Uncovering Necessary Allergy Tests
When you suffer from allergies, all you want is relief, which isn’t always easy. Allergists have to determine the origins of your allergies to know how to treat you. This includes allergy tests, which can be very specific. It is important to understand what tests you will need and how these tests will work?
Determine Your History
Many allergists say that your history and background are huge determining factors in your diagnosis. Does someone in your immediate family suffer as well? What aggravates them? All of these details can help.
For any skin allergy testing, you will have to limit certain medications before you have the allergy test. Once the skin test is complete, your doctor will be able to determine possible allergens that could be affecting you. This test includes injecting allergens under your skin with a small syringe. There could be up to 32 different injections in your upper arms. Patients report it doesn’t hurt much and feels somewhat like a mosquito bite. After ten minutes, the doctor will check your skin to see if a reaction occurred. You will also be able to detect any delayed reactions. Some allergens can take days to show their full reaction, so you will want to keep an eye on the areas and report back to your doctor about any delayed reactions.
Skin Prick Testing
Instead of using individual syringes, this type of skin testing is done through a device that can deliver multiple allergens at one time. This test is good for food allergies, and also works well for environmental allergens. You’ll have it done on the inner forearm and in 15 minutes, you will be able to measure your reactions with a professional. There can be false positives, but there are very few false negatives in this test.
Blood tests allow you to assess your allergies without stopping any medication. A vial of blood is drawn to test food and inhalant allergens. The blood sample will be assessed for certain allergy antibodies to specific foods or inhalants and the labs will validate the results after the tests are complete.
What Happens After Allergy Tests?
You and your doctor should decide what type of testing is best for your symptoms. If your test shows that you had a positive allergy result, you may want to consider immunotherapy. Immunotherapy consists of customized allergy drops or shots that can help you build up a tolerance to the allergen over time and helps decrease your allergy symptoms. Drops are something you can administer yourself once a day for the next 3-5 years to help keep allergies at bay Another option includes allergy shots which are twice weekly injections at your doctor’s office that will eventually taper off over the next 3 years after you have built up to your maintenance dose. Contact Breathe Clear Institute to start your allergy testing process–and we can help determine what allergy test will be best for you.