Allergy

What you need to know about allergy testing

Allergies can affect you all year long; in the spring when plants are flowering, and in the winter when you spend most of your time indoors. You know the symptoms, itchy watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing. The first thing you must do is have allergy testing, to find out exactly what triggers your allergies. Then you can be treated to reduce your symptoms and improve your life. You should visit an Allen, TX allergist like the doctors at Express Family Clinic.

Your allergist is likely to recommend allergy testing if you exhibit:

  • Itchy skin, a rash or eczema
  • Itchy eyes, nose and throat
  • Nasal congestion, runny nose and watery eyes
  • Coughing, wheezing or chest congestion
  • Cramping, diarrhea or vomiting after eating certain foods
  • A severe response to an insect sting or bite

There are different types of allergy testing, designed to test for different allergens depending on what you might be allergic to. Common allergy tests include:

  • Skin tests--a small amount of allergen is injected into your skin. You may see a small rash or swelling within 20 minutes, indicating an allergy to the substance, or you may see no response at all, indicating no allergy.
  • Challenge tests--you inhale or ingest a small amount of allergen; this is used mostly to diagnose allergies to foods or medications.
  • Blood tests--your blood will be drawn and sent to a laboratory. This test takes a little longer than a skin test and is used if you have a skin condition that might make skin testing inaccurate.

Once your Allen doctors have identified what triggers your allergies, they can try a number of treatments to reduce your symptoms. Treatments include allergy shots which are given weekly, or sublingual drop therapy which you administer yourself in your home for a specified period of time.