Your eyes are itchy, red and watery. Your nose is stuffy and runny. Your breathing is more difficult and you might even have had an asthma attack. You might notice a rash, hives or other skin disorder. Sometimes this may occur with the change of seasons. Or, symptoms may exhibit themselves after eating certain foods or being in certain environments. Chances are, your body is reacting to allergies. At LuminCARE, we can help you pinpoint what’s causing your symptoms by testing you for allergies and prescribing the right treatment.
What is an allergy?
An allergy is a damaging immune response by the body to a substance, especially pollen, fur, a specific food, or dust, to which it has become hypersensitive. The body reacts with symptoms described above. In some people, severe allergic reactions to environmental or dietary allergens or to medication may result in life-threatening reactions called anaphylaxis.
How do we test for allergies?
The team of healthcare professionals at LuminCARE uses a variety of methods to test for allergies, including skin tests and blood tests.
Skin Tests are the most common type of allergy testing:
- Skin prick testing places a small drop of solution containing the suspected allergen on the skin. The area is then pricked or scratched to allow the allergen to enter the skin. If the person is allergic to the allergen, a red, raised, itchy area develops.
- Intradermal testing involves injecting a small amount of allergen-laden solution into the skin. This test is more sensitive than the skin prick test.
- Skin patch testing uses a pad that contains the solution with the allergen. The pad is taped to the skin for 24 to 72 hours. This test is used to detect contact dermatitis. Blood testing is used to identify antibodies in the blood to specific allergens. This testing is generally used for people who are unable to have skin tests.
What does testing reveal?
Allergy testing will pinpoint which allergens cause reactions in an individual. These allergens include tree, shrub and weed pollens as well as molds, dust, feathers and pet dander. Other allergens that may be identified include foods such as eggs, milk, peanuts, nuts, fish, soy, wheat or shellfish. Testing can also alert an individual to any allergies to certain drugs or insect/animal venom.
Some tests results are available within a matter of minutes. In other instances, results may not be available for several hours or days.
If the LuminCARE staff recommends allergy testing, you may need to stop taking certain nonprescription and prescription medications for a few days before the testing can be completed. We’ll discuss testing preparation with you before proceeding.
Is testing painful?
The testing itself may create a slight pricking sensation. If your body reacts to any allergens, those areas may become red and itchy.
Don’t suffer with undiagnosed allergies.
The LuminCARE team can help you determine if allergy testing is appropriate for you. Stop by today.