When you are living with allergies, the entire scope of your world changes. You no longer go to weekend trips or outdoor events without making sure that you have packed your allergy medicine to help control your sneezing, sniffing, and other symptoms. While medication may give you some relief, if you are looking for a permanent way out, it may be time to have an allergy test.
While mold, pollen, and pet fur or dander are typically considered the “usual suspects,” in reality, there are hundreds of possible causes for your allergies, and getting the relief you need means getting to the core of what is bothering you. In cases like this, undergoing an allergy test is your best course of action. This will help us determine not only the specific allergens that are causing your problems, but it gives your physicians a framework to start immunotherapy, a long-term solution to chronic allergies.
According to experts, allergies affect more than 50 million people per year. Although there are many different allergens, seasonal allergens and hay fever affect more than 40 million Americans. Allergy testing is important because it determines the exact allergy. These allergens can include pollen, molds, food, bee venom, and dermatitis. Testing allows the doctor to narrow down the allergen and to offer medication to treat the allergies. Once an allergy test is needed, the next step is to decide what kind of testing is right for the patient.
What are the Benefits of Allergy Testing?
- Allergy testing is a precise method for finding out which allergens are causing your allergic reactions.
- Once you know which substances you are allergic to, your physician will be able to develop a treatment plan to alleviate and eliminate some of your allergy symptoms.
- There are different types of allergy tests, your Allergy testing specialist homer Glen will determine which test is appropriate for you depending on whether you are taking a medicine that may prevent or reduce a reaction to a substance, have a skin condition that makes it difficult to see the results of skin testing, have had a previous allergic reaction with severe symptoms, or have had positive skin tests to many foods.
- By knowing which substances causes your body to overreact, you can avoid your allergy triggers.
- Learning whether a person is allergic to medications or insect venom.
Physical Exam and Patient History
Along with a physical examination and a detailed patient history, all forms of allergy testing, even when the results seem to be strong, must be considered, both of which can help narrow down what food could be the trigger. Also, the physical examination and patient history provide important clues, such as symptoms that could indicate whether or not IgE antibodies mediate the allergy. These are important for determining which tests to undergo.
Most common Allergy Test
Skin-prick testing (SPT) is the most common form of allergy testing and is used to identify the specific foods that may be allergic to a patient. For this test, typically performed at the office of an allergist, drops of various serums containing individual allergens will be placed on the forearm or back of the patient. A medical professional will then use a small needle to prick the skin so that the serum goes under the skin. The patient's skin may react at specific prick spots by forming a reddish hive, or wheal, indicating that the skin's IgE antibodies responded to the food allergens in that serum. The larger the hive, the more likely it is that if you eat that food, it will react.
A positive skin-prick test alone, however, is not sufficient to confirm a food allergy, since false positives occur quite frequently (e.g. when a person has eaten food with no symptoms but still tests positive). So the Allergy testing specialist doctor homer Glen will consider the skin test results in combination with the symptom history and physical exam.
Allergist Virtual Visits
Have you ever wanted to just pick up your phone or just sitting at home and see an allergy specialist to have a question answered or get a routine refill? Now you can!
Board-certified physician, Dr. Sudarsana Chakrabarti can help you with the best treatment plan. HIPAA compliant Virtual Visits can be scheduled easily with Dr. Sudarsana Chakrabarti through the PatientMD platform. Here you are bound to get convenience and greater access to specialty care as well. All telemedicine appointments are conducted as per HIPPA compliant protocols that ensure ease-of-use, privacy, and full security. All you need is a smartphone or an internet-connected computer/laptop with camera capabilities.
Control your allergies..do not let them control you! Get in touch with Suburban Wellness today to develop a treatment plan to progressively eliminate your allergy symptoms. Check back often for new blog posts.