Don't Be Afraid of Allergy Testing

Posted on: 16 September 2015

Do you have food allergies that are affecting your health and diet? Or, do you have allergic and hay fever reactions to dust, pollen, and pet dander? No matter what type of allergies are affecting you, a simple allergy test could ultimately result in a healthier and happier life. Some people are intimidated by allergy testing because they think it involves a lot of needles and pain. In fact, allergy testing is not that scary. Here is what to expect when you set up an appointment for your allergy test.

Why You Should Get Tested

Living with allergies is a pain. Different allergies can manifest themselves in the form of hay fever, watery eyes, running noses, itchy ear canals, swelling, soreness, diarrhea or even more severe symptom. Allergy symptom can often be surprising. That is, not everybody starts sneezing when they come in contact with dust mites. One person might have extreme hay fever symptom while the other might become physically weak or faint. Unfortunately, in the latter scenario, most people will not think of allergies as a possible explanation for their symptoms. This is why it is so important to get allergy testing, even if you are not the type of person who always has hay fever.

What to Expect from the Test

Many clinics and hospitals will have different methods of testing for allergies. However, they are generally the same and will often include a needle. But don't be too afraid of the needle because it is not like having blood extracted. The needle is much smaller and it is barely poked in to your skin. One common method includes a small prick with a needle, where the allergen is shot into your skin. The allergen is diluted, but strong enough to show a reaction if you are allergic. You can get tested for just the allergens that you suspect are a problem. Or, you can get tested for and entire range of allergens at once. It takes about an hour for the doctors to apply the allergens and wait for the reactions. They will usually just apply them into your forearm and you can get the results within the hour (in fact, you can often see them for your self if you arm becomes red and itchy).

Some allergens will be tested by drying a sample of your blood and taking it to the lab. These results will take a couple of weeks to get back to you. If you want a doctor like Allergy Asthma & Immunology Center to be able to properly prescribe medicine for your allergies, it is important that you are officially tested.