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Allergy TestingIn Miami & Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

What Is an Allergy Test?

Testing for allergies is a process that tries to identify the thing (or things) that make your body overreact. Our immune systems have a built-in response to environmental triggers, and that's usually a good thing — it helps protect us from potential dangers and poisons.

Sometimes this reaction goes a little overboard or gets sparked by things that aren't dangerous — things like pollen, pet hair, or peanuts. And while it's usually just annoying and inconvenient, sometimes it's this overreaction that can be deadly. So that makes it extremely important to find out what is causing your body to respond so extremely. That's where allergy tests come in.

What Is an Allergy Test?

Testing for allergies is a process that tries to identify the thing (or things) that make your body overreact. Our immune systems have a built-in response to environmental triggers, and that's usually a good thing — it helps protect us from potential dangers and poisons.

Sometimes this reaction goes a little overboard or gets sparked by things that aren't dangerous — things like pollen, pet hair, or peanuts. And while it's usually just annoying and inconvenient, sometimes it's this overreaction that can be deadly. That makes it extremely important to find out what it is exactly that's causing your body to respond so extremely. That's where allergy tests come in.

How do I Know If I Need an Allergy Test?

If the story about the dinner party sounds at all familiar, you should get an allergy test. Also, our bodies have a variety of ways of responding to triggers, so allergies can look as different as the people experiencing them. However, there are a few more common symptoms.

Your allergist is likely to recommend allergy testing if you exhibit:

  • Itchy skin, a rash, or eczema
  • Itchy eyes, nose, and throat
  • Nasal congestion, runny nose, and watery eyes
  • Coughing, wheezing, or chest congestion
  • Cramping, diarrhea, or vomiting after eating certain foods
  • A severe response to an insect sting or bite

Almost everything has the potential to be an allergen, so identifying the cause of your reaction can require expertise.

Types of Allergy Tests

Common allergy tests used by Dr. Joorabchi include:

Skin Testing

A small amount of allergen is injected into your skin. You may see a slight rash or minor swelling within 20 minutes, indicating an allergy to the substance, or you may see no response at all, indicating no allergy.

Patch Testing

Your patch test is specific to your occupation, environment, and activities. The North American 80 is a general patch test first performed. A large sticker is placed on your back for 48 hours. The results provide Dr. Joorabchi information on chemical allergies, such as latex, jewelry, skin creams, etc. Once inflammation presents itself, more specific tests will focus on discovering key allergens.

Blood Tests

Your blood will be drawn and sent to a laboratory. This test takes a little longer than a skin test and is used if you have a skin condition that might make skin testing inaccurate.

Challenge Tests

You inhale or ingest a small amount of allergen; this is used mostly to diagnose allergies to foods or medications.

Penicillin Allergy Testing

One of the most commonly reported drug allergies in the United States is penicillin and other similar antibiotics. According to one study, as many as 30 million people claim to be allergic to penicillin. However, after proper testing, less than one percent are truly allergic.

What Happens After My Allergy Test?

Once Dr. Joorabchi has identified what triggers your allergies, he can try several treatments to reduce your symptoms. Because your body is unique, your treatment will need to be customized to accurately and effectively interact with your immune system. Potential therapies include weekly allergy shots or sublingual drop therapy, which you administer yourself in your home for a specified period.

If you don't feel better right away, that's reasonably normal. However, many treatment options exist, so Dr. Joorabchi will recommend alternate methods until you have found a treatment that works for you or your child.

Immunotherapy

There are two forms of immunotherapy that may be administered: Subcutaneous (SCIT) and Sublingual (SLIT).

Allergy Shot Therapy (SCIT)

Your allergy shot therapy is scheduled weekly or biweekly. The shots contain an antigen, and the dosage is increased until you are no longer allergic or your reactions subside. Allergy shot therapy is considered the gold standard of immunotherapy. However, it may take three to five years to reach complete immunity.

Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT)

A popular alternative to SCIT, sublingual immunotherapy is easily administered in the comfort of your home. Dr. Joorabchi will mix bottles every three months and the solution can be added into toothpaste for children. Studies have shown SLIT offers higher levels of compliance (especially among children) and is a safe and effective treatment.

Schedule your allergy test with Dr. Joorabchi today

Unknown severe allergies to relatively rare things (i.e., bee stings, jellyfish stings, poison ivy) can turn a simply painful experience into a tragic event. Peace of mind can come from knowing what to watch out for, and Dr. Joorabchi can help you find it. Give us a call at (954) 438-7171. We look forward to getting to know you and helping you live your best life now.

FAQs

How does an allergy test work?

An allergy test is a series of tests to identify your allergens. It is a process-of-elimination system that exposes you to different potential triggers in a safe and controlled way to see what causes your allergy response. Different types of allergy testing are designed to test for other allergens depending on what may be causing the allergic reaction.

The different tests work in different ways, but they all perform the same primary function. That is, they expose your body to tiny amounts of potential triggers to see if your immune system jumps into action.

What will an allergy test do for me?

By conducting an allergy test for you, Dr. Joorabchi can pinpoint precisely what is triggering your allergies and design a treatment to help you get them under control.

So if you've had an allergic reaction recently and aren't sure what the cause was - you should get tested. Or perhaps you know you have specific allergies but don't know if your child needs to be careful of the same things? In that case, it's a good idea to have them tested soon. Accurately identifying your particular allergy triggers can work wonders. You'll know what to avoid, but it could also save your (or your child's) life.

Could I have a dangerous reaction to the test?

It is theoretically possible to have a severe reaction (called an “anaphylactic reaction”), but it's extremely unlikely. The tests use only a tiny fraction of the amount of allergen you'd usually encounter in everyday life. While it is possible to have a severe reaction to such a small dose, the risk of that happening is extremely low. If that were going to happen, being in a doctor's office where emergency intervention is readily available is a very safe place to be. Again, it's unlikely you'll have a severe reaction to the test, but if it does happen, you are in the right place to receive appropriate care.

If you suffer from persistent congestion or sinus pain, every day feels like a struggle. But there is a way to stop the headaches, the runny noses, and the sleepless nights. Schedule your consultation at Broward ENT & Allergy today to get relief from your ENT issues and start breathing freely again.

500 N Hiatus Rd. Suite 101, Pembroke Pines, FL