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Allergy

What to do if someone has an asthma attack

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Asthma is a serious, yet treatable condition. Most people with asthma carry around their rescue inhaler at all times just in case they start having an asthma attack. In most cases, the inhaler will work and the person will be able to breathe. It is when a person with asthma suffers an attack and they don’t have their inhaler where things can become dangerous. If you are with a friend who is having an asthma attack and they don’t have their inhaler, there are a few things that you can do to help save their life.

Get Your Friend To Stop and Sit Up

If your friend is having an asthma attack, you should make them stop what they are doing immediately. If they continue doing what they were doing, it will only intensify the attack. Next, you should have them sit up as straight as possible. If they are bent over trying to breathe or if they are lying down, it can cause their breathing to become even more constricted.

Call For Help

Once you have your friend sitting up straight, you should call for medical attention. If you wait to call for help hoping that the attack will subside, you could be putting your friend’s life at risk. Even if they start to breathe better and the attack is over, they will still need to see a doctor after the asthma attack.

Give Your Friend a Hot, Caffeinated Beverage

If it is possible, you should get your friend a cup of hot coffee. This is not a cure, however, it can help to open the airway slightly. This will give your friend some relief and it will give them a fighting chance while you wait for help to arrive.

Advise Your Friend To Take Long, Deep Breaths

While you are waiting for help to come, it is up to you to help your friend control their breathing. You should instruct them to breathe in through their nose and out through their mouth. This can slow down their breathing which can make it easier to start controlling it. Also, it will keep your friend from hyperventilating.

Keep Your Friend Calm

If you ask anyone with asthma what an attack feels like, they will tell you that it is unbelievably frightening. If your friend is having an asthma attack, you need to try to keep them calm. If they are afraid that they are going to die while they struggle for breath, it can tighten the chest muscles which can make the attack even worse. You should do everything that you can to keep your friend calm until help arrives.

Get Your Friend Away From the Trigger

Asthma attacks are often triggered by something. Severe stress and anxiety can be triggers. A few other common triggers include cigarette smoke, pet dander, and dust. There are also chemical odors that can trigger an attack such as the smell of sulfur dioxide, ammonia, and chlorine gas. As soon as the attack begins, it is important to get your friend away from the trigger as quickly as possible. If the attack was triggered by extreme stress or anxiety, try to calm your friend down. If it was caused by an environmental trigger, you should get your friend to an area where the air is clean as quickly as possible. The longer the triggers remain, the worse the attack will be.

It is important that anyone who has asthma always carries their inhaler. If your friend is having an asthma attack and they don’t have their inhaler, the tips above could save their life.

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How can you diagnose a drug allergy

Switching or starting a new drug prescribed by a doctor can be scary with the long line of side effects that come along with most of them these days. One of the possible serious side effects being a drug allergy, which can cause severe and even life threatening side effects.

With that said, when a drug allergy occurs symptoms appear within an hour, but in rare cases allergic reactions can occur with prolong use of a drug as late as a month. Either way, knowing the side effects of a drug allergy is a helpful way to diagnose one.

What are some of the side effects of a possible drug allergy?

Some of the most common side effects of a drug allergy are:

  • Constant runny nose
  • Swelling in the face and body
  • Watery itchy eyes
  • Breathing complications such as wheezing, shortness of breath, and an asthma attack
  • High fever
  • Skin reactions such as rashes and hives

Rare, but a severe condition that can occur with a drug allergy is anaphylaxis, which is a condition that causes side effects such as:

  • Tightening of the airways
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal discomforts
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unbalanced blood pressure levels
  • Irregular bowel movements
  • Headaches
  • Dehydration

Reactions that occur from a drug allergy weeks or even months later from long exposure to a medication can cause drug allergies known as:

  • Serum sickness that causes flu like symptoms
  • Drug-induced anemia causing fatigue and blood loss
  • Nephritis a condition that causes inflammation of the kidneys
  • Drug rash eosinophilia and systemic symptoms also known as DRESS

What should occur if a drug allergy develops?

If a drug allergy occurs or you are experience a negative reaction to it, you must call a doctor or seek out medical attention immediately. Some allergic reactions to medications can cause death if not caught and treated in time.

With that said, if the allergic reaction is occurring rapidly just dial 911 from your home phone, cell phone or any landline. Medical responders can reach you faster than you can reach a hospital, which increases your chances of stopping the reaction sooner rather than later, and in life threatening cases saving your life.

What are some end thoughts to keep in mind?

Some end thoughts to keep in mind with a drug allergy are sometimes mood changes can be one of the side effects of a drug allergy, but are rare. Muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, high white blood cell counts, extreme fatigue and heart complications are also rare, but possible allergic reactions that can occur with medications, which are also important to keep in mind and tell your doctor.

Remember, every bit of information you remember and can give your doctor will help diagnose your drug allergy. After a proper diagnosis, your doctor will take you off the drug and prescribe you a new one to help get you feeling better.

 

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The different type of allergy tests

Allergy-Testing

You Think You’ve Got An Allergy–What Do You Do Now?

There are a number of different tests which can help doctors determine what allergy you have, how severe it is, and how to treat it. Primary allergy tests are:

  • Skin Tests
  • Blood Tests
  • Challenge Tests

Which test you should take is usually be determined by a practicing medical professional who asks a number of questions about your condition, and consults available medical history. Even the most professional doctors can come across unique allergy situations. You should be advised that, even though some of these tests may be something you could approach yourself, it’s often best to leave testing to the professionals.

Skin Tests

Skin tests have four basic categories: the skin prick test, the intradermal test, the scratch/scrape test, and the external application test.

Skin Prick Test
With the skin prick test, your doctor will put a bit of water which contains suspected allergens like cat dander or pollen at strategic points on your skin. You’ll then be pricked so said allergens are able to enter. If you’ve got a food allergy, the prick–which is technically called a lancet–will be dipped in the food before you’re “stuck” with it. Your skin will usually turn red, or a little bump may appear, if you’re allergic to the substance.

Intradermal Tests
The intradermal test is similar, but a suspected allergen will be injected, rather than pricked, into the skin. The allergen is in a liquid solution of some variety. These are used for detection of allergic reactions which aren’t as strong. Intradermal tests are kind of a second resort if prick tests are inconclusive.

Scratch Tests
Scratch tests are also used if a general prick test isn’t clear. A tiny portion of skin is excised, after which the allergen is rubbed over that area. Deeper tissue layers can be reached this way than through other tests, facilitating stronger, more visible reactions. Scrape tests do the same, but don’t penetrate so deeply.

Patch Tests
For allergens that take longer to manifest–as in half a day to three days–a patch will be applied to your back and left for a day to see if you have a reaction of any kind.

External Applications
External applications for a suspected allergic reaction can be simply rubbed on the skin without any need to break it. Now this may take longer, but it’s not likely to be as unpleasant, and if you have a strong allergy, could be the best way to go.

Blood Tests

What if you’re allergic to the metal in the needles used in a skin prick test? Well, then you’ll have a reaction to everything! How does a doctor get around that? The solution is a blood test which measures antibodies in the blood after allergens are exposed to it. This isn’t totally conclusive, but it can indicate allergic tendencies. Skin tests are more conclusive because other conditions can result in increased antibodies.

Challenge Tests

As the name implies, these are a challenge. Sometimes skin tests aren’t conclusive, so a bit of the allergen in a requisite quantity to cause reaction is put either in the eyes, in the nose, or in the lungs. The doctor can then determine the severity of reaction. These are only done under supervision, as reactions can be intense.

Getting Yourself Professionally Tested

As you can see, some of these tests can be done outside a medical facility; but the results, and the severity of those results, is unpredictable. Your best bet if you or a loved one has an allergy is to get tested in a professional capacity.

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The best allergy remedy for you

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Everybody Is Different

Did you know that it’s possible to experience the development of an allergy after years of being allergy free? Allergies sometimes seem to come from nowhere, and to disappear as quickly. Sometimes this has to do with a change in location, sometimes it has to do with a change in health.

Say you’ve grown up in the same region of the country all your life, then at the end of summer, you move to a college two thousand miles away in a different climate. Every Summer in Southern California, you breathed easy, and had no allergic reactions to the climate. But during the spring in Iowa, where you’re pursuing a degree in some agricultural discipline, you suddenly start hacking, wheezing, sneezing, and itching your eyes until they became raw. Why? Is it an illness? Have you come down with something?

No; your immune system is just encountering a new form of allergen that it has never seen before, and is accordingly reacting. Likely, you’re getting a ragweed reaction for the first time, or what’s commonly known as “hay fever”.

Reality

Now there are no known cures for allergies at this time, but that doesn’t mean cures aren’t out there. Scientists, especially in medicine, live in bubbles just like you did in South California before you went to Iowa. The scientists swim in scientific circles, and only accept new data from other similarly-minded individuals. While this does help them make breakthroughs, it also blinds them to certain possibilities because those have already been dismissed by their educational clique.

This is why it took so long for acupuncture to be admitted in western medical circles as legitimate therapy. So it is possible allergy cures exist which remain undiscovered or acknowledged. But regardless, there are definitely treatments as idiosyncratic to individuals as contraction of varying allergies ends up being. Even Web MD is reticent to say allergies are totally incurable.

What kind of treatments you end up using will depend on the kind of allergy you have. For certain allergies, your best treatment is to avoid the allergen at all costs and keep an epinephrine pin nearby in case you encounter it incidentally–this is the case for many with peanut allergies. For others, you can use a kind of “inoculation” approach to help diminish symptoms.

Remedies To Consider

For example, if you were the person who developed hay fever in their teens, a way that will likely work to help you get over it is eating a spoonful of local honey every day for a year or so. The bees make their honey from plants that are local, and likely this will include some of the plants initiating your allergic reaction. When you eat the honey these bees have made, it gives your immune system a chance to encounter particulates from these allergens in a setting that doesn’t compromise the body. Your body then “learns” not to have a “reaction” when it encounters said allergens.

You could depend on allergy medications like Benadryl, or Claritin. These can clear you up, but you won’t be cured, and you’ll have to rely on them. Allergy shots are in this category, and can also be useful. That said, there is a cure on the horizon for cat allergies. As yet it’s not been fully developed, but it may be in the near future–so that could be an alternative for some that experience pet dander allergies.

Possibilities

Once one cure has been developed, additional ones will likely come. The bottom line is, whatever allergy measures you take must be convenient and effective for you.

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How to Know if You Have Allergies or a Cold

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A Tricky Situation

When you’re sneezing and wheezing, it can be hard to tell the root cause of your ailment. Are you suffering from influenza, a common cold, or some adverse allergic reaction? Complicating the issue is this reality: allergies can sometimes develop seemingly from nowhere. It turns out the state of your immune system and your age may have an impact on whether or not you develop an allergy. Allergies can also come and go, though many do tend to sink their “teeth” in and hold on for a while.

Understanding this requires understanding what allergies are, and what causes them. To make it simple, an allergy is basically an “overzealous”, you might say, immune system reaction. The body becomes hypersensitive to certain things and when it contacts them basically throws all its defenses against them. In extreme cases this can cause choking, suffocation, and even death. In not-so-extreme cases, it can make your eyes itchy, or your nose run–you might even puff up a little, or get hives.

Allergies

Sometimes an allergy may feel just like a cold, but it will last for a few months. It may come in with a change in seasons, and leave with it. This is the case with ragweed allergy, or what’s commonly known as hay fever. Basically, when ragweed starts to pollinate, nigh-invisible spores are sent out, and these can get on your skin, in nasal passageways, in your mouth, or in your eyes. Those with hay fever then develop a sneezing sickness with watery eyes that become quickly raw if you rub them. In a strange way, the mouth can be felt to dry up, and as though the gums were receding from the teeth.

Avoiding contact with areas rife with ragweed spores will help diminish symptoms. Regular hygiene including thorough showers and nasal evacuation can also help one recover. Allergy medicines are definitely helpful.

One “folksy” remedy to seasonal allergies involves eating a spoonful of local honey every day for a year or so, if you can manage it. There is some basis in reality with this remedy: honey is pollinated by bees in the area, and trace amounts of allergens will make their way into the honey; but in quantities your body can deal with.

Common Colds

By contrast, a cold may include any or all of the previously described symptoms, but have nothing to do with allergens. You can usually tell a cold by how weak you feel. If you’ve caught a cold, you might feel a “weakness” or “coldness” in your bones. It’s not necessarily a headache, and it’s not necessarily pain–it’s somewhere in between the two, and you will have a distinct disinclination to move.

The severity of this “under the weather” feeling will depend on the individual, and their immune system; as well as the strength of whatever virus has infected their body. Usually colds just make someone feel a little foggy for a few days to a week, and stuff them up. Influenza, by contrast, can knock a person out of the rat race so hard they catch pneumonia and die.

The Bottom Line

If your symptoms last longer than a week or two, but you’re not adversely affected in terms of weakness or clarity of mind, you may be suffering from a common allergy like hay fever. Eating local honey can help offset it, and avoiding situations where pollination is rampant also makes sense.

If your symptoms only last for a few days, don’t seem related to any allergens, and leave you feeling slightly more out-of-sorts, you’re likely dealing with a cold.

 

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The Best Allergy Remedy for You

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Allergies can be extremely annoying whether they are seasonal, environmental or food-based. Symptoms associated with these increase histamine levels can include a runny nose, stuffy nose, sore throat, itchy throat, itchy mouth, hives and much more. Some people have minimal allergies that just bring about some unwanted symptoms but other people can have life threatening symptoms associated with their allergies that bring about anaphylaxis. Having some allergy remedies on hand can help you feel better whether your symptoms hang around for a week or two each year or if your allergies are something that you have going on year round. Let’s take a look at some of the various allergy remedies that are out there so you can make an educated decision on what will work best for you:

Antihistamines

Most of these medications are over the counter but there are a few different active ingredients that are used to reduce the overall histamine levels in your blood. When you come into contact with something you are allergic to whether you touch it or consume it, your body will produce histamines as an immune response. These histamines are what cause the allergic reaction symptoms and the amount of histamines in your body is a result of how much allergen you were exposed to and how allergic you actually are. These medications tend to work quite quickly but you will want to use them as early as you notice some symptoms of a reaction. Side effects sometimes include drowsiness but some people experience the complete opposite and become energetic. If you have a severe allergy of some sort you will want to keep one of these medications on hand at all times.

Allergy Immunizations

People who have been diagnosed with an allergy sometimes have the option of receiving allergy shots as a long term way to get rid of their allergies. Serum if injected into the body that contains very small amounts of the allergen. The concept is that the body will build up a tolerance to the allergen over time. These shots often need to be done every couple of weeks for a number of months in order to get results. You may not be completely free from your allergy but it can be greatly reduced using this method.

Inhalers

Some people who have severe allergies will experience a throat or chest tightening after coming into contact with their allergen. This is a very serious reaction and may require the use of an inhaler that will help open up the airways and help the person breathe better until they can get medical attention. These inhalers are prescription based but usually contain the medication Albuterol as the method for opening up the airways and providing relief for the time being. Sometimes the medicine must be used multiple times for adequate relief.

Epi-Pens

These rapid injections of epinephrine are used for people who have life threatening allergies. When they come into contact with the allergen they will have a fast response and can use an epi-pen to eliminate the risk of a life threatening reaction. These epi-pens are provided by way of a prescription and a doctor will usually determine whether or not a person needs this prescription after allergy testing has been done.

An allergy is never something you want to ignore or take lightly. You may have a minor allergy one day but then the next day it has become life threatening and you didn’t know it. Always avoid your allergen triggers if you can but be prepared in case you are exposed by accident and have an allergic reaction.

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Which Allergies Are Present at What Time of Year

Differing Allergies During Different Times Of The Year

There are different allergies which are more or less likely to affect you throughout the year. Some factors which influence allergies are natural seasonal changes, as well as behavioral changes.

For example, during the winter, you’re more likely to experience allergies that come from like cat fur, or certain kinds of dust. The way around this is to reduce interior humidity, wash bedding in water that is hot, and regularly vacuum. Be careful with your vacuum, though; some are less effective than others. The air which blows out the back could still distribute minute allergens. Your best bet will be finding a vacuum expressly designed to reduce allergens.

Early Months

From January till about mid-March, you can expect common indoor allergies to be the primary reaction inciter. Provided you’re diligent to clean and actively reduce indoor humidity, you’ll save yourself some sneezing. If you’re not generally affected by such allergens, then you’re likely one of those folks who finds relief from allergies during the yearly cold season.

Spring On The Horizon

Spring could be your nemesis, though. As plants begin to bloom, they send out pollen. Pollen can follow you in through a door that lingers, a breeze which manages to push something through that scratched-out part of the screen window, or by hitching a ride on someone’s clothing.

Today there are pollen tracking apps which can be downloaded to your phone and used to tell how allergen-rich your locality is. You could use such a device in the morning to determine whether you take a particularly affecting allergy medication like Benadryl.

For those who definitely have difficulties with pollen, you want to use the beginning allergic salvos of March to prompt you into checking with your allergy specialist. This should be done before April. You should additionally stock up on allergy medications during this time. One reason why is they’ll become scarce until the end of the month in many stores. Others will buy these medications up. If you aren’t conscientious about acquiring yours, you may be out of luck when you make it to the pharmacy.

Sneezy Summers

Pollen from grass, trees–and even some species of flower, depending on your particular allergies–will persist through May. But by July you should see a change on the winds. June, however, is another story. Through the month of June there are many grasses which hit their fullest bloom, and can prove exceptionally irritating to those with pollen allergies.

You’ll want to guard your eyes, avoid touching them when outside, use allergy medication, and wear sunglasses during June. But by July, the bloom will wear off. This is when the mold comes out, however. As does the fungus. By August, mold hits its high point, and ragweed begins to cause trouble.

Fall And Relief

Ragweed peaks out in September, but thankfully, by October, outdoor allergens begin to taper off. November is a fairly clear month for those with allergies, as is December.

So, in a nutshell, from mid-October until mid-March, provided you keep a clean house, you should be able to avoid most allergens without the need for any fancy allergy medications. Stock up on such meds in mid-March, however, and be strategic from late spring until fall sashays in.

Another remedy involves daily ingesting locally-made honey. Such honey will contain trace amounts of pollen allergens that your immune system can acclimate to before the next season. Good advice is to prepare for the year in advance. You’ll be less likely to be knocked out of commission by an unwelcome and unexpected allergic reaction.

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How to Help Your Allergies Without Medicine

Allergies not only make you miserable but can also prevent you from enjoying the activities that you may normally enjoy. While there are many medications to treat allergies sometimes the treatments can leave you drowsy or may give you unwanted side effects. The good news is there are other ways to help make your allergies less severe without having to take medication. Check out the tips below to help keep your allergies at bay and help you enjoy the outdoors again.

Use An Anti-Allergy Detergent

Mold spores and pollen can take up residence on your clothing and if not properly laundered can stay in the fabric. The first step in laundering your clothes is giving them a good shake to dislodge all of the pollen and debris off that you can. Next, wash them with an anti-allergy detergent and tumble dry in at a hot temperature.

Invest in Pollen Resistant Clothing

As mentioned above, pollen and mold spores like to travel with you on your clothing throughout the day, so the less you acquire on you, the less your allergies will be triggered. A new fabric referred to as Microfit SX is pollen-resistant and designed to block pollen from clinging to your outwear.

Wear an Allergy Masks

When you are performing tasks that will expose you to high allergy triggers consider wearing an allergy mask. These masks are equipped with HEPA filters and can help keep a lot of pollen and spores from entering into your mouth and nasal passages. Consider using one for tasks such as yard work.

Enjoy Some Time at the Beach

This is probably one of the easiest and undoubtedly most enjoyable way to spend some time and enjoy some activities without having to worry about your allergies. Thanks to the cleansing nature of the ocean breeze areas about one -quarter mile in from the water will have less pollen and mold making allergy symptoms milder. If you enjoy exercise, running or swimming at the beach is a great way for allergy sufferers to enjoy some fresh air.

Drink Some Tart Cherry Juice

Drinking tart cherry juice releases a compound known as quercetin which is known to release histamines in the body which has the ability to reduce your allergy symptoms. So start each day with an immune system boost to reduce regular allergy symptoms.

Crank Up the AC

While it can be a relief after the winter months to open up the windows and let the fresh air in, if you are an allergy sufferer, opening the windows will let in a wide range of allergens and pollen triggering your allergy symptoms. When the warm air creeps up, shut your windows and crank up the air conditioning. Not only will it reduce the entrance of allergens, but the a/c can dehumidify the air in your home.

Learn Your Allergy Triggers

Sometimes one of the best defenses is knowing what can trigger your allergies and avoid them if possible. For example, if you like to take a daily walk or jog, plan your route in areas with fewer trees or other major allergy triggers. While you will still be exposed to these allergens by just being outdoors, at least the concentration will be less.

Don’t suffer this whole season with your allergies. Try the tips listed above to treat your symptoms with out medication and breathe a little easier.

 

 

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Age Group Most Susceptible to Developing Allergies

Currently there are approximately fifteen million Americans that are dealing with some form of food allergies. This is a large number and it doesn’t even take into account the people in the U.S. that have environmental triggers like seasonal pollens, animal allergies, etc. Allergies of this nature can present themselves in a variety of different ways whether it be an occasional sneeze and stuffy nose or a total body anaphylactic shock. Over time these allergies can improve as the body may learn that an allergy is not a harmful or dangerous substance. Many allergies, especially food, occur in children and while many do outgrow them later on, allergies can continue on for a lifetime. As an adult you can develop a food allergy at any time but most commonly these allergies are present from birth or early on. Let’s take a look at the age group that is most susceptible to developing allergies and why this is.

The Immune System Response

Our immune system is designed to protect us from things that are foreign whether it be a bacteria, virus or pathogen. We are able to consume every day foods and nutrients and these don’t bother us so why do certain foods cause an allergic reaction? It looks like food tolerance is because of ongoing exposure whether during pregnancy or by a young child as they grow up. Over time T cells are formed during consumption or exposure and without these T cells, we would typically have an immune response for anything we would eat. This is an evolutionary process. 

Common Allergen Triggers

These days there are some very common allergies, especially when it comes to foods. Peanuts, tree nuts, egg, milk and soy are all very commonly diagnosed as an allergy and many children have life threatening forms of these allergies. A number of years ago this wasn’t the case so why the big change now? Many studies have been done on this matter and it has been suggested that children are developing the most allergies because of how our food is processed and grown. New components to our food is leaving children’s immune systems unable to process what they are eating and an immune response takes place. Over time a child can grow out of these allergies but you won’t see many adults developing new peanut allergies in their forties or fifties.

Adult Allergies

Of course, while children are reported as having more allergies than adults, there are adults who have allergies that have been present since birth or they have been developed later on in life. The body does go through changes at certain points of life. For example, menopause can cause a woman’s body to change in many ways and this can even include an immune system change where certain foods or environmental triggers can become bothersome.

Children these days are being diagnosed with a number of allergies that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives or for many years. Sometimes the allergy will get better as a very young child grows and their immune system changes and develops more but this is not always the case. For some children, puberty may result in a change in allergies. Researchers are spending a good deal of time trying to understand these allergies further so better treatment and prevention can take place. For example, at one time it was suggested that pregnant women stay away from peanuts to prevent their child from developing an allergy. Currently, the advice is the opposite and it is recommended that peanuts and other high allergy foods be consumed.

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The Different Type of Allergy Tests

In just a little over a century, allergies have gone from being virtually unheard of to affecting over 50 million Americans in the present day. In fact, the word allergy wasn’t even invented until 1906.

WHAT IS AN ALLERGY?

Allergies occur when you are exposed to a substance that causes an abnormal immune system response in your body. That substance then becomes an allergen. Allergy testing has been developed to determine what allergens you are reacting to, so that you can receive effective treatment.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR INITIAL EVALUATION

Your physician will ascertain your medical history, determine what’s relevant, and evaluate your current symptoms. He or she will then complete a physical examination. Taking all of this information into account, your physician will then determine if you need allergy testing, and what type of testing is required.

CATEGORIES OF ALLERGY TESTING

Common tests include Allergy SkinTesting, Food Challenges, Medication Challenges, Aspirin Desensitization, Blood Tests, Patch Tests, and Spirometry.

  • Allergy Skin Tests – These comprehensive tests can be used to evaluate you for food, medication, seasonal, and insect allergies, such as bee stings. Suspected allergens are placed on your skin, and the results are read15 minutes later. There are two different ways your allergist can administer the suspected allergens to your skin, either by pricking it or by intradermal administration, which is placed directly underneath the skin with a small needle.
  • Food Challenges – This test is done to either confirm a food allergy or determine whether you can tolerate a food you may have been avoiding. Starting with a very small amount of the food in question, incremental doses are given with a period of observation in between. With each test, you will be under the strict supervision of your doctor in the event of an adverse reaction. This is why the testing is done in small, incremental doses.
  • Medication Challenges – As with the food challenge testing, this test will confirm an allergy to a drug or whether you can tolerate a drug you have been avoiding. Small, incremental doses are given followed by close observation by your physician in case of an adverse reaction.
  • Aspirin Desensitization – This test is done over the course of a few days. Small, incremental doses are given with the goal of enabling you to tolerate aspirin. This test would be conducted if you suffer from an aspirin-induced, chronic respiratory disease.
  • Blood Tests – If you require more specific testing than a skin test can provide or a skin test is inappropriate for you, blood testing will be administered. If you have a skin rash that would interfere with reading skin test results, you are on certain medications that cannot be discontinued for the duration of a skin test, or you have been diagnosed with dermatographism, blood tests may be ordered. Dermatographism is commonly known as skin writing. These patients develop hive-like lesions from lightly scratching their skin.
  • Patch Tests – If you have been diagnosed with contact dermatitis, this test will show what your triggers are. Patches are placed on your back for 48 hours, and they are read anywhere from two to ten days later.
  • Spirometry – This a test to determine if your allergies have caused you to develop asthma. You will be instructed to inhale deeply and then exhale into a tube that measures your lung function.

There are many theories for the meteoric rise of allergy symptoms, including identifying industrialization as the root cause. In the interim, however, diagnosis and treatment has evolved to include the many different types of allergy testing we have available today.

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