Earlier, when you wanted to know what you were allergic to you would have to undergo several tests that could take weeks or months before getting any news back. If your allergy was exceptional, it could take years or often you would not be able to find out what is the cause of your allergies.
If you suffered from seasonal allergies, they may have gone away before the allergist was able to figure what was bothering you, and you would stop testing and go back to regular life. It just took too long to obtain any definite results from tests. This method has all been revamped and is more up-to-date and speedier nowadays, however if you are being tested for allergies, it is likely that you will go through a number of tests still to determine what you are actually allergic to.
This certainly depends on your medical history. There are three allergy tests- skin test, elimination test, and a blood test that an allergic expert performs to test allergies. Each test has pros and cons and a good doctor will determine which one is necessary for you to start with in order to obtain the best results.
This is the most common of the allergy tests used to determine allergy substances. This involves placing a small amount of suspected allergens on your skin. Most of the time the area used is forearm. In some cases this may also include the upper arm or back. The next step is to prick that area of skin so that the allergen is allowed to literally get under your skin. If you are allergic to the allergen then you would have a skin reaction in a short while. This reaction may include redness, swelling and itching. In rare situations, this test may lead to a dramatic allergic reaction that includes problems with the respiratory system.
A different kind of skin test is the intradermal allergy test. This test includes a small needle to inject the allergen underneath the skin. Skin tests are often used to pin point things in the air that you breathe in that might be the cause of your allergy to insect and animal bites as well.
The next type of test that is used for allergy testing is called the elimination test and is commonly used to gauge diet and food allergies. The test process includes adding certain foods to your meals or taking away certain foods from your meals and then registering your reaction. Mostly, this allergy test is performed with the food being camouflaged so that no psychological factors can obstruct the accuracy of the test. You may either dislike or believe that you are allergic to something which you initially thought were not.
The final frontier to testing allergies is the blood test. This process involves taking a small amount of blood which is then sent to laboratory for testing. The lab experts will expose your blood to a number of known allergens and look for any reactions. This will take the form of your blood creating Ig-E antibodies that can then be detected. This enables the lab to determine what you are allergic to and the extent of severity.
UniCAP and RAST are the two other common forms of allergy blood testing.