The only way to treat your allergy symptoms is to determine exactly what is causing them. This is done through a series of allergy tests.
How Is a Skin Test Performed?
A skin prick test is the most common form of allergy testing. This test involves placing a small drop of an allergen extract on your skin with a plastic device and lightly spinning the tip to allow a small amount of allergen to enter just below the surface of the skin. After 15 minutes, any swelling or redness is measured and, depending on the size, is considered a positive reaction.
An intradermal skin test may be completed next, which involves injecting a small amount of allergen under the skin with a needle. After 15 minutes any reactions are measured and classified as either positive or negative.
How Does a Blood Test Work?
A blood test is used to measure how much of an allergen-specific antibody, called IgE, is in your blood. The more allergen specific IgE in your blood, the more likely you are to be allergic. Blood tests may also be used in lieu of skin tests if a serious allergy makes skin testing unsafe or the skin test results are difficult to interpret.
How Are Food Allergies Tested?
Food allergies may be tested by a skin test or by a blood draw similar to environmental allergy testing.
Call Midwest Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists at (651) 702-0750 for more information or to schedule an appointment.