What To Expect During Allergy Testing
Each year, more than 50 million Americans experience some sort of allergic reaction, making allergies the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. Because of the severity of allergies in our modern day society, allergy testing has become increasingly popular. By specifically analyzing and discovering the patient’s allergy triggers, allergy tests are more accurate than ever before.
What is an Allergy Test?
Allergy testing can be done through the skin prick, blood draw, or an elimination diet. Today, we will be talking about the skin allergy test. This is when a doctor uses a small prick or scratch to confirm or deny allergy triggers in children and adults. The suspected allergen is inserted just beneath the skin. This includes allergies to food, pollen, pet dander, mold, and more.
How is Allergy Testing Done?
Skin testing is performed with a small prick in the skin, usually on the back and forearm. Doctors will test for many allergens at once, sometimes even up to forty at a time. If the patient is allergic to the test, the spot will become red and inflamed. Fortunately, the results are accurate and fast and will display within 20 minutes. If you notice one of the spots becomes red or inflamed within 24 to 48 hours of testing, notify your doctor. This is just a delayed reaction and could mean you are allergic to that suspected antigen, as well.
Are There Side Effects?
As with any test, there are minor risks to side effects occurring. Because the doctor will be testing for allergies with the suspected allergen, it is possible for the patient to have a more serious reaction. Redness, inflammation, and itching on the pricked areas is normal. However, a more serious reaction needs to be monitored by the doctor or allergy specialist. It is very rare for a serious reaction to occur from such a small amount of the antigen.
When to do Allergy Testing
Many people have heard about allergy testing, but when do you know if you need to get one? Here are some cases in which an allergy test would be necessary:
- When the diagnosis is uncertain
- When considering immunotherapy
- When other ENT problems are related to allergies
- When the patient suspect allergies but has not been diagnosed
- When symptoms are not being controlled despite being on medication
- When the patient would like to identify triggers to help with fighting the allergy symptoms and environmental factors
Before Allergy Testing
With skin allergy testing, the patient needs to be off of antihistamines. These medications will prohibit the antigen from becoming red and inflamed during testing. Thus, the test would be biased and not applicable. Once you have scheduled an appointment for allergy testing, make sure you inform your doctor about all medication usage so they can advise you properly.
Allergy testing is extremely effective, and for some, has become life-changing. If you suspect that you or your child has allergies, schedule an appointment at GMP Medical today. Our family doctor will perform an allergy test and begin treatment immediately. Call now to get started on accomplishing an allergy-free lifestyle. 1-305-823-2433
August 24, 2018 7:00 am