Internal medicine doctors, immunologists, and pulmonologists are all well-versed in conducting tests on a patient in order to determine the cause of an allergy or reaction. You might be allergic to a certain food, a type of plant, dust, insect bites or stings, or synthetic materials. Allergic reactions can range from mildly uncomfortable to life-threatening.
When it comes to allergy testing, the allergist will first ask you about your symptoms, your personal health history, and your family health history of allergies or asthma. The doctor will then perform a series of tests to establish a diagnosis and recommend treatment options to you.
Let’s talk about some of the factors involved in allergy testing, and where you can go for an evaluation and possible treatment of your allergic reaction.
What You Could Be Allergic To
Allergy tests can reveal that you are allergic to:
- Environmental Allergens – Such as pollen, pet dander, smoke, dust mites, or mold spores
- Food – Such as soy, wheat, milk, peanuts, eggs, chicken, strawberries, or shellfish
- Medication – Such as penicillin, sulfa drugs, or anticonvulsants
Types of Allergy Tests
Different allergy tests can reveal different types of allergies, such as the following:
In a skin-prick test, the allergist makes tiny pricks into the skin to introduce various allergens into the broken skin. This is usually done on the arm (for adults) or the back (for children), usually in a small grid-like format, to see if an allergic reaction occurs to environmental allergens or food.
If an allergic reaction does occur, you will experience redness, swelling, and/or itching in that spot where the allergen was introduced on your skin. This type of test is especially ideal for children since it involves no insertion of needles.
Intradermal Skin Tests
An intradermal skin test is slightly more invasive than a prick test in that it involves the injection of allergens directly into the skin. This type of allergy test is used to diagnose respiratory, insect bite, and medication allergies.
A patch test is used to determine which substance is causing the allergic reaction on the skin. Latex (rubber), fragrance, preservatives, and dyes are allergens that can cause contact dermatitis. The allergens are applied to the patches, and the patches are then placed onto the skin. It may take days for the allergic reaction to develop.
If you are taking medication that may interfere with allergy testing, the doctor may recommend a blood test. A small sample of your blood will be taken to a laboratory where allergens are introduced into it. If the blood produces any antibodies in response to an allergen, your allergist will evaluate the reaction.
Allergy Testing in Weatherford, Texas
The professional allergists here at Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas have years of experience diagnosing and treating patients with allergies. We test for environmental, medicinal, and food-based allergies, and we also specialize in the treatment of allergies that affect the lungs and airways.
If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with an experienced allergist, call our Weatherford clinic today at (817) 594-9993 or fill out our convenient online request form now. We look forward to helping you discover the causes and triggers of your allergy, and how to keep it under control once and for all.