2 Things Your Doctor WON’T Tell You About Allergy Testing

Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? Are itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose part of your summer every year? One of the first steps to treating your allergies is figuring out exactly what allergies you are suffering from. Allergy testing has been around for decades. The two most common types are the skin prick test, where your back basically becomes a petri dish in a laboratory, and the intradermal method where a very fine needle is used to introduce allergens directly into the skin. While both methods take about a half hour to administer and read, there are a few things that even the best doctors cannot control during your visit. 

1-Nonreactive Tests. 

Though some individuals have all the symptoms of seasonal allergies, sometimes the results come back inconclusive. That means that the person either did not have any of the allergens they were tested for, they are allergic to a different strain of the allergen, or the control test did not function.

Have you ever wondered why the flu shot changes every year? That is because doctors are trying to predict the exact strain of the flu that will be a problem each season. Sometimes, they hit the nail on the head. Other times, they are just wrong. People frequently get the flu shot and still get the flu. That is because they were immunized against the wrong strain of flu. This is similar to what can happen in allergy testing.

While many people are allergic to the basic strain of some pollens, weeds, and pet danders, others have very specific allergies. If the skin prick test comes back completely negative, this may be the case for you. Once the specific strain of allergen is found, treatment can usually be quite simple.

2-Overreactive Tests. 

While some will experience the problem of the nonreactive test, others will experience overreactive tests. A basic skin prick test or intradermal allergy test should produce a small raised bump on the skin when there is an allergy. However, some people have very serious allergies to certain things, and there have been cases where an individual had a large reaction.

Anaphylaxis during basic allergy testing is not unheard of. For this reason, it is very important that you go to a licensed doctor or allergist for treatment. It is important to protect yourself against what could happen. Doctors are trained with specific steps to take.

For more information, reach out to professionals like those at Allergy & Asthma Centers SC.