The best way to treat your allergy symptoms is to determine exactly what is causing them. This is done by allergy testing.
What Is a Skin Prick Test?
A skin prick test is the most common form of allergy testing. This test involves placing a small drop of an allergen extract on your skin. After an adequate period of waiting, any swelling or redness is measured and, depending on the size, is considered a positive reaction.
How Does a Blood Test Work?
A blood test is used to measure how much of an allergen-specific antibody, called immunoglobulin E (IgE), is in your blood. The more allergen specific IgE in your blood, the more likely you are to be allergic. Blood tests are typically used to confirm the results of a skin test; they may also be used in lieu of skin tests if a serious allergy makes skin testing unsafe.
How Are Food Allergies Tested?
Food allergies may be tested with a simple blood draw. An elimination diet involves removing the food in question from your diet for two to four weeks. If your symptoms resolve, there is a good chance the food was causing the reaction. Your doctor may return the problematic food to your diet, just to make sure the symptoms return.
Call ENT Specialists Of Northern Virginia at (703) 644-7800 for more information or to schedule an appointment.