If you suffer from allergies, you have probably tried a number of over-the-counter remedies over the years. You probably have also seen your doctor at least once in an effort to try and find some relief for your allergy symptoms. You may have even been tested for allergies, to determine the extent of your symptoms.
You are at the point where you are so frustrated that you will try just about anything…even allergy testing. But allergy testing isn’t as bad as it may seem.
Here are some frequently asked on allergy testing:
1) How Do I Know if I Should Get Tested for Allergies? You and your doctor may decide that allergy testing could be beneficial to you in order to narrow down what is causing you the most trouble. A thorough physical examination and detailed health history may lead you to see an ENT.
Moreover, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology recommends immunotherapy as a great allergy treatment option if you have recurring allergies. An ENT can also help you reach a diagnosis and also to put you on a proper and personalized allergy treatment and management plan.
2) What Does an Allergy Test Show? Doctors, especially specialists, may be able to tell if your exposure to certain things such as cat hair or pollen cause you to have allergic reactions. The information you provide to your ENT is very relevant in determining what allergies you may have. Allergy tests can often confirm these findings and expand upon them.
3) What Kinds of Allergy Tests are Available? Allergies can be tested by either skin or blood tests. Your doctor will determine which type of test is best for you in your unique situation.
4) Should I get a Skin Test or Blood Test? According to the American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, skin tests are preferable in most situations because the results are immediately available. They are less expensive than blood tests, and they are sensitive to very subtle allergies.
However, a blood test may be appropriate when you have a skin disease that may make skin testing difficult, or when you cannot stop certain medicine that would render the skin test ineffective.
A blood test may also be preferable if you are so sensitive to the allergens in the skin test that the risks of the skin test outweigh the benefits. Obviously, you should speak with your doctor about which test may be best for you.
5) Are Allergy Tests Reliable? Allergy skin testing is considered the best test currently available to aid in the diagnosis of environmental allergies. However, you should know that allergy skin testing is not always perfect.
The test may show that you have a positive reaction to a particular allergen in the test but you may not have a reaction to the same substance “outside of the lab.”
Moreover, these tests sometimes do not detect every substance you may be allergic to. But, the tests are the best tools we have in providing important clues as to what substances are likely causing your symptoms.
Contact an ENT Specialist Today
If you suspect that you may be suffering from an allergy or allergic reaction to something, contact an ENT specialist right away. He or she can help you with the allergy testing process, and determine what the best course of action is for you to get relief from your symptoms.