Struggling with allergies? You’re not alone. Over 50 million Americans have allergies, and unless you know the specific items making you sick, finding effective relief can be difficult.
At Jacksonville ENT Surgery, our board-certified ear-nose-throat (ENT) providers are dedicated to helping allergy sufferers in the Jacksonville and Lake City, Florida, areas find effective and lasting allergy relief. That’s why we offer different types of diagnostic allergy testing.
Keep reading to learn about the five most common types of allergy tests and which one is right for you.
There are many types of allergy tests that can be used to identify what’s making you sick. The five most common include:
During this type of testing, which is sometimes referred to as a skin prick test, your provider injects many different types of allergens under your skin. Each scratch or prick tests your reaction to a different allergen.
The results are fairly simple to read: If you develop raised, itchy bumps, or wheals, at the site of the prick, you’re most likely allergic to that allergen. However, certain medications can interfere with the test’s accuracy, and the scratch test must be administered by a skilled professional.
During an allergy blood test, a small sample of blood from one injection site is sent to a lab to check for allergies. It works by looking for antibodies, which your body makes when you come in contact with something you’re allergic to.
This type of allergy test usually looks for the most common allergy triggers based on where you live. This test is also useful for determining specific food allergies.
When you develop an allergic reaction on your skin, your provider might recommend a patch test. This test places different known allergens onto patches and tapes them on your back, usually for two days.
You then return to your provider, who removes the patches and checks for a skin reaction. This test is usually used when a skin scratch test or blood test hasn’t provided a specific enough cause of an allergic reaction.
An intradermal test is another test that’s most often used if a scratch test isn’t conclusive. During this test, your provider injects different allergens into your skin. You then wait about 20 minutes to see if you develop any allergic reactions.
Sometimes, even after scratch and blood tests, it’s difficult to determine exactly what causes a suspected food allergy. In this case, your provider may recommend a challenge test, which involves consuming the suspected allergen under the supervision of a medical provider to check for a reaction.
The best way to know which type of testing is best for you is by meeting with an allergy specialist, like a provider at Jacksonville ENT Surgery. Our team evaluates your symptoms and current condition to recommend the right testing.
Generally speaking, from the different types of allergy tests listed above, two are generally used most often and as the first line in determining your allergies: scratch tests and blood tests. Which one is best for you depends on your unique needs.
Different treatments are used for different allergies, and there’s no one-size-fits-all therapy.
If your allergy tests reveal you have allergies, your Jacksonville ENT Surgery provider works with you to find the right allergy solution, which may include:
Ready to learn what’s causing your allergy symptoms so you can find relief? Schedule a consultation online or over the phone at the Jacksonville ENT Surgery office nearest you.