There are few ways to test someone to find out if they are allergic or not. Depending on the symptoms of the patients and what we find after we listen to your story and what we find out during your examination, we can choose from three commonly used tests. No matter what test one uses, one need to connect the dots to see if the test results are meaningful for the patient’s problem. For example, if patient has year long symptoms and is found to be allergic to only grass pollen, one should not blame grass pollen for the patient year long misery and look for answers elsewhere.
These tests are designed to determine if you have allergy to what you inhale (like pollen, molds, dust mites, animal dander etc.); ingest (food, medications such as penicillin, occasionally other antibiotics), venom and latex.
It can help in certain patients when patient cannot discontinue allergy medications, cannot be tested due to concomitant skin diseases and patient preference. The blood test has value in certain patients with food allergy to decide if they can tolerate the food. Blood allergy test has more value in patient with bee, wasp, yellow jacket or hornet allergy. There are some allergen for which there is no skin test available.
Patch testing is designed to assess allergy to what comes in contact with skin i,e, metals, perfumes, skin care products. Visit Patch Testing for more information.