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Many people suffer from allergies of one kind or another. In fact, more than 50 million Americans suffer from an allergy, which can be triggered due to different reasons and the extent of which, is different in each person. Some people suffer from seasonal allergies only during cold or warm weather, while others develop cough, sneezing, or rashes due to dust, pollen, or animal dander, which are the more common triggers of allergies.
By understanding the facts related to allergy testing, you can make sure that you have an increased understanding of your condition, and seek the proper treatment so that it is manageable in due time.
There Are Two Types of Allergy Tests
An allergy tests is performed either through the skin or through a blood test. Skin tests are however, quicker and produce positive reactions within 15-30 minutes. There are two types of skin tests, percutaneous or intracutaneous.
The percutaneous test is also known as the prick-puncture or scratch test, which is done by scratching the skin’s surface with a drop of the allergen. This test is usually performed on the forearm or back of the person, and allows testing of several allergens together. If there is a positive reaction, it is indicated by swelling and redness.
An intracutaneous test is performed when the results of a scratch test are doubtful. It is performed by injecting the suspected allergen in the skin using a syringe or fine needle. This type of test is more sensitive and positive, and often produces false positive results.
Medical History Is Important To Determine Allergy Testing
While an allergy test can be performed for children as well as adults, it is very important to determine the right test according to the patient’s age for which, their medical history is required.
Blood tests are conducted under special and specific circumstances, such as when a person has a high sensitivity level towards an allergen, or a more severe skin condition needs to be tested such as eczema, or if the doctor has advised against discontinuing any medication which can interfere with the test results.
A blood test is conducted by taking a blood sample and sending it to the laboratory. It is tested for the presence of antibodies that are specific to the suspected allergen. This kind of test takes several days.
Now that you know about the important and basic allergy testing facts, it is important that you get yourself tested if you fear you suffer from any kind of allergy. Contact us at 212-319-5282 to book an appointment with a NYC allergist today.