Allergies are a very common disorder found in children, teens and adults. They are caused by a sensitivity or abnormal response of your immune system when exposed to a particular substance or allergen. While most symptoms brought on by allergies—runny nose; itchy eyes, nose, throat and skin; mild shortness of breath—are generally relatively harmless and easily managed, some people suffer from more chronic reactions affecting their entire body such as severe swelling, vomiting and trouble breathing (often signs of anaphylaxis). Those who suffer from anaphylaxis require immediate medical attention, as these symptoms can be life threatening.
Depending on your suspected allergy (or allergic rhinitis)—environmental, food, insect or drug —our team offers a variety of different allergy testing options to help identify what substance is causing your allergic reaction. Allergy testing is usually done in one of two ways:
- Skin test - A small amount of the allergen is placed on or below the skin. This test is commonly done on either the arm or back.
- Blood test - A blood sample is taken and used to identify antibodies in the blood in response to particular allergens. This test is usually done when a patient is unable to have a skin test.
Based on the results of this allergy test, your physician will recommend the best treatment options. This may include allergy shots (or immunotherapy) or medical management of symptoms. Since there is no cure for allergies, our goal is to develop a treatment plan that will help reduce your allergy symptoms over time.