January 22nd, 2021
There are different types of allergy tests. However, none are foolproof. There’s always a chance of false positive or negative. This is why it’s always recommended that you rely on two or more methodologies to ensure a proper diagnosis.
Generally, if you are experiencing allergic symptoms, your doctor would recommend an allergy test. This will enable them to know which type, which would usually depend on the type of your symptoms, as well as medical history and family background. For instance, if you have asthma-like symptoms that are triggered by allergens, your doctor may order spirometer (lung function test) first. Similarly, if your symptoms are possibly caused by any food item, the doctor may recommend an elimination diet to determine your tolerance to specific food items.
It’s worth noting that when it comes to the ‘accuracy’, where you get the test done also plays a crucial role. A clinic with a state-of-art facility and a qualified team is more likely to be accurate as opposed to a place that has poor infrastructure and an inexperienced team. So, if you’re indeed going for the allergy testing, don’t just Google “allergy testing near me” and visit the first clinic that shows up in the result. Do proper research to find a reputed clinic.
Allergy skin tests and blood tests are the two most popular test options. Allergy skin tests include prick, intradermal, and patch tests.
Skin prick or scratch test involves suspected allergens being placed on your skin using a prick device. Intradermal skin test, which is used when the scratch test turns up inconclusive, involves injecting a tiny amount of allergen underneath the surface of the skin. The test result in both cases is available in 15 minutes. The patch test involves placing adhesive patches on your skin which will remain even after you have left the doctor’s office. The doctor will review the patches in 2-3 subsequent days.
Your doctor may even order a blood test called immunoglobulin E (IgE) test, which would measure the level of IgE in the blood. If it is higher than the normal amount, it could mean the body is overreacting to allergens. In some cases, the patients may be asked to do other blood tests as well to evaluate any possible disorder of the immune system.
Regardless of which test you’re going for, under the supervision of a qualified specialist, they are safe even for young children. Following the test, the doctor will evaluate and interpret the result, making a proper diagnosis and outlining a fitting course of treatment.
If you – or anyone in your family – is experiencing any symptoms related to allergies, get an allergy test done immediately. Early identification of the triggering allergen can make all the difference and help you keep your health in good form.