Allergy Tests are used to Confirm Diagnosis
When we experience an allergic reaction, we experience symptoms. These symptoms differ in degree depending on how an allergen gets in contact with our body. Allergens may be inhaled, ingested, or land on the skin. When our immune system detects an allergen, it releases antibodies to fight the allergens. In the process, histamine is released. The histamine in our body is the compound responsible for protecting us from harmful substances. However, the side-effect of this natural compound is also the one responsible for the symptoms that an allergic person experiences like skin rash, puffy eyes, and other symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Importance of Allergy Tests and Clinical Diagnosis
When we experience an allergic reaction, we have to take note of the symptoms. If you get continues reactions and you have no idea what you are allergic to, you have to talk to an allergist to get a diagnosis. When your allergist suspects that you are suffering from an allergic reaction, you will be asked to take an allergy test in order to confirm his diagnosis and to determine which allergen is causing your reactions.
According to studies made by two leading allergist, Scott Sicherer, MD and Robert Wood, MD; an allergy test should only be used after a clinical diagnosis is made from symptoms and medical history. Without proper diagnosis and allergy test kit results, a person may cause more harm by avoiding the wrong allergens. When this happens, a person might be avoiding the wrong allergens at the same time still being exposed to the right one. This becomes harmful because symptoms become severe as levels of exposure increases.
In addition to their study, allergy tests like skin-prick tests (SPTs) and sigE tests, should be used with caution because these tests cannot detect allergens without sensitization. This means that taking these types of tests are not advisable to detect specific allergens. However, it is said that these tests may be used to identify respiratory allergy and other allergies that are caused by animal dander, dust mites, molds, cockroaches, and pollen, but not all. SPT and sigE tests are more for:
- Confirmation of allergen right after observing a reaction.
- Monitoring the course of food allergy.
- Confirmation of an insect allergy after an anaphylactic response.
- Identifying allergies to vaccines (SPT only).
If you suffer from an allergic reaction for the first time, see an allergist. Taking an allergy test on your own is not advisable as it may post more problems when you self-diagnose your allergens. To have full knowledge on your allergy you have to have an allergist diagnose and test you. They will then provide you with treatment options and how to avoid getting symptoms.