If you suspect that you have allergies, your doctor can perform several different tests to confirm your allergies. The type of allergy test that you get depends on a few factors, including your symptoms, the allergies in question, and the severity of your reactions. Make an appointment with an allergy doctor Las Vegas to pinpoint the cause of your symptoms and get relief.
Types of Allergy Tests
A doctor can test you for Las Vegas allergies in several ways. The most common allergy tests are:
- Skin tests
- Blood tests
- Spirometry tests
- Food challenges
- Medication (vaccine) challenges
- Patch testing
Your allergist will recommend an allergy test based on the type of allergy suspected. A doctor may also use a combination of tests to diagnose an allergy, such as skin testing and blood tests. Of all tests used to check for allergies, skin tests are the most common. Blood tests may be used in cases where skin testing is not a suitable option, such as if the patient cannot stop taking certain medications that would affect the results. Spirometry tests measure lung function. They are often used to confirm or rule out asthma. Food and vaccine challenges are multi-step tests used to check for allergies. Desensitization is used to build immunity and decrease sensitivity to allergens over time. Patch testing is used to look for contact dermatitis, which is an allergic reaction that affects your skin.
While vaccines are intended to protect you against certain illnesses, they can make some people sicker. If you think that you may have allergies to vaccines, a doctor can conduct vaccine testing to see which vaccines you may be reacting to. Vaccine tests are administered in a few different ways, including an intradermal skin test, scratch test, and subcutaneous injection.
Venom Testing and Immunotherapy
A venom test is performed to determine if you have an allergy to bee stings or other stinging insects. Venom testing is available for fire ants, white hornets, yellow hornets, yellow jackets, wasps, and honey bees. Your allergist will check for the presence of venom allergies through a skin test, which can either be an intradermal skin test or a prick test. If you are allergic to venom, your doctor may recommend a process called immunotherapy that gradually builds your tolerance to the allergen over time and reduces the severity of your reactions.
Patch Chemical Testing
Patch chemical testing is often used to detect the presence of skin-based allergic reactions called allergic dermatitis or allergic eczema. This type of allergic reaction develops when you come into physical contact with a substance that you are allergic to, such as chemicals and some types of metal from jewelry. Possible symptoms of an allergic reaction include developing irritated, itchy, and sometimes painful patches of skin upon exposure. Your allergic reactions may cause a skin infection, which means it’s important to identify and correct the problem as soon as possible. A doctor will place a patch on your skin, usually on your back, and leave it in place for 48 hours. The results usually appear within two to five days of your doctor removing the patch, although it can take up to 10 days to get the results back. Your doctor may recommend avoiding moisture and water exposure for the time that you have the patch to avoid interference with the results.
Pulmonary Function Testing
Pulmonary function testing is generally used to test for asthma. Asthma may develop on its own or exist concurrently with allergies. Pulmonary function tests can also be used to diagnose some allergies and other lung-related conditions, such as COPD. Regardless of what they are testing for, pulmonary function tests are used to measure the function of your lungs. Pulmonary function tests, which are called PFTs for short, are noninvasive tests that are performed on an outpatient basis. PFTs measure lung capacity, volume, oxygen flow rates, and gas exchange. They are used to diagnose asthma and some allergies in both adults and children. Pulmonary function tests are considered to be a gold standard of care by the Pediatric Asthma Guidelines for diagnosing allergies and asthma in children and prescribing the appropriate treatments.
During a food challenge, you’ll be asked to consume small quantities of food you may be allergic to. Your allergist will repeat the food test after a specific period to see if you have any additional reactions. Each food challenge will be followed by a period of observation. Your allergist will watch for any symptoms to develop, and you will probably be asked to keep track of your symptoms in an allergy log or journal. Note that food testing is not performed if a doctor suspects that you have a severe allergy to certain foods, such as hives, difficulty breathing, or anaphylaxis. If your reactions to a food are more severe, your doctor will recommend an alternative method of allergy testing instead, such as a skin test or a blood test, which can confirm an allergy safely and with the same degree of accuracy.
Skin allergy tests are used to check for seasonal or environmental allergies. Skin tests may also be used to check for allergies to certain foods and chemicals. Skin testing is further classified as either intradermal skin testing, which is when your doctor places samples of the allergen beneath the surface of your skin, or prick skin testing, which involves placing samples of an allergen on the skin’s surface. Results appear after about 15 minutes.
Regardless of the allergy test that you have performed, Dr. Tottori tests for all Las Vegas allergies in a safe and controlled setting. If you are looking for an experienced allergy doctor Las Vegas to help get your allergy and asthma symptoms under control, make an appointment for allergy testing today by visiting our website or calling us at (702) 240 4233. Dr. Tottori will help you find relief and develop an allergy management plan to live a comfortable and safe lifestyle.