Getting an allergy test can help you find out what you’re allergic to, whether it’s through eating, touching, or breathing in. Allergy tests are usually skin or blood tests and can help you avoid risky situations that you may not want to find yourself in. Your allergy doctor will determine whether an allergy test is needed by looking at your medical history and taking an exam to see what allergies you should be tested for.
When Should You Seek Out an Allergy Test?
If you aren’t sure whether you’re allergic to something or not, but you start experiencing symptoms of allergy like it’s hard to breathe, you’re itchy, or you have hives, and you notice that your symptoms are not relieved by over-the-counter medications, it may be time to talk to your allergy doctor. Your doctor will be able to look at your history and take an exam to make sure that this may be an allergic reaction.
Once your allergy doctor determines that you may have allergies, they will start performing tests. The most common form of allergy testing is skin testing, where your skin is pricked with a small irritant to see if there’s a reaction. If a skin test can’t be performed, your doctor may perform a blood test.
How Are Allergies Treated?
The most common way your allergies are treated is by avoiding your allergens. Your allergy doctor will help you identify what can cause an allergy in your body and will help you to avoid these allergens. They may also recommend over-the-counter medications like nasal sprays or eyedrops.
If your allergies are severe, your doctor may recommend immunotherapy (allergy shots). This consists of a series of injections over a period of a few years. Another form of immunotherapy is through drops that are placed under the tongue, called SLIT (sublingual immunotherapy or allergy drops).