Allergy testing is a procedure that attempts to find out your specific allergy triggers. You can seek a San Antonio allergy testing procedure to pinpoint your allergies and receive customized treatment. Although you can use medications like epinephrine, it is important to understand your allergy and avoid triggers.
Causes of allergies
The causes of allergic reactions differ greatly from one person to another. While you might be allergic to peanuts, someone else might be allergic to pet dander. The following are common allergens:
- Bee stings
- Certain foods like shellfish
- Certain medications like penicillin
- Dust mites
Symptoms of an allergic reaction
If you have an allergic reaction, you will exhibit the following symptoms
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy skin
- Skin rashes
Types of allergy testing
Your specialist will use different types of allergy testing to identify your triggers. They will expose you to different allergens and observe your body’s reaction.
The following are common tests that allergy testing specialists use.
Skin prick test
A skin prick test is the most common type of allergy testing. It involves the application of a suspected allergen to tiny punctures on your arm. The punctures allow the allergen to penetrate your skin quickly. Your specialist will observe the testing site. If you are allergic, the skin pricks will swell and redden. Specialists use this test to identify allergies to certain foods, pet dander, pollen, and dust mites.
An intradermal test is used to test for allergies by use of an injection. Your specialist will use a fine needle to administer a suspected allergen solution into your skin. The injection penetrates different skin layers. The test is useful in identifying allergies related to insect bites and medications.
For suspected skin allergies, your specialist will use a patch test to identify your triggers. Your specialist will place a series of small adhesive patches with suspected allergies on your arm or back. You will wear the patches and after 48 hours, you will return to your specialist where they will check your back for reactions. The test is useful in testing allergies related to medications, cosmetics, and latex.
If you are not a good candidate for a skin test, your specialist will recommend blood testing. They will withdraw a few vials of your blood which will undergo allergy testing in a laboratory to check for suspected triggers.
How to prevent allergic reactions
The first step in preventing an allergic reaction is to identify your allergen and recognize your symptoms. If you have an allergic reaction to certain foods, it is important to read food labels before you buy or consume the foods.
When weaning a child, it is advisable to introduce new foods gradually and in small amounts. Afterward, observe how your child reacts to the different foods. Through such methods, you will recognize potential allergens and symptoms.
If you are doubtful about what triggers your allergic reactions, visit Castle Hills Family Practice for an allergy testing procedure. The specialists will offer you different types of allergy testing to identify your triggers. After the testing, you will receive a personalized treatment plan. Call or book an appointment online.