Allergy Testing & Evaluation
Do you really know what’s causing your allergy symptoms? If you don’t, you won’t be able to effectively treat them. At Georgetown ENT, we perform in-office allergy testing and evaluations to help determine precisely what you’re allergic to.
Common Allergy Triggers
Most allergies can be classified as either a food allergy or environmental allergy. From there, the list of possible allergens gets much longer. Below are just some of the most common causes of allergic reactions:
Food & Drugs
- Fish and shellfish
- Peanuts and tree nuts
- Penicillin and some antibiotics
How your body reacts to an allergen can vary widely. In general, however, what is happening is that your immune system overreacts to the presence of an allergen, leading to allergy symptoms such as a runny nose; nasal congestion; sneezing; itchy, watery eyes; hives and swelling; or an itchy, burning skin rash (contact dermatitis). Severe reactions such as anaphylaxis, in which the airway swells shut, can be life-threatening.
Common Allergy Tests
Allergy testing is performed to determine which allergens you react to. Our allergy specialist, Dr. Scott W. Franklin, may ask about your symptoms and health history, and ask you to keep a diary of your allergic reactions and possible triggers. The most accurate way to determine what you are allergic to is with allergy testing. There are a number of ways to do this, although skin and blood tests are the most common.
Skin Prick Allergy Tests
The skin prick test – sometimes also called a skin puncture or scratch test – is the most common test for allergies.
During this type of test, your skin is pricked a number of times in a particular area. This is usually done on the forearm or back. A small amount of proteins found in various allergens are placed on each break in the skin.
The results occur fairly quickly. If you are allergic to the substance, raised bumps (hives) will appear on your skin within 15 or 20 minutes. Dr. Franklin will closely monitor you throughout the procedure, looking for signs of allergy such as redness, hives, itching, or more.
Blood Allergy Test
Rather than exposing you to potential allergens, Dr. Franklin may instead choose to take a sample of your blood and send it to a lab for processing. A blood allergy test looks for the presence of antibodies that fight specific allergens. Dr. Franklin may prefer this test if he thinks you or your child could have a severe allergic reaction to a skin prick allergy test.
Allergy Testing in Georgetown, TX
Do you suffer from allergies? Call Georgetown ENT today at (512) 869-0604 to schedule an allergy test in our Georgetown, Texas office, or you can use our online form to request an appointment.