How To Prepare for Allergy Testing

by John

Rashes, itchiness, welts, runny nose, sneezing, irritated and watery eyes may be signs of an allergy caused by dirt, certain foods, pollens, flowers, insects and other allergens. In some cases these external manifestations come and go. In other cases the allergy will only go away after taking an antihistamine tablet. For some, an allergy can be life-threatening. If you suffer from some from of allergy at certain times of the year, it will do you good to have an allergy test. It is a simple procedure and the tips below will help you to prepare for allergy testing.

Symptoms and the Situations

Fill up the form that the immunology doctor’s office will give you. You need to provide a detailed medical history, and recall the times when you experienced an allergy, the symptoms and the situations and conditions when the allergy appears and the medication and other things that you do to treat the allergy. These will help the doctor in determining if the allergic reactions run in your family or are unique to you.

Disclose all the details that lead to the allergic reaction. You may be allergic to the scent of certain flowers, eating certain foods, like shellfish, crustaceans, and nuts. You may also be allergic to pollens. All these are useful bits of information to assist the immunologist in determining what causes the allergic reactions, and how to treat your condition. Tell your doctor all the medications that you use to treat different conditions. Some of the allergic reactions may be from the interactions of the different ingredients in different medicines and their reactions with things that you eat. Some of the medications that you are currently taking may interfere with the allergy test results. Check with your doctor which of the medications you take should be stopped.

Medications are flushed out of your system at different rates so the doctor may prescribe that you stop taking some of your medication, like antihistamines, antidepressants and medication for heart burn for at least ten days before you come for allergy testing. Expect to undergo several skin tests for allergic reactions, based on your medical condition and history so avoid applying anything on your skin when you go for your appointment. If the doctor determines that you need to have immediate test results, you may be given a percutaneous skin test, which is the most common form. Your skin will be pricked or scratched and the allergen applied directly to the scratch. This test is administered to determine if you are allergic to mold, dust mites, pollen and certain foods. If the doctor thinks that you may be allergic to penicillin or insect venom, you will be given an intracutaneous skin test where the allergens are injected into your skin.

A patch test will be administered to test your reactions to perfumes and chemicals, as well as certain medications. The scratch test can involve up to forty different allergens so you should schedule your appointment on a day when you are free. It is possible for you to resume other activities right after the allergy test. It may be inconvenient for a while since your forearm will be covered with welts or skin bumps as a result of the test. However the skin irritation will subside in less than an hour and you will be fine. Based on the results you may be prescribed to take medication, undergo immunotherapy or have a diet change.

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