Allergies are a lingering and chronic issue for millions of people living in Texas and the United States. It is important for us to assess which allergens could be triggering your unique allergy symptoms to highlight proper treatment options. Your physician will order allergy testing to achieve this.
Allergy Testing - Skin vs Blood
Two forms of allergy tests we administer are: skin tests and blood tests. Both allergy testing methods include their own advantages and disadvantages, however most allergy physicians will recommend skin testing as an alternative to a blood one, because it is safe, affordable and delivers the most consistent outcomes.
Allergy tests are administered through the skin or blood of the patient. Skin pricks and intradermal needles containing drops of the presumed allergen are applied in a process called Modified Quantitative Testing (MQT). The skin is scraped by a device with multiple prongs, which allows allergens to pass through into the patient’s body. The allergens that pass through the skin, may cause either a wheal or an elevated bump to form. Allergists consider the examination results to be positive if any redness or swelling happens. If such is the case, continued allergy diagnosis testing is no longer necessary. If allergy testing results are negative however, a small gauge needle will be used to inject the allergen directly into the skin of the patient. MQT is a more thorough allergy testing measure because it can determine if a particular substance is causing your allergies, and also help identify the optimal dose to begin your allergy treatment. Treatment may then start with the allergist’s recommendation.
Allergy skin testing is a non-invasive allergy diagnosis option that seldom induces physical discomfort or other difficulties for the patient. Some redness, swelling, and itching can occur because of the procedure – but usually dissipates quickly. In uncommon circumstances, a severe allergic reaction can happen rapidly.
Blood tests may be administered to patients who are unable to tolerate skin testing. The outcome of these are typically less decisive.