Allergy tests are examinations performed by a trained specialist in allergies to determine whether your body has an allergic reaction to a known substance. The examination can be in the form of a blood test, a skin test or an elimination diet.
You can get affected by an allergy when the natural defense system of your body which is the immune system overreacts to substances in your environment. For example, harmless substances like pollen that are usually inoffensive can cause an overreaction from your body. The overreaction can cause allergic reactions symptoms such as:
Allergies are affecting over 50 million people in the United States alone and inhaled allergens are the most common types that are affecting people. Seasonal allergies such as hay fever which is a response to pollen affect more than 40 million Americans.
The WHO estimates that approximately 250,000 fatalities are recorded annually for asthma. These fatalities can be avoided with proper allergy care because asthma is believed to be a process of allergic disease.
The allergy testing procedure can determine which particular molds, pollens or other substances you are allergic to. Medications may be necessary for allergy treatment. You can also attempt to avoid allergy triggers if possible.
Before the allergy testing, your doctor will inquire about your lifestyle, family history, and other information. They will in every likelihood advise you to stop taking certain medications before your allergy test because your test results can be affected by them. The medications include:
Allergy tests may involve skin and blood tests. You may even be recommended an elimination diet if your doctor believes you may have a food allergy.
Skin tests are usually performed to identify various types of potential allergens. These may include airborne, contact allergens and food-related allergens. The types of skin tests are scratch, patch, and intradermal tests.
Your doctor may recommend a blood test if the chances of a severe allergic reaction are anticipated to a skin test. The blood test will be performed in a laboratory to identify the presence of antibodies that can fight specific allergens. This test is highly successful in detecting certain antibodies and major allergens.
An elimination diet can help your doctor to determine the foods that are causing you to have an allergic reaction. It may require removing certain foods from your diet and adding them back in later. The reactions you display will help to determine which foods are causing the reactions.
You may experience mild itching, swelling of the skin and redness during allergy tests. Small bumps known as wheals may also appear on the skin in some cases. However, these symptoms often subside within a few hours but may also last for a few days. The symptoms can be alleviated with mild topical steroid creams.
On some occasions, the tests can produce an immediate severe allergic reaction that will require medical attention. It is the reason why allergy tests must only be conducted in an office with adequate medications and equipment including epinephrine for treating anaphylaxis which is an acute life-threatening allergic reaction. You should call your doctor immediately if you develop a severe reaction after you leave his or her office.
If you have any symptoms of anaphylaxis you should be calling 911 immediately. The symptoms usually include swelling in the throat, difficulty in breathing, a faster heart rate or low blood pressure. Severe anaphylaxis should be considered as a medical emergency.
After your doctor has determined the allergens that are causing your symptoms you can work together to develop a plan for avoiding them. Dr. Mark T Agrama at South Florida ENT Associates may also suggest medications that will help to ease your symptoms helping you to overcome allergic reactions that are bothering you. You will benefit by visiting this clinic for allergy testing as it has all the equipment and medications necessary to perform the tests and also provide you a remedy to control any reactions you display from a highly qualified medical professional.