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Allergy Testing in Phoenix – FAQs you need to know

Allergy Testing for Adult Allergy Sufferers

Few topics cause more complaining than the topic of ‘allergies’.  A large number of Arizonans either have allergies themselves or know someone who suffers from them.  And we’ve all heard the stories, from the misery inflicted on people with Hay Fever, to the epi-pens carried by some individuals  who are at risk for anaphylactic shock due to bee stings which are especially common in our desert.  Because some allergies can cause dangerous reactions, it’s important that you consult a specialist if you suspect you have developed one.

If something you have eaten, taken, or come into contact with has caused you to have some sort of reaction, your doctor might recommend you have an allergy test done.  Allergy tests can help pinpoint the agents responsible for allergic reactions; once those agents are properly identified, you and your doctor can decide on a treatment regimen together that can help you avoid future reactions or mitigate their symptoms.   

But how do allergy tests work?Allergy Testing for skin allergies and food allergies in Phoenix

 It depends on the type of test done.

  • The most common type of allergy test performed is the IgE skin test.  This is the one everyone thinks of when they hear ‘allergy testing’.  In this test, small pricks or scratches are made in the skin, and potential allergens are introduced to each area.  If a reaction occurs, that means the person has a sensitivity to that allergen.  For example, say a person is tested with grass pollen, cat dander, and dust.  If they are allergic to the grass pollen, the skin tested with that allergen will swell, itch, and resemble an insect bite, while the other areas appear normal.  If there are no reactions but the doctor suspects an allergy nonetheless, a tiny amount of allergen may be injected under the skin to see if an allergic reaction occurs.
  • Another type of allergy test is the ‘Challenge’ test.  This type of allergy testing is often used for food or medication allergies.  In Challenge testing, a tiny amount of a potential allergen is inhaled or taken by mouth.  Because of the risk for potentially fatal allergic reactions, this test must be supervised by a trained medical professional, such as an allergist.
  • A third type of allergy test is the IgE blood test. This test isn’t really used unless you have a skin condition that rules out the IgE skin test, or you take certain medications.  The results are just as accurate as the other tests, but there is a delay in receiving results due to need in to send the sample to a lab for analysis.

Choose a Board Certified Allergist for proper allergy testing:

Regardless of the type of test you’re given, it’s important that you consult a true Allergist to have these tests conducted.  Tests unsupervised by a medical professional –such as in supermarkets, alternative health clinics, or at-home tests-can produce less reliable results and may increase the risk of dangerous reactions. Plus, many of these only test for the most common allergens; whereas at a practice like ours- we test for 140 allergens!

If you are in need of the most thorough allergy testing around, Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates, PLC  have your solution.  Please don’t hesitate to book online right now! We have offices in Phoenix, Avondale, Glendale, Scottsdale and Anthem!