How Doctors Test for Allergies

If your allergies won’t let up, it may be time to see your doctor. A detailed diagnosis also includes multiple steps to treat allergies as best as possible.

The number of people who suffer from allergies or asthma keeps increasing. These ailments affect approximately 40 to 50 million Americans. Since allergies are so common, doctors have developed many effective treatment plans for their patients.

How Doctors Test for Allergies

Some of these methods include the following:

  • Allergy testing and identifying possible triggers
  • Treating beyond just your symptoms
  • Creating an individualized plan to reduce symptoms
  • Coming up with a cost effective method to treat your allergies

There are also two important steps when it comes to an allergy diagnosis by your doctor. Your doctor needs to take your medical history and perform an allergy test selection.

Let Allergies be History

Taking your medical history can be just as crucial as the allergy testing process itself. Together, both allergy testing and your medical history will be an effective step in diagnosing your issues. These tests include both blood and skin tests to determine the root of the allergy. Most commonly, these allergies will be a result of pollen, dust mites, medicines, foods, latex, or venom.

Skin tests prove to be the most effective, but a blood test can be a successful diagnostic tool in severe cases. If these tests do not work for the patient, then a medical history and physical exam can be key steps in the final diagnosis.

The Allergy Test of Choice

Choosing the right test is a crucial step in diagnosing allergies. Medical professionals know which tests will work for you as they have expert training. This allows them to take a unique approach with each patient.

Board-certified doctors, like Dr. Shukla, know that each patient will have an individual allergy diagnostic plan. He is up-to-date on the necessary literature, methods, and most recent technology to obtain the most effective test results. Each test is chosen based on a patient’s symptoms, exposures to certain substances, and their age.

Allergy Testing that Meets Your Expectations

You may be wondering what to expect with all these allergy tests. One test is called “the prick test.” This test entails pricking the surface of your skin with a small amount of the allergen the doctor thinks may be affecting you. The doctor will perform the test on your back or the inside of your arms. After the doctor administers the test, redness and swelling will occur at the sight if there is an allergy present.

Another type of test used is “the intradermal test.” This test takes a very fine needle with the allergen and is injected under the first few layers of skin. The intradermal test is used when the prick test has unclear results.

Both of these skin tests are the top methods to measure allergies, even more so than blood tests. However, a blood test may be introduced if these two methods don’t give you any answers. Other factors that may interfere with your allergy test include the following:

  • You are on medication that may interfere with allergy testing
  • You have a skin condition
  • Your allergy is too severe and you should avoid too much exposure

If you do need to resort to a blood test, a sample will be sent to the lab to determine if there is a specific allergen causing your symptoms. This test can take up to a few days to produce results.

Whatever allergy testing plan is selected, your doctor has the knowledge to decide what specific allergens should be tested, thoroughly analyze the results, and develop the proper treatment plan for you.

If you are looking to diagnose and manage your allergies, be sure to get in contact with Dr. Mayank Shukla at one of our New York practices throughout Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn.

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