Why You Should Get Tested for Allergies?

woman with allergies

Did you know that around 1 in 4 people suffer from allergies, making them one of the most common conditions to affect the U.S. population. Allergies occur when the body’s immune system overreacts to a particular substance because it believes it to be harmful. Sometimes these reactions are fairly minor, causing symptoms that are unpleasant, but not dangerous. However, although it’s rare, some allergies are severe and life-threatening.

Since many of the symptoms of allergies are quite mild, many people learn to live with the effects that they are experiencing, without realizing that they have allergies and that there is something that they can do to make these symptoms go away.

Common Allergies

A person can have an allergic reaction to pretty much anything, but there are some substances that cause allergies (called allergens) that are more common than others. These include:

  • Tree and grass pollen (more commonly known as hayfever)

  • Dust mites

  • Animal dander

  • Insect bites or stings

  • Mold

  • Household chemicals

  • Latex

  • Food, particularly nuts, shellfish, eggs, and dairy

  • Certain medications

Many of these potential allergens are things that you can come across in a typical day, meaning that if you are someone who suffers from allergies, you could potentially be persistently exposed and suffering from the symptoms associated with your allergy. This could be affecting your quality of life without you even fully realizing it. For example, you may experience a constant runny nose during spring and summer. This could be a sign of a pollen allergy.

Signs and Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction

Most allergic reactions happen within a few minutes to an hour of exposure to the allergen causing them. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Sneezing

  • Watering eyes

  • Itchy, red, or sticky eyes

  • Wheezing and coughing

  • Runny or blocked nose

  • Red, itchy rash

  • Asthma or eczema symptoms that get worse

In the case of a severe allergic reaction, people may find that their face and throat swell, preventing them from breathing properly. This is called anaphylaxis and is a medical emergency.

If you don’t know if you have any allergies, you could needlessly be suffering or putting yourself at risk. Determining what you are allergic to can make it much easier to avoid that substance. This is possible with allergy testing.

What’s Involved in Allergy Testing?

Allergy testing measures the amount of allergy antibodies (called IgE) found in your blood. These are produced when your body reacts to the substances it perceives as harmful.

There are a variety of methods available for allergen-specific IgE tests, and these are recommended if you already have a fairly good idea of what is triggering your allergies and you are looking to have it confirmed. If you aren’t sure what substance is causing you to experience allergy symptoms, your blood can be tested against a series of common allergens in a laboratory.

Discovering the results of allergy testing can be life-transforming. Since there are some allergens that are impossible to avoid, like pollen, you’ll be given valuable advice on therapies and treatments that you can use to lessen the effect of your allergic reaction. This can include a combination of antihistamines, other medications, and lifestyle management. If you are found to have a very severe allergy to a substance, you may be issued with an EpiPen. This is an auto-injectable device that delivers a shot of the drug epinephrine, which can be lifesaving when someone is going into anaphylaxis.

Learn more about why you should get tested for allergies, contact Valley Spinal Care in Scottsdale (602) 788-4200 or Phoenix, AZ at (602) 368 3578.