Allergy is a hypersensitive state acquired through exposure to a particular Allergens. They can range from pollen to dust and drugs. Allergy Testing is necessary because by this we can rule out allergies and prevent related diseases. It also reduces medication. The test results helps in identifying the causes of the allergy.
A positive diagnosis allows the doctor to diagnose diseases and find proper cure for it while a negative diagnosis rules out the possibility and doctors then considers other possible reasons of the disease thus Allergy Testing is important in diagnosis of diseases.
Causes of Allergy:
The white blood cells present in blood produce antibodies. WBC is responsible for producing antibody specific to the antigen to which the body is exposed. The antibodies detect and destroy the substances which cause the disease. The antibody increases the production of mediators, which is a kind of hormone. This hormone activates more WBC and also affects the local tissues and organs. Sudden allergic reactions are observed when mediators are released extensively.
Some Popular Method for Allergy Testing:
There are many methods available for Allergy Testing, some most common of them are given below.
A proper record of the food intake of a person and symptoms over a fixed period is taken to perform food testing. In case of significant symptoms the person should avoid the food then we need to see whether avoiding such food prevents the recurring of the symptoms.
Symptoms include weakness, vagueness, swollen lips and eyes and skin rashes. Major allergic foods are fish, cow milk and peanuts. Proper medical evaluation is done by carefully reviewing the patient’s history and skin testing with food extracts to see whether symptoms show any kind of possible allergy.
This is one of the most common method of Allergy Testing.
- The most basic method is Prick Method in which the allergy causing material is applied to the skin and then skin is pricked so that the allergen goes under the skin. After this the doctor closely observes the changes on the skin for several minutes. The major symptoms are redness of the skin and swelling of the site.
- Allergen is also injected under the skin and observed for allergic symptoms
- Patch testing is a type of skin testing in which the allergens are taped to the skin for couple of days and then the changes in skin are observed.
The blood test is very reliable test for Allergy Testing. The test is done to measure the amount of immunoglobulin (IgE) which is a antibody for specific allergens in the blood. Person having higher level of IgE are more sensitive to allergies.
Is There Any Cure for Allergies?
Medication does not cure allergies, however it treats the symptoms like sneezing, swollen skin, runny nose. Antihistamines blocks the histamines which are produced in the body when any allergen comes in contact with the body. This prevents the symptoms.
Hyposensitisation is a technique by which the allergens are slowly introduced in the body so that the body gets habituated to it. Prevention is better than cure. This is what Allergy Testing aims for. If something is irritating, better avoid it. It tells us what to avoid to live our life to its maximum.