Allergy Testing Questions and Answers
Allergy testing is a crucial diagnostic tool that helps identify the specific allergens responsible for triggering allergic reactions. By administering small doses of allergens to patients, allergists can accurately pinpoint the culprits behind the reactions. This information is invaluable in developing an effective allergy treatment plan. For more information, please call us or request an appointment online.
Find out about common allergies and allergy testing.
Allergies occur when the immune system mistakenly reacts to a harmless substance. Various allergens, such as food, insects, medication, dust, smoke, and animal dander, can trigger these reactions. Therefore, it's important to be aware of the many types of allergies to ensure proper prevention and treatment.
It's crucial to know which allergens are common to prevent allergic reactions. These can be grass and tree pollen, dust mites, animal hair, specific foods like nuts, fruit, shellfish, eggs, and dairy, insect bites and stings, certain medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, and antibiotics, latex in gloves and adhesives, mold, and household chemicals such as detergents and hair dyes. It's important to note that you won't usually have any symptoms or reactions if you're not allergic to these substances.
Do you know what the symptoms of allergies are?
Different parts of the body react differently to different allergens. Consequently, airways, sinuses, lungs, skin, or digestive systems have their own set of symptoms. To help you identify your allergy, we've listed the symptoms associated with each type below:
Allergic rhinitis (hay fever), can cause:
- Itching of the nose, eyes, or mouth
- Runny, stuffy nose
- Watery, red, or swollen eyes (conjunctivitis).
A food allergy can cause:
- Tingling in the mouth
- Swelling of the lips, tongue, face, or throat
An insect sting allergy can cause:
- A large area of swelling at the sting site
- Itching or hives all over the body
- Cough, chest tightness, wheezing, or shortness of breath
A drug allergy can cause:
- Itchy skin
- Facial swelling
Atopic dermatitis, an allergic skin condition, can cause:
- Itchy skin
- Red, swollen skin
- Flakey or peeling skin
- Hives on the skin
Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially fatal reaction that specific allergies can trigger. It is imperative to recognize the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis to seek immediate medical attention.
These may include:
- Loss of consciousness
- A drop in blood pressure
- Severe shortness of breath
- Skin rash
- A rapid, weak pulse
- Nausea and vomiting
There are two main types of allergy tests:
Skin Tests - There are several kinds of skin tests for allergies. A medical assistant performs the first type of skin test, a skin prick test. A drop of a suspected allergen is pricked on the skin's surface. The test is performed on the back of the arm or back.
If the results from a skin prick test are unclear, a second type of test may be recommended to rule out false positives. In this type, known as a skin injection test, a small amount of the suspected allergen is injected into the skin of the arm or forearm. Because there are so many allergens, testing multiple suspected allergens at the same time is a common practice.
Blood Tests - Blood tests can be used to determine allergies. However, they can produce false positives and are not considered as accurate as skin tests.
Where can I be treated for allergies?
Visit DOC-AID Urgent Care for allergy testing and diagnosis. Schedule an in-person appointment or utilize our Telehealth service from anywhere in Texas. Our team is dedicated to providing compassionate care.
For more information, visit the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
Our team is dedicated to providing compassionate care.