Did you know that you can develop an allergy at any point in your life? That’s right, allergies aren’t just for kids. Whether you’ve just started college or finally enjoying the retired life, if you’re experiencing itchy watery eyes, a cough that just won’t go away, or a strange rash, you may have developed an allergy.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, more than 50 million people in the United States are allergic to something. Here at Life Point Medical, our allergy and immunotherapy specialist, Dr. Timothy Scott Beck, wants you to know when it’s time to get an allergy test, so you have a better understanding of what’s causing your discomfort and get relief from your symptoms.
Track your symptoms
Are you waking up feeling exhausted even though you’ve gotten plenty of rest? Do you seem to have random headaches without any known cause? These are all potential allergy symptoms. Knowing common allergy symptoms may help determine if you would benefit from allergy testing.
Allergy symptoms vary depending on the substance causing the reaction. An allergy occurs when your immune system mistakenly reacts to a specific substance (allergen) it considers harmful to your health. Whenever you come in contact with the allergen, your immune system responds by causing inflammation to your skin, airway, sinuses, or digestive system.
The inflammation may create symptoms such as:
- Runny nose
- Scratchy throat
- Itchy or dry throat, mouth, or ears
- Shortness of breath, or even asthma
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Frequent colds
Allergies can also lead to difficulty sleeping and even be the cause of your nightly snoring. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time to get an allergy test.
Identifying your allergies
At Life Point Medical, we use the skin scratch test to identify the substance causing your symptoms. We test for 20 different foods and the 50 most common local airborne and mold allergens, including:
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
Your skin scratch test is conducted at the office under close supervision. During the test, Dr. Beck gently pricks the skin on your back with the potential allergen and closely monitors your skin for a reaction, looking for any redness or swelling.
In most cases, we usually see a positive reaction within 20 minutes. However, you can also have a reaction up to 48 hours after your scratch test. If you notice changes to your skin after you’ve left the office, we recommend you call us right away so we can evaluate the area to confirm the reaction and the allergen causing your symptoms.
Immunotherapy for relief
Testing positive for an allergy doesn’t mean you need to live the rest of your life avoiding certain foods or dealing with a chronic cough or runny nose. With immunotherapy, we can train your body to be less allergic to your allergen.
During treatment, we expose your body to the allergen at incremental doses. The exposure makes your immune system less sensitive to the allergen so you experience a reduction in symptoms.
Allergies can cause a range of symptoms that make you feel less than your usual self. With allergy testing we can determine the substance causing your problems and create a treatment plan to alleviate your symptoms.
Call Life Point Medical or request an appointment online today to schedule your allergy testing.