Allergies are a common problem, impacting more than 50 million Americans. However, just because they’re common doesn’t mean they’re all the same.
When you have an allergy, your immune system misfires, misinterpreting something harmless as a threat. Since everyone is different, that means your body could react to ragweed in the spring, but someone else gets gravely ill when they consume peanuts. So, where do you start?
The first step should be a visit to a specialist who has advanced training in allergic conditions. At Advanced Allergy & Asthma in Ogden, Utah, our team provides the latest diagnostics and treatments for acute and chronic allergies.
If you have allergy symptoms or a related condition, like asthma, here’s how we can help.
Where to start
First, we discuss your symptoms.
While numerous things can cause an allergic response, they often fall into three distinct categories: stuff you inhale, touch, or ingest. Then, after your exposure, allergy symptoms occur. And, believe it or not, your reaction can also provide clues as to your trigger.
There are numerous inhaled allergens, ranging from pollen and dust to pet dander and mold. However, these allergy triggers usually cause sneezing, coughing, itchy or watery eyes, and a stuffy or runny nose.
As you can imagine, these allergens involve something that comes in contact with your skin, like latex. When you have an allergic reaction because of something you touch, it’s common to develop symptoms on your skin, like a rash, hives, or swelling.
These reactions occur because of something you eat. As a result, they usually trigger symptoms in your mouth, throat, or face, including tingling or burning sensations and hives.
These reactions can vary significantly from trigger to trigger and person to person. In some cases, they can be a minor inconvenience, but they can have life-threatening consequences for others.
How to get answers
Whether you suspect a specific trigger or have no idea, our team can help you find definitive answers through allergy testing. We rely on three different methods to get results.
One of our first screenings usually involves the scratch test. We use this form of allergy testing to identify airborne, food, and contact allergens.
We place a tiny amount of liquid containing a potential allergen on your skin to perform the test. Then, we lightly prick the surface of your skin so it can penetrate. Next, we watch the site. If localized redness, itching, or swelling occurs, you could have an allergy.
This form of allergy testing also involves your skin. However, we inject trace amounts of a potential allergen into your skin instead of placing some on the surface, like a scratch test.
Intradermal testing is a useful screening method to identify more subtle allergic reactions. It can also trigger a much stronger response. Because of that, we don’t use this method for suspected food allergies.
In some cases, we could recommend blood testing. We use this method to measure a specific antibody in your blood, known as immunoglobulin E (igE). You can have high levels of igE in response to certain allergens.
It can take slightly longer to get allergy results using this method. However, it allows us to test for a wide range of allergens as safely as possible. For example, we could recommend this approach if you have a severe skin condition, like eczema or psoriasis, or need medications that could interfere with testing.
Blood testing is also much safer if you have a risk of strong or potentially dangerous allergic reactions.
With our help, we can help identify your allergy triggers and develop a treatment strategy to keep your symptoms under control in the future.
Do you have allergies? Contact Advanced Allergy & Asthma to schedule a consultation by calling or booking online today.