Allergies occur when your body’s immune system identifies a benign substance, such as pollen, pet hair, or mold, as a harmful invader. This triggers an immune response, which can result in a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, including a runny nose, itchy eyes, blocked sinuses, or a rash.
Allergies range in severity. For some people, they’re a minor annoyance; for others, they trigger a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
Allergy testing is a group of diagnostic procedures used to determine if you’re allergic to one or more substances. There are several types of allergy testing, including blood tests, skin tests, and elimination diets. By identifying your allergies, it’s possible to ease uncomfortable symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Prior to your allergy test, your Medical Access provider conducts a physical exam, asks about your symptoms, and reviews your medical history. If you take prescription medications, vitamins, or nutritional supplements, your provider might ask you to stop them in advance, as they can interfere with your results.
Medical Access offers several types of allergy testing, including:
If you’re highly allergic, you might benefit from a blood test. This involves your Medical Access provider drawing a sample of blood and sending it to the on-site laboratory for further testing. The laboratory looks for the presence of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. IgE antibodies trigger symptoms that affect your upper respiratory system.
If your provider suspects that you’re allergic to several substances, they might recommend a scratch skin test. During a scratch skin test, your provider places various allergens in a liquid solution. Afterward, they dip a special tool into the solution and lightly puncture your skin. If you’re allergic to one or more substances, a welt forms.
If this type of test is inconclusive, your provider might recommend an intradermal test. During an intradermal test, your provider uses a needle to inject a tiny amount of a specific allergen beneath your skin. If you’re allergic, a welt forms, causing redness and itching.
If you regularly experience symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, or nausea, you might benefit from an elimination diet. During this type of test, you remove specific foods from your diet. Your reactions assist in determining which foods you’re allergic to.
To learn more about the benefits of allergy testing, schedule an appointment at Medical Access. Call the nearest office today, or book a consultation online.