Allergy Testing- Why And When Should You Go For It?

Allergy Testing- Why And When Should You Go For It?

4, April, 2023

Allergy is a condition in which the immune system of a human body reacts abnormally to a foreign substance. Some people may experience an allergic reaction, while others may not even experience it.

Many people are allergic to mold, dust, pollen, etc. While still others have an allergy to latex or bee stings. Some even have an allergy to soy, milk, or peanuts. Healthcare providers can perform allergy tests to identify whether you are suffering from an allergy, such as allergy skin testing, blood tests, food challenges, medication (drug) challenges, spirometry (lung function tests), aspirin desensitization, patch testing, and other procedures. If the results of these tests are positive, it means you have an allergic reaction.

Why does a doctor advise you to get an allergy test?

Your healthcare provider may recommend allergy testing if you show any signs of allergy. Doctors often perform allergy tests on those who are suffering from asthma symptoms. These tests can identify allergy triggers responsible for worsening the condition and leading to asthma attacks.

In case you’ve had a severe allergic attack, for example- Anaphylaxis. This is a serious and life-threatening problem that can lead to symptoms such as hives or swelling, breathing difficulty, reduced blood pressure, etc. these symptoms can lead to anaphylactic shock. So, a physician may recommend you various allergy tests immediately.

When to go for allergy tests?

When you experience any of the following symptoms, you may suffer from an allergic reaction, including;

  • Itchy, watery eyes.
  • Itchy nose.
  • Runny nose.
  • Sneezing.
  • Rashes.
  • Stomach cramps.
  • Vomiting.
  • Hives (rashes with red patches).

So, consult with your physician immediately once you find any of the above symptoms!

Some specific types of allergic conditions are also described here:

You are more likely to develop allergic rhinitis if you are allergic to allergens- usually present in the air (for example- dust, pollen, or pet dander). This condition is often known as hay fever. It usually leads to the following signs-

  • Itchy and watery eyes.
  • Sneezing.
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose.
  • Headaches.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Wheezing or chronic cough.
  • Sore throat.

If you are suffering from a food allergy, you can experience the symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain within 1/2 to 2 hours of consuming that food. People with this type of allergy can develop the following signs:

Gastrointestinal symptoms- Abdominal pain, cramps, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea.

Respiratory symptoms- Coughing, tightness in the chest, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

Cardiovascular symptoms- Weak pulse, pale skin, fatigue, lightheadedness, and dizziness.

Skin symptoms- Swelling on the face or lips, hives, itching, etc.

You may develop signs of contact dermatitis if you are allergic to latex or fragrances. These signs will negatively affect your skin. You may experience-

  • Burning sensation on the skin.
  • Swelling.
  • Hives.
  • Skin rash.
  • Itchy skin.

What are these allergy tests meant for?

They are performed to check the body’s response to allergens. If a person suffers from an allergy, his immune system will overreact. It produces proteins (Immunoglobulin E, IgE) responsible for triggering the release of chemicals that lead to an allergic reaction.

How can you prepare yourself for these tests?

An allergy specialist may ask you to stop taking allergy medications at least seven days before you go for a test. This is because these medicines can prevent your immune system from responding to allergens and thus affect the results of tests. However, you may be recommended to continue taking medications for asthma (depending on your health condition).

What if the test results show you have an allergy?

If your allergy tests are positive and you discover an allergy, the time has come to get the treatment. If you are allergic to any food item, you must avoid it! But if you have other types of allergy, your doctor may prescribe medications accordingly. Depending on the condition, some patients may need allergy shots as well.

It’s best to get the necessary treatment on time. Because if you don’t, you may end up experiencing more serious conditions later. But to get the treatment, you must ensure you have an allergy! And this can be diagnosed through allergy tests.

At L.I. Medical Group, our specialists perform allergy testing for various types of allergies, including seasonal, chemical, food, skin, environmental, medication, pet, and animal allergies. If you wish to consult an allergist or have allergy tests performed, schedule your appointment today!