What is Allergy Testing?
Allergies affect about 50 million people in the United States, reports the American College of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology. Florida residents suffer from coughs, runny noses and nasal congestion due to tropical weather conditions and plant growth. At South Coast Ear, Nose & Throat, Dr. Camysha Wright uses her expertise in allergies to test patients and provide them relief from their symptoms.
What is allergy testing?
Allergens are things in the environment which, when inhaled, eaten or touch, spike immune system reactions. Allergy testing exposes patients to allergens via:
- Skin prick in which a tiny amount of a suspected allergen is introduced to the patient with a very small puncture on the forearm or back
- Skin puncture which injects a possible allergen into the skin of the upper arm or forearm
- Blood tests (appropriate for people with widespread skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis)
- Challenge tests in which the individual ingests or inhales a suspected allergen (the allergist fully monitors the test from start to finish)
Combined with a review of medical history and a physical examination, test results show the doctor what substances a patient reacts to and to what extent. Most skin reactions are red, itchy, raised bumps which appear within minutes.
Some reactions take a day or two to develop. The patient monitors the tested areas at home and reports any skin changes to the doctor. This information allows Dr. Wright to recommend strategies and medications to minimize allergic sensitivities.
Are allergy tests safe?
It seems counterintuitive--even scary--to place a suspected allergen into a patient's skin. But, rest assured your allergist is trained in the safest, most effective ways to gather information about your allergies and also to treat those sensitivities precisely with excellent results.
Symptoms which indicate you have allergies
The allergies frequently seen and treated at South Coast Ear, Nose & Throat typically show symptoms such as:
- Runny nose
- Itchy eyes
- Nasal congestion
- Coughing (dry, hacking and consistent day to day)
Additionally, people who are allergic to animal dander, foods, pollen, mold, and insect vectors often show signs of:
- Extreme tiredness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rashes (especially hives) and itching
Noting your symptoms, along with when they happen and how long they last, help your allergist plan your care.
The otolaryngologist at South Coast Ear, Nose & Throat in Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie and Okeechobee see many allergy patients and help them manage their symptoms for a fuller, more comfortable life. Call today to arrange an individualized consultation.
Looking to receive allergy testing? Contact South Coast Ear, Nose & Throat,
located in Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, and Okeechobee, to make an appointment!