Posts Tagged ‘Allergy’

Allergy testing

Written by Medicine and Health. Posted in Tests, procedures and surgery

Allergy testing – Definition

Allergy tests are a group of tests that are used to find out or confirm which substances are causing allergic reactions.

Allergy testing – Reasons for Test

These tests help to identify the causes of allergic reactions. The specific causes will help determine a treatment plan.

Allergy testing – What to Expect

Prior to Test

Keep a diary of your allergy symptoms. When you have symptoms, write them down, including:

  • What time it happened
  • Where it happened
  • What you ate
  • What you have come in contact with

Depending on the type of allergy test, your doctor may advise you to stop taking certain medicines prior to the test.

Description of the Test

There are several types of allergy tests:

  • Blood testing — You will roll up your sleeve. The technician will clean the area with an antiseptic. An elastic band will be tied around the upper arm. A needle will be inserted into the vein. Blood will be collected into a vial. The elastic band will be untied and the needle will be removed. The technician will cover the site with a bandage. The sample will be sent to the lab for testing. The blood will be tested to see if it reacts to certain substances.
  • Skin testing — The suspected allergen (substance that causes the allergic reaction) will be applied directly to the skin. It may be applied with a shallow scratch or with a skin-prick needle. The needle will push the substance into the surface layer of the skin. For every allergen tested, you will have a separate scratch or skin prick. Redness and swelling will appear if you are allergic. It usually takes about 15-20 minutes to appear. This may be followed by intradermal testing. In this case, the allergen is placed deeper into the skin.
  • Patch testing — Patches containing suspected allergens are placed on the skin. The patches will be left in place for 48 hours. You will be asked not to shower or get them wet. They will then be removed. The skin will be examined after 48-96 hours. If there is a reaction, the skin will become itchy at the site. A blister-like lesion may form.

After Test

There are no special steps that you need to take after the test.

Allergy testing – How Long Will It Take?

  • For blood testing: a few minutes
  • For skin testing: 15-20 minutes
  • For patch testing: 48 hours with the patch on, 48-96 hours for observation

Allergy testing – Will It Hurt?

You may have mild irritation where the substance is applied to the skin.

Allergy testing – Results

Once specific allergens have been identified, you can take steps to avoid these triggers. This will help lessen allergic symptoms. Ask your doctor to give you strategies to control your allergies. Adjust your activities to avoid exposure to allergens that bother you.

Allergy testing – Call Your Doctor

After the test, call your doctor if you develop a severe rash or have any questions or concerns.

Allergic Rhinitis

Written by Medicine and Health. Posted in Chest conditions, Disease, Condition & Injury, Ears, nose & throat, Head & neck conditions, Lungs

(Hay Fever; Seasonal Allergies)

Allergic rhinitis – Definition

Allergic rhinitis is the set of symptoms that occurs when you breathe in substances you are allergic to. These substances are called allergens and are small proteins.

  • Seasonal (intermittent) allergic rhinitis (sometimes called hay fever or rose fever) — This occurs during times of the year when allergens are in the air, like spring, summer, and fall. The most common allergen are tree, grass or weed pollens.
  • Perennial (persistent) allergic rhinitis — This condition is caused by allergens that may be present year round. These may include chemicals, dust, dust mites, cockroaches, animal dander, or mold spores. Symptoms may be present any time of year.

This area has swelling and increased mucus production after contact with an allergen.

Food Allergy

Written by Medicine and Health. Posted in Disease, Condition & Injury, Ears, nose & throat, Head & neck conditions

Food allergy – Definition

A food allergy is an adverse or abnormal immune reaction to a food or a food additive.

Food allergy – Causes

A few specific foods seem to cause a majority of the food reactions. The most common triggers of a food reaction include:

  • Cow’s milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Tree nuts (eg, walnuts, pecans)
  • Sesame seed

Poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac

Written by Medicine and Health. Posted in Arm conditions, Disease, Condition & Injury, Skin arm conditions, Skin conditions, Skin conditions on legs

(Allergic Contact Dermatitis; ACD; Contact Dermatitis; Allergic Dermatitis)

Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Poison Sumac – Definition

Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are plants that cause a rash in those allergic to them. This rash is caused by a chemical in the sap. About 50%-70% of people are sensitized to this chemical and are, therefore, allergic. Virtually everyone will eventually become sensitized if repeatedly exposed.