Knowing your allergies - Allergy Testing

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Joined: Nov 05, 2012
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When the immune system of a person has unwanted reaction to normal and harmless substances like dust, fish, nuts, or pollen in the environment causes an allergic reaction. The substance causing allergic reaction is called an allergen. Many people who suffer with unknown conditions and lots of sneezing and coughing, and perhaps have symptoms of rashes, can be suffering from allergies. However, to arrive to the fact whether or not you are suffering from an allergy you need to be tested for allergens by an allergist – a doctor who specializes in diagnosing, treating, and managing various allergies by strategizing your treatment plan.

Allergists usually carry out allergy testing on a person supposedly suffering from allergic symptoms to find out his/her sensitivity to particular allergens. Allergy tests are performed on blood serum and/or on the skin. In skin test, the allergens are placed on the skin of forearm and the doctor or allergist keeps a watch to notice any allergic symptoms. Once you show any positive reaction to any allergen, you will require undergoing further testing for narrowing down to particular substance causing your allergic reaction. This helps you in determining the reason for your allergic responses and you need to careful in avoiding the substance to prevent further triggering of allergic reactions. It is also very important for people having various skin related problems like rashes, eczema, and/or asthma to get to know the allergen causing their allergy problems.

Allergy testing is done to identify the allergen that causes the allergic reaction and making you miserable with runny nose, burning and itching eyes, headaches, rashes, and other reactions. This identification helps you to avoid those singled out allergens and substantially bringing down your allergic reactions and subsequent problems.

Skin tests are less costly to blood serum tests and you get the results fast. The down side of skin test is that a number of medicines can meddle with the skin tests as well as the results may be hard to read in dark skinned people and only very skilled allergists should do these tests for getting best results. The other names for skin allergy tests are - Patch tests, Scratch tests, Skin tests, and RAST test.

Blood tests require only a single needle piercing and in this test, medicines do not interfere with test results. Only thing is that blood tests take longer time and cost more than skin tests. Blood tests for allergy are of many types and every test has its very own positive and negative points. These tests are done to find allergies to pollen, molds, animal dander, dust mites, insect stings, foods, and drugs.

After successfully narrowing down to the allergen causing your allergic reactions you doctor – allergist can suggest allergy shots for treating your allergy issues. The allergy shots are very beneficial and helpful in minimizing the requirement of your allergy medicines. Allergy shots are mostly recommended for people whose have severe allergic symptoms or are not able to tolerate allergic medicines. You can also control the allergy issues by taking allergy medicines once you have allergic reaction. Antihistamines are one of the very effective medicines to manage allergic rhinitis, itch, and allergic rashes.
About author: Nora Gwilt

Mohit writes for Texas Allergy Center. Dr. Raja is an

allergist Austin

providing residents with solutions to allergies, asthma as well as skin care.


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