Allergies can make life uncomfortable, to say the least. When your allergies flare up, you may have itchy eyes and snot coming from your nose, and your skin may even erupt into hives. All of this can bring high levels of discomfort. It can be especially worrisome when you don't know the exact cause of your allergy. Having an allergy test done can clear up any confusion you may have. Here's a look at what you can expect if you decide to go ahead and do this test.
Allergy testing via the skin is one of the most popular options. It is also one of the least painful ways to get your testing done. Skin testing is useful for diagnosing many types of allergies. For example, an allergy to airborne substances such as animal dander, pollen, and dust mites can be determined by skin testing. Your skin testing will be done by a prick on the skin. You will not feel much pain as the needle will just barely prick your skin.
Your allergist may opt to give you a skin infection test. During this test, a small extract of an allergen will be injected into your arm. This is usually done to test for a specific allergy. Another option is patch testing. During a patch test, your allergist will ask you to wear a small patch on your arm for two days. The patch will contain an allergen.
If you have had severe allergic reactions in the past, your doctor may ask you to do a blood test. You may also be asked to do a blood test if you take medications or have a skin condition that makes it hard to get accurate results from skin tests. For example, if you have eczema, it can be difficult to get correct results from a skin test.
If your allergist asks you to do a challenge test, you will be required to inhale or ingest small amounts of an allergen. This is done under supervision and is one of the best tests you can get for food allergies. A challenge test is usually done if your skin test or your blood test does not reveal much.
If you are suffering from allergies, it is important to find out exactly what is causing it. Allergy testing is easy and non-intrusive. Even if you do feel minimal discomfort, it will be worth it to find out what you are allergic to so that your doctor will be able to give you more targeted treatment in the future.