Most people suffer from allergies in one form or another. Whether you’re allergic to things you touch, eat or breathe, an allergic reaction can range from inconvenient to life-threatening. If you’ve tried to self-medicate with over-the-counter drugs and you’re not able to find relief, allergy testing may be the next step. At Taylor Internal Medicine, we will work with you to evaluate your medical history and assess if your background indicates a possible allergy.
When You Should Seek Allergy Testing
- You suffer from chronic sinus infections, difficulty breathing, or nasal congestion.
- Your allergies are keeping you from day-to-day activities.
- Your allergies are interfering with your quality of life.
- You struggle to catch your breath.
- You wheeze or cough often.
- Your chest feels tight.
- You break out in hives often.
- You’ve experienced swelling of the tongue.
- You’ve had trouble swallowing after eating or a tight, hoarse throat.
Allergy Testing at Taylor Internal Medicine
When you suffer from allergies, there is no reason to surrender to them! At Taylor Internal Medicine, we offer a variety of allergy testing and treatment options. Let’s explore some of the allergy testing options available.
IgE Skin Tests
Also known as skin prick tests, this type of testing is relatively common and can identify multiple allergies on a single visit. When people think about allergy testing, this is the one that typically comes to mind. In this type of allergy testing, a predetermined number of allergens are pricked into the surface of the skin in a grid-like pattern on the skin, usually the back. Within a few minutes, reactions to substances you are allergic to will cause swelling of the spot where it was pricked. Reactions may be treated on the spot and the results are interpreted to create specific allergy injections to help reduce your allergies over time.
If skin prick tests are negative, but an allergy is suspected, an intradermal test may be used. For this type of testing, the allergen is injected underneath the skin, like a tuberculosis test. The physician will monitor for a reaction and treat it right away.
Challenge tests are typically used for food allergies or those that are less common. In challenge tests, a very small amount of an allergen is either inhaled or eaten to induce a reaction. The reactions are monitored by an experienced physician and treated immediately. This is a great way to identify that source and severity of allergies.
When IgE skin tests or challenge tests are either unsafe to perform — due to the severity of reaction or being on certain medications — or do not yield reliable results, blood tests may be performed to check for antibodies for allergens. Blood test results are not as immediate as the other allergy testing options.
Contact the experienced team at Taylor Internal Medicine for all of your allergy-related concerns.