An allergy is the immune system’s overreaction to an allergen, which can be something a person inhales, touches or eats. Upon exposure to an allergen, the individual’s body produces antibodies known as Immunoglobulin E (IgE), which travel to different cells to cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Allergy testing can determine if a person has an allergy, and can even pinpoint the specific allergen causing the symptoms. The IgE skin test is the most common type of allergy test and is relatively painless. It involves the injection of various allergens into the skin through small pricks in the skin. Minor swelling will occur at the injection site of the allergen if an allergy is present. IgE skin tests are quick, as reactions usually occur within 20 minutes.
Doctors recommend immunological testing to detect a variety of conditions, including seasonal allergies, asthma, eczema, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, atopic dermatitis, urticaria, food allergies, drug allergies, pet allergies and more. The tests help clinicians create a treatment plan to alleviate symptoms that can include:
Allergy testing is relatively safe and effective for adults and children, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Most insurance plans cover allergy testing and immunology care.
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