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If you have symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as itchy eyes, sneezing, wheezing or hives, your doctor may recommend you undergo allergy testing. Different, substances known as allergens, may trigger an allergic reaction, which can lead to a variety of symptoms. Although some people may suspect they have allergies or guess what they are allergic to, allergy testing is the best way to determine the culprit.
Once you see an allergist and have your allergies properly diagnosed, you can be treated more effectively and have symptoms controlled. On your first appointment with an allergy doctor, a physical exam will be performed, and a medical history taken. The allergist may then suggest certain types of allergy tests in order to confirm the diagnosis. Allergy tests are considered safe for people of all ages including young children.
An allergist may recommend a few different types of allergy tests depending on a person’s symptoms. IgE skin tests are one of the most common types of allergy tests performed. An IgE skin test involves introducing a very small amount of a suspected allergen into the skin through a needle. If a person is allergic to the substance injected, slight swelling, itching or a hive at the site of the skin prick will develop. The allergic reaction is usually localized and confined to the spot of the skin prick and resolves in less than an hour. In many instances, IgE skin tests can be performed in the allergist’s office.
In addition to the skin test, challenge tests may also be recommended. Challenge tests involved ingesting or inhaling a small amount of a suspected allergen. This type of allergy testing is usually done when a medication or food allergy is suspected. Challenge testing should always be carefully supervised by an allergist to monitor the patient for a severe allergic reaction.
Blood tests may also be done to help confirm a diagnosis. Blood tests may especially be helpful if other types of allergy tests are unable to be performed or are considered unsafe.
Allergy tests are generally painless, and results are often quick. Determining what you are allergic to can start you on the road to getting the right treatment and feeling better. Call 212- 679-1200 today in order to schedule an appointment with the best allergy doctor in New York City.