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?
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.
- 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.
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!
Why do you keep getting allergies?
The fact is simple. If you’ve had a few allergic reactions, then you need to prepared for the onset of those symptoms as they can be triggered by numerous things out of your control. We’re not hoping to strike you with terror by saying this, but it helps to take your allergies seriously. Even when your reactions are considered “mild,” the irritation is likely highly unbearable though you just tell yourself it’s alright.
But It’s NOT alright!
Phoenix Allergies: More Complicated Than You Think
Allergies in Arizona are NOT that simple
Something needs to be done, and you should seek allergy testing by a licensed clinician who SPECIALIZES in treating allergies and asthma. You more than likely get triggers from numerous sources and not just one. So stop blaming those reactions on the seasons, and find out for sure why you’re having a runny nose, itchy eyes, sinus headaches and just all-around irritability. That irritability makes you not want to sleep at times
Let’s consider a few reasons why you have been experiencing some of these symptoms in the first place. Understanding this may give you a better perspective on why seeing a true allergy specialist in Arizona could change your life permanently.
Roughly 1.1 billion people on this planet smoke cigarettes. And you may be one of them– and we know how tough it is on you if you have allergies. Even if you aren’t a smoker, the likelihood of interacting with the smoke-filled air caused by secondhand smoke is high.
Even Phoenix air pollution and smog fall into the same category as a potential allergen that you have little power in escaping. Our Valley traffic and smog can trigger symptoms you don’t care for and yet you can do nothing about. Common friends to those triggers are simple experiences we all have that include colds, the flu and even sore throats.
And we know, it’s not your fault, but you should still have the best preventative steps taken so you’re not helpless. Dr Habib and Dr Alasaly are great for this. So next time you’re ready to blame your allergies on a single factor, be sure to see a professional to determine its real nature. You’d only be doing yourself a great favor this way- and we would love to meet you at one of our 5 Valley-wide offices!
Arizona Allergy Problems and Treatment for El Nino
Do you remember the strong El Niño of 1997-98? The Phoenix Valley and much of Arizona experienced a wet late winter. This year’s El Niño is at least as strong or possibly even stronger than the one in 1997-98, a fact that seems to be borne out by strong storms hitting the California coast and making their way over the mountains to Arizona. Not only will the tempest be in the skies, it will also be in the nasal passages and lungs of local allergy sufferers.
Already we’re seeing an uptick in the number of people visiting our Valley-wide allergy and asthma clinics. That’s because the wet conditions typical of an El Niño winter and spring in Arizona are ideal for producing mold spores followed by pollen as trees and desert plants begin awakening from their short winter slumber. Even if your allergies are mild, you will likely experience increased symptoms over the next few months.
For some patients, the strength of their symptoms can become severe, leading to respiratory distress and hospitalization. Become proactive and visit us before your symptoms become too severe. Ignoring strong allergy symptoms can lead to nasal and ear infections and to respiratory problems such as bronchitis in addition to severe asthma.
Unfortunately, many Arizonans can expect severe symptoms for several months. Due to our high levels of rain since last fall, the desert will come alive with blooming plants, meaning the air will be saturated with more pollen than normal until the summer burns it off.
In addition to immunotherapy and taking medications before you head outside, you can do several things to lessen symptom severity. Keep doors and windows closed and make sure that air conditioning filters are changed frequently. Set your ventilation system in your car to recirculate cabin air so additional allergens aren’t pulled in.
Pollen levels tend to be highest in the morning and dissipate as the day goes on. Avoid hiking and wear a mask if you are going to do any gardening. Shower when you come in to wash off pollen.
If your symptoms seem to spiral out of control, consider getting additional allergy testing. You may have developed additional sensitivities, but the only way to know definitively is to come into our office and be tested. Please contact our office today or online appointment setter today to schedule an appointment with our Allergy physician today!
Is your Phoenix Allergy & Asthma Clinic doing allergy testing for your child?
If you child is battling year-round allergies, and allergy medication and environmental control of symptoms isn’t enough, your Phoenix allergy and asthma clinic may recommend allergy shots for your child. Though effective for certain types of allergies and safe for kids as young as 5, allergy shots can nonetheless be a frightening suggestion for younger allergy patients.
Unless you’re severely allergic to something and ingesting it could harm you, allergies are mostly non-life threatening. But even so, mucus-filled sinuses and teary eyes are enough to get you feeling sluggish and unwilling to do anything but hold a tissue box and wait for it to pass.
There are many sources of allergies like food, some types of medicine, and things like dust and animal hair. Among the common allergens that get a lot of folks temporarily bedridden for days is pollen, which are tiny particles that plants use to fertilize each other. In fact, allergy to pollen is so common that there are various websites and news resources that keep track of pollen count, which is a numerical value assigned to describe how much pollen there could be outdoors at a given time.
According to HowStuffWorks.com writer Karen Serrano, MD:
When you hear or read about the daily pollen or mold count, it’s yesterday’s count. It represents the pollen or mold samples taken during the previous 24 hours. Pollen and mold counts are usually reported as low, moderate, high, or very high. These represent your risk of developing allergy symptoms. So if the pollen count is high, you have a high chance of having symptoms if you’re allergic to pollen.
Generally, the higher the count for your allergens, the greater your risk of developing allergy symptoms if you’re exposed. However, it isn’t absolute. Your allergy symptoms may also be affected by recent exposure to other allergens, the intensity of the exposure, and how allergic you are to the various allergens.
Allergic reactions, like stuffy noses, itchy skin, and swelling are actually caused by your immune system going temporarily haywire. When particles (mostly protein) from certain things like pollen, seafood, or medicines get into the body, the immune system tries to wipe them clean, but in the process of doing so, they release too much histamine, which causes various reactions. Although staying indoors can help reduce the symptoms, finding an allergist in Phoenix can help you find treatment to reduce the reaction.
Before finding treatment, an allergist first has to determine what you’re allergic to through different kinds of testing. Then, he can work with an immunologist in Phoenix labs or clinics like the Adult &Pediatric Allergy Associates, P.C. to come up with an effective treatment that will solve your allergic overreaction.