Allergy Test in Mumbai
July 27, 2020
What is the Allergy?
Allergies occur when your immune system, which is your body’s natural defense, overreacts to something in your environment. For example, normally harmless pollen can cause your body to overreact. This Allergic Rhinitis can lead to some basic symptoms:
- a runny nose
- blocked sinuses
- itchy, watery eyes
Multiple kinds of allergies can be caused by typical things such as pet hairs, pollens, dust, even some medicines, and food as well. This is the following list of allergies commonly detected in people.
- Food Allergy
- Skin Allergy
- Dust Allergy
- Insect Sting Allergy
- Pet Allergy
- Eye Allergy
- Drug Allergies
- Allergic Rhinitis
- Latex/Fabric Allergy
- Mold Allergy
- Sinus Infection
Allergy can occur to kids and infants?
Children can develop allergies at any age. The sooner these allergies are identified, the sooner they can be treated, minimizing the symptoms, and improving quality of life. Allergy symptoms can include:
- skin rashes
- trouble breathing
- sneezing, runny nose, or congestion
- itchy eyes
- upset stomach
Allergies can be triggered by a variety of things, including indoor and outdoor irritants, as well as foods. If you notice allergy symptoms in your child, make an appointment for them with a pediatrician or an allergist, a doctor specializing in allergies.
Before the appointment, keep a log of symptoms and exposures. This will help the doctor see if there might be a pattern.
What type of Allergy tests are available?
- Allergy Skin Testing
This test is done to evaluate, suspected environmental or seasonal allergies, food allergy, stinging insect allergy, and certain drug/medication allergies. During skin testing, the suspected allergen is placed on the skin for 15 minutes, and then the test results are taken. An allergen is a substance by which the allergic reaction happens. There are 2 methods available for skin testing: prick skin testing and intradermal skin testing.
Prick skin testing: With the help of prick device, individual solutions containing the suspected allergens are placed on the skin. The test results are noted after 15 minutes.
Intradermal skin testing: With the help of a small needle, individual solutions containing the suspected allergens are placed just underneath the surface of the skin. The test results are noted after 15 minutes.
- Blood tests
In addition to skin testing, some patients also require blood tests called specific IgE tests (also commonly known as RAST) to complete their full allergy evaluation. Specific IgE tests are recommended in some situations where allergy skin testing is not appropriate. Such situations would include
- If a patient cannot stop antihistamines or certain other medications that would affect skin test results
- In case, patient with a condition called dermatographism (whereby scratching the skin causes hives)
- Some patients with skin rashes/lesions that prevent us from accurately reading the skin test results.
Only the allergist will determine the requirement of blood tests and these test results will be interpreted by the allergist while taking into consideration the medical history and other findings from your evaluation.
Blood tests are also used to investigate several other disorders of the immune system including angioedema (swelling episodes), chronic urticaria (hives), and primary immunodeficiency disorders.
- Spirometry (Lung Function Tests)
This is a type of lung function test are conducted specifically to evaluate asthma. Asthma often occurs in individuals who have allergies. Individuals who report symptoms or have exam findings that are suspicious of asthma will require spirometry.
- During spirometry testing, one has to inhale deeply and then forcefully exhale quickly while blowing into a device that measures lung functioning. You repeat this at least 3 times to ensure that the results are consistent. Lung function measures are recorded by the device (called a spirometer). The results are interpreted by the physician.
- Food Challenges
This test is performed on an individual to confirm a food allergy or to determine if they may tolerate a portion of food that they are currently avoiding. An incremental portion of the food is given to the patient starting with a very small quantity. While and after each dose patient is observed and assessed before giving the next dose. After feeding the final portion of food, the patient undergoes an additional observation period and final assessment. Due to the risk of developing an adverse reaction, all food tests are performed under physician supervision.
- Drug/medication Challenge
This is performed on selected individuals to confirm a drug allergy or to determine if they can tolerate a drug that they were avoiding. Incremental doses of the drug are given gradually to the patient starting with a very small dose. Each time the patient is observed and assessed prior to receiving the next dose. After receiving the final dose, the patient is kept under observation period and final assessment. Due to the risk of developing an adverse reaction of the drug, all the tests are performed under physician supervision.
- Aspirin Desensitization
This procedure is performed in very selected patients who have aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease or AERD, it is a condition which is characterized by aspirin or NSAID-induced respiratory reactions in patients with underlying chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, and/or nasal polyps.
This is a specialized procedure that is performed over a few days to induce one’s ability to temporarily tolerate aspirin. In the beginning, a very small dose of aspirin is given to the patient, which is increased gradually with time. Meanwhile, the patient is observed and assessed between the doses and throughout the procedure. After completing the procedure, the patient will take aspirin daily to maintain this ability to tolerate aspirin.
- Patch Testing
This testing is used to evaluate for an underlying trigger/agent in individuals who develop contact dermatitis. Examples of contact dermatitis are the development of a rash after wearing certain metal jewelry or using a certain skincare product. The suspected agents are placed in the form of patches on the back. The patches are removed 48 hours later. The results are read for about 2 to 5 days after the patches are removed, and sometimes it may increase to 10 days after removal. One must avoid water and moisture in areas where the patches are placed unless there is a special moisture-proof cover placed over the patches.
What are the Risks of allergy testing?
Sometimes allergy tests may result in mild itching, redness, and swelling of the skin. Sometimes, small bumps called wheals appears on the skin. These symptoms often clear up within hours but may last for a few days. Mild topical steroid creams can alleviate these symptoms.
On very rare occasions, allergy tests produce an immediate, severe allergic reaction that requires instant medical attention. That’s why allergy tests should be conducted in a lab that has adequate medications and equipment under an expert's supervision.
What to do after allergy testing?
Once your doctor has diagnosed which allergens are causing your symptoms, you can work together to come up with a plan for avoiding them. Your doctor can also suggest medications that may ease your symptoms.
DO NOT AVOID the symptoms, it can become more serious and even life-threatening, so better consult a doctor and seek for advice. There are several methods of identifying and treating allergens, but overall we recommend consulting a professional for the diagnosis and treatment.