What You Need To Know About Allergen Testing Services

When your immune system overreacts to elements such as pollen, dust, and pet dander in the environment, an allergy attack can occur. Common allergy symptoms include teary eyes, sneezing, skin itchiness, and a running nose. If you're experiencing these symptoms, you may require allergy testing services. Here's what you should know regarding allergen testing.

The Importance of Allergen Testing

Allergic reactions such as asthma can lower the quality of life due to their symptoms. For instance, constant skin itching can be irritating. Additionally, allergic reactions such as sinusitis can cause death. Therefore, allergen testing services can help save your life and improve the quality of your life. The tests help you understand what your body is allergic to and get the proper treatment. Also, you will know the allergic reaction triggers to avoid.

Common Allergen Types

An allergen is a substance that triggers an allergic reaction. There are three main types of allergens:

Contact. The allergens have to touch your skin to trigger the allergic reaction. For instance, poison ivy causes a rash when the plant touches your body.

Inhaled. The allergens cause an allergic reaction when you inhale them, and they come into contact with your lungs or throat and nostril membranes. An example is pollen.

Ingested. The allergens occur in specific foods such as dairy products and peanuts.

The Types of Allergen Testing Services

The three common types of allergen testing services include:

Skin tests. This allergen testing identifies various potential allergens, including contact, air-borne and food-related allergens. The three skin test types are:

  • Scratch test. The test entails placing an allergen in a liquid that the doctor places on your skin's surface. If you exhibit allergy symptoms such as redness, you're allergic to the allergen.
  • Intradermal test. The doctor injects a small amount of allergen into your skin's dermis and observes your reaction.
  • Patch test. The doctor uses adhesive patches containing suspect allergens and sticking the patches on your skin. The doctor reviews your body's reaction over several days.

Blood test. Doctors examine your blood in the lab during a blood test to determine whether antibodies that fight specific allergens are present in your blood. This allergen testing is sufficient for detecting IgE antibodies that fight significant allergens. High levels of IgE antibodies indicate that you're probably allergic to a particular food.

Elimination diet. The test helps the doctor understand the foods that cause an allergy. Ideally, the doctor removes suspect foods from your diet and later incorporates them into your diet again. How you react to the foods helps establish whether you're allergic to those particular foods.

The importance of allergen testing, types of allergens, and types of allergy testing are things you should know about allergy testing services. With this information, you can now take your allergy test confidently. Contact an allergen testing service near you to learn more.