With Breathe Clear to Determine if Allergy Testing Is Right for You

If you are experiencing uncomfortable symptoms that may be caused by an allergen, it is important to seek medical attention to get relief and live a healthy life. At Breathe Clear, our allergist will get to the root of the issue and recommend a treatment that is tailored specifically to you. If left untreated, allergies can continue to get worse and affect your long term health. 
The healthcare professionals at Breathe Clear are ready to provide you with the best care possible and make sure that all of your medical needs are met. To schedule an appointment, please contact us via phone or complete the contact form available on our website