What is allergy testing and how is it done?
Simply put, allergy testing is the method of testing for any allergies. It identifies various allergens such as pet dander, peanuts, bee stings, mold, and more. When you visit an allergy center, an expert will conduct various tests. Among these, the skin prick test is the most common.
A skin prick test releases a small amount of allergen into the skin to check for rashes, raised marks, or other allergen reactions. Furthermore, blood tests are also carried out to look for the presence of IgE antibodies. These results help in identifying and managing allergies.
What are the different types of allergies?
You can be allergic to multiple things present in your environment. Most of the time, these are otherwise harmful to a normal kid or an adult. For instance, these include pollen, pet dander, and mold. Similarly, some people might be allergic to latex or bee stings. Food allergies include soy, milk, and peanut allergies.
Everyone with an allergy has a different tolerance to it. While some people tolerate the allergies well, others tend to have severe reactions that can be life-threatening.
If you have had a severe allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis, it is a life-threatening problem and requires medical assistance immediately. It involves a severe blood pressure drop that brings shock and breathing difficulties.
When to get allergy testing?
You might suffer from allergic rhinitis if you are allergic to things such as pet dander, pollen, or dust. It is a type of hay fever resulting from allergic reactions. This allergic reaction can cause itchy and watery eyes, headaches, nasal congestion, wheezing, and sore throat.
If we are talking about food allergies, they typically occur within 30 minutes of consumption. However, it can take up to 2 hours in some cases. People who suffer from food allergies usually experience problems with their respiratory system, such as wheezing, shortness, and throat tightness.
Similarly, skin issues such as tongue, lips, and facial swelling are also common. Sometimes, gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, and nausea also occur.
Lastly, cardiovascular symptoms such as weak pulse, lightheadedness, dizziness, and pale skin are common allergy symptoms. If you experience any of the above mentioned symptoms, it is best to get tested for allergies immediately.
Different types of allergy tests
There are various types of allergy tests that a qualified doctor can check for. These include:
- Skin prick test: this involves pricking a small amount of allergen in the skin with the help of a needle and looking for any signs. The process typically involves 10-50 most common potential allergens.
- Intradermal test: If the skin prick test gives negative results, the doctor will inject small allergens in the epidermis (outer skin layer) to check for signs.
- Patch test: in this test, the doctors determine whether you are suffering from contact dermatitis. The doctor puts the allergen on your skin and covers it with a patch. Your skin is then checked for rashes after 48 hours.
- Blood test: this test measures the number of antibodies present in your blood, typically those that spike during an allergic reaction. The presence of IgE antibodies, along with symptoms of allergies, is typically a sign that you have suffered from an allergic reaction.
- Challenge test: this is a supervised test in which the person swallows or consumes a very small amount of allergen and the allergist In the case of anaphylaxis, the allergist quickly provides an epinephrine injection to prevent the reaction.
One can be allergic to many things. Sometimes, allergens are not that common. This makes it particularly difficult to find out the exact cause of your symptoms. If you are having trouble figuring it out, reach out to an allergy specialist Germantown today!