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Allergy Testing your Doctor Recommends

Jul 4, 2008
Your doctor may recommend a variety of allergy testing to diagnose your condition if you suspect you may have an allergy, but are uncertain as to the allergen causing your malady.

Different types of allergy testing can be used to identify various allergens. Some tests work better than others, depending on the allergy suspected. Therefore; be familiar with the various allergy tests available prior to making an appointment with your doctor. The tests available may fall into several categories including: Scratch tests, elimination tests, and blood tests.

Scratch Tests

Scratch tests are the most common type of allergy test that are done. This test consists of placing a small amount of the suspected allergen onto the surface of the skin, then scratching or pricking the area to allow penetration of the substance.

The other benefit of this particular type of test is that various other allergens can also be tested at the same time. This, therefore, makes this method most useful when the allergen is not know, when the allergens are airborne, and when the allergies are from foods and insect bites.

Elimination Diets

Another type of allergy testing that is often performed is the elimination diet which is used if a food allergy is suspected. A variety of foods are eliminated from the diet for several weeks that are considered potential allergens.

Each food is then introduced gradually back into the person's diet, carefully monitoring to determine which selections cause the allergy symptoms to return. This method works best on mild allergic reactions, but can also be potentially dangerous for severe allergies. If a severe allergy is suspected, a third method of allergy testing is preferred to ensure a life-threatening substance not enter into the system in any way.

Blood Tests

The last type of allergy testing is the blood test, commonly called the RAST test. This is performed in the laboratory and uses blood that has been drawn for the patient. The blood is examined for presence of immunoglobulin antibodies. These will indicate if the body is producing an allergic reaction. Elevated levels of IGE's can tell your doctor if you are allergic to certain types of allergens. This method is not always accurate or precise as are the other methods. Should your doctor decide to have allergy testing done, he will examine your family medical history and tell you when to stop your medications.
About the Author
Thanks for surfing by and checking out more about allergy information. Knowledge and info on this subject is often scarce and hard to find, so hopefully you got some insight you were previously lacking. Of course if you would like to learn more about Eye Allergies then stop by our website, bestallergyinfo.com.
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