Types of Allergy Testing in Mineola, & Melville, NY
It is estimated that 50+ million people in the United States have allergies, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Allergy testing identifies allergens, like mold, pet dander, bee stings, and peanuts that can cause allergies. At the Northeast Primary Care, our experienced doctors offer allergy testing so that we can help manage your allergies. Contact us today to book your appointment. We have convenient locations to serve you in Mineola, NY, and Melville, NY.
Table of Contents:
There are many different types of allergy tests available that can be used to pinpoint different allergens. Each test serves a different purpose to identify the type of allergen and the severity of the reaction. The different tests that can be performed are:
• Skin prick test. This is the most common test available, as well as the most cost-effective that is also incredibly accurate. The doctor performing the test will place a drop of a specific allergen onto the skin’s surface and then prick or scratch the skin where the drop was placed. If there is an allergic reaction, it will show within about 15 minutes. Multiple allergens can be tested at a time using this method.
• Intradermal skin test. This test can be performed to identify drug or venom allergies or as a follow-up test to the skin prick test if the doctor wants to challenge a negative result. In this case, a small amount of an allergen is injected under the top layers of the skin, then monitored for any signs of a reaction.
• Blood tests can be used to test for allergies in infants. A blood sample is taken from the patient and sent to a laboratory, where it is exposed to various allergens. The sample is then analysed for antibodies, with the presence and number of antibodies being the determinant of an allergy.
• A physician-supervised challenge test can be performed in a closely monitored setting under the supervision of an allergist or doctor. This test involves the patient ingesting a small amount of the allergen, either a food or medication, through their mouth and then monitoring for a reaction. As anaphylaxis can be a form of a reaction with this type of test, it is imperative that the doctor is readily available to administer emergency treatment, should it be needed.
• A patch test is like a skin prick test in that an allergen is placed directly onto the skin. In this case, the spot is covered over with a patch and checked after 2 to 4 days for any signs of an allergy.
If your doctor suspects that you may be suffering from allergies, they may want you to keep a journal of your symptoms, including when they started, what you were doing or had eaten leading up to the reaction, how long the symptoms lasted, and if anything helped to alleviate the symptoms. This can help with an initial diagnosis of an allergic reaction and narrow down potential allergens. From there, either they can perform an allergy test, or refer you to an allergist to perform the test, in order to confirm the diagnosis and pinpoint the exact allergen or allergens and determine the extent of the allergic reaction.
How long it takes to get your allergy test results will be dependent on the type of allergy test performed. Skin prick allergy tests provide almost immediate results, as the skin is observed, and any reaction noted 15 minutes after the allergen is placed on the skin is recorded. This means that you can leave the doctor’s office from your allergy test appointment knowing which allergens are triggering you to have an allergic reaction.
Other tests can take longer to get the results, with blood tests and patch tests taking a few days for results. Challenge tests and intradermal tests will also provide immediate results, although these tests may need to be repeated over a series of appointments to try multiple allergens to pinpoint which allergen is causing the reaction.
Northeast Primary Care offers our patients a variety of allergy tests to help determine their triggers. We want to ensure our patients have the proper tools to manage their allergies and that starts with a proper diagnosis of the allergens that are causing the reaction. We will use whatever allergy tests are necessary to pinpoint the allergens or refer our patients to an allergist for more complex cases.
To find out what your options are for allergy testing, you can call us today, or book an appointment to discuss your allergies with one of our primary care physicians. We serve patients from Mineola NY, Melville NY, Westbury NY, Floral Park NY, Uniondale NY, Hicksville NY, Wyandanch NY, South Huntington NY, and BEYOND!
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