Allergy Testing

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©Chainat/FreeDigitalPhotos.net



According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, “More than 50 million people in the United States have allergies.” Diagnosis of allergies by an allergist is necessary for taking the proper steps of prevention and treatment of allergies. In order to be properly diagnosed, the allergist may ask for a detailed medical history, a list of trigger allergens and your symptoms to each allergen. After evaluation of your medical history and trigger allergen list the allergist may recommend further allergy testing.

Why would I need allergy testing?

You might need allergy testing if you are having any range of allergy symptoms or a family history of allergies. Allergy testing is done in an allergist’s office and is safe for both children and adults.

What are the benefits of allergy testing?

Allergy testing is important because it can help the allergist identify your trigger allergens for proper prevention and treatment. The allergist will use the results to identify whether you need:

What are the different types of allergy tests?

There are several types of allergy tests, the most common being:

While there are other types of allergy tests, most allergists and professional organizations do not recommend any other types of tests for diagnosis.

Which allergy test is the best?

Each test is valuable for different reasons.

  • Skin tests is the preferred method and gives quick results, usually within 15 minutes. Cases when other testing may be preferred are if there is a specific allergen to be tested (such as a medication) and food allergies.
  • Blood tests are helpful if you can’t have a skin test or if you need to be tested for a specific allergen. The most common allergens evaluated by the blood test are medications and insect venom.
  • Oral challenges can be helpful when neither the skin nor blood test can be enough to diagnose a food allergy.
  • Other tests are not recommended by most allergists.

References

Disclaimer: The information contained in this site is for educational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for a licensed physician. Please see your physician for diagnosis and treatment of any concerning symptoms or medical condition. Click here to read the full disclaimer.
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