Allergy testing is a type of test that a doctor performs to see whether you’re allergic to a given substance.
Usually, a physician recommends an allergy test if you’re experiencing allergic symptoms, but you aren’t able to identify their cause on your own. Symptoms that indicate a possible allergy include:
- Runny nose
- Clogged sinuses
- Watery eyes
- Trouble breathing
- Face and throat swelling
Allergic reactions occur when your immune system views a perfectly normal substance as an invader. As a result, it attacks the substance and attempts to get it out of your body. You can be allergic to foods, airborne substances like pollen and pet dander, or chemicals.
What types of allergy testing are available?
There are three main types of allergy testing offered at Valley View Wellness Medical Center. To identify the substance causing your allergies, called an allergen, your physician may recommend:
During a blood test, your doctor draws some of your blood and sends it to a lab for further examination. A lab technician looks for blood components called antibodies that exist to fight certain allergens.
During a skin test, your doctor scratches your skin with a diluted form of your potential allergen to see if your skin reacts to it.
Another type of skin test is called a patch test. During a patch test, your doctor places an adhesive patch on your skin that contains potential allergens for a period of time. After a few days, they examine the area of skin under the patch for signs of a reaction.
If your allergic symptoms appear after you eat, you may need to try one or more elimination diets to identify their cause. Your doctor might have you stop eating eggs, nuts, or other single types of foods for a period of time before reintroducing them to see if you have an allergy.
What should I do with the results of my allergy test?
Once your allergens are identified, your doctor creates a treatment and prevention plan to keep your symptoms away. In many cases, you can simply avoid your allergen.
For example, you can restrict your diet. In other cases, you might need certain medications to combat your symptoms or immunotherapy to get used to being exposed to your allergen.
Allergy symptoms with an unknown cause can make you live life cautiously. To identify your allergen with allergy testing, call Valley View Wellness Medical Center or book your appointment online today.