Over 50 million people in the United States have allergies. In order to determine what substance one is allergic to, an allergy test is done.
Allergy testing can be done either as a skin prick or blood test. This test is usually done under the guidance of an allergy specialist. This specialist is trained for helping patients find the best testing method and treating allergies.
Skin Testing for Allergies
Skin test is the most common method for testing allergies. It’s fast (you can get results as short as 20 minutes), reliable, and relatively painless.
There are two types of skin testing for allergies. The first type is performed on the forearm. A drop of a suspected allergen is pricked on the surface of the skin. If you are allergic to it, you will develop redness and swelling on the tested spot.
There are cases on which the doctor would recommend another type of skin testing. In this type, a small amount of suspected allergen is injected into the skin. Signs like redness and swelling usually indicate an allergic reaction to the injected allergen.
In both types of skin test, several types of suspected allergens can be tested at the same time.
Blood Testing for Allergies
Blood test is usually recommended if skin testing might be unsafe or won’t work (i.e. patient has a severe skin condition or taking certain medications that may interfere with the results).
Since the blood sample must be sent to the lab for testing, it may take days to get the results from the blood test.
Blood test for allergies can help determine allergies for pollen, dust mites, animal dander, insect stings, foods, mold, and some medicine.
Knowing what you are allergic to can be life-saving especially if you have a family history of allergies. Greater Knoxville ENT have specialists who can help you determine the right allergy test and treatment for you.
To request an appointment, you can call us at (865) 244-4396 or fill out the form here.