An allergy test is an exam to determine if your body has an allergic reaction to a known substance. The exam can be in the form of a blood test, a skin test, or an elimination diet. Allergies occur when your immune system, which is your body’s natural defense, overreacts to something in your environment. For example, pollen, which is normally harmless, can cause your body to overreact. This overreaction can lead to:

  • A runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Blocked sinuses
  • Itchy, watery eyes

Types of allergens

Allergens are substances that can cause an allergic reaction. There are three primary types of allergens:

  • Inhaled allergens affect the body when they come in contact with the lungs or membranes of the nostrils or throat. Pollen is the most common inhaled allergen.
  • Ingested allergens are present in certain foods, such as peanuts, soy, and seafood.
  • Contact allergens must come in contact with your skin to produce a reaction. An example of a reaction from a contact allergen is the rash and itching caused by poison ivy.

Allergy tests involve exposing you to a very small amount of a particular allergen and recording the reaction. Allergy testing can determine which particular pollens, molds, or other substances you’re allergic to. You may need medication to treat your allergies. Alternatively, you can try to avoid your allergy triggers. Once your doctor has determined which allergens are causing your symptoms, you can work together to come up with a plan for avoiding them.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us today at (630) 663-0061.