Millions of adults, children, and even infants across the country suffer from seasonal and environmental allergies. These can be caused by everything from the inhalation of pollen and other allergens to contact with plants that cause localized reactions. Allergy Testing in Evansville IN is the most effective way to determine the root cause of environmental allergens so that patients and their doctors can come up with effective treatment plans.
What is an Allergy Test?
Allergy tests are performed by exposing patients to one potential allergen at a time in a controlled manner. The most common form of allergy testing for contact and inhaled allergens is a skin test, although, in circumstances where a skin test might produce an extreme reaction, blood testing may also be required. Most of the time, ingested allergens are discovered via a more lengthy process known as an elimination diet.
What Does a Skin Test Entail?
Skin tests come in three varieties: scratch tests, intradermal tests, and patch tests. These three tests use the same principles to discover the cause of the patient’s reaction, though.
- Scratch tests are administered by a specialist who places a small amount of a potential allergen into a liquid substrate, then introduces that substance to the patient’s skin via a specialized tool that lightly punctures, or scratches, the top layers. The patient’s reaction to the foreign substance will then be monitored for signs of allergic response such as swelling, redness, or itchiness.
- Intradermal tests are often used when the results of scratch tests are inconclusive. They require a tiny amount the potential allergen to be injected into the patient’s dermis layer.
- Patch tests are intended for at-home use, as patients must leave the patches on their bodies for between 48 and 96 hours. The patient will then return to the doctor for two different evaluations.
When is Blood Testing Used?
Blood testing, also known as Immuno CAP, is less common but for those who may produce severe allergic reactions to skin tests, it can provide valuable insight. The patient’s blood is simply sent to a laboratory and tested for the presence of specific antibodies.
Get Started Today
No matter what type of allergic reaction a patient suffers from, the first step is always the same: Allergy Testing in Evansville IN. Visit Dr. Steven Smith MD to get started on the process today.