An allergy is a hypersensitive reaction to a substance. The body’s immune system senses danger from a harmless substance and over reacts producing histamine in attempt to protect itself. The released histamine comes with reactions like running nose, teary and itchy eyes, itchy ears and throat, swelling, Diarrhea, skin rash, nausea and an prophylaxis which is life threatening. Prophylaxis occurs when too much histamine is produced and the body gets into a state of shock. Allergies to food, medicine and stings from insects are known to Cause prophylaxis.
Some of the known allergens are; pollen, weeds, grass mold, dust mite, pet dander, stings from insects, some foods like eggs, nuts and grains and medicines.
An allergen that is breathed is felt in the nose, eyes and lungs and sometimes on the throat. One that is eaten is recognized in the mouth, stomach, or the intestines.
Some of the conditions caused by prolonged exposure to allergies include; Skin infections like eczema. This fades away after some time but will re-occur more severely upon exposure to the allergen. The other condition is sinusitis which if not treated causes fungal or bacterial sinus and ear infection that keep recurring because of a weakened immune system. The lungs can also get infected and lf not treated one could get a lung disease like pneumonia and asthma. These two are life threatening diseases.
An allergist will carry out allergy testing to determine the presence of allergies or the specific allergen causing the allergic reaction. There are two types of allergy testing. Skin tests or blood tests.
The skin tests can be done in two ways; the allergen is pressed on the skin mostly the fore arm. Lf redness or swelling occurs the test is positive. The other way to do skin testing is by injecting the allergen into the skin and if again the inflammation on the skin occurs, the test is positive.
There are pros and cons of the skin allergy testing method are;
The pros are:-
- You get-the results in twenty minutes.
- It is not a painful process.
- Cost -effective compared to the blood test.
The cons are:-
- The results can get interfered with if the patient is under medication.
- Could result in red bumps that come with itchiness.
- The results might not be visible in the case of a dark skin.
- Requires high level expertise to make sure the results are accurate.
- This method is not very effective with small children.
The other type of allergy testing is the blood test. It‘s more appropriate if the patients under medication that could alter the skin test results, If they suffer from severe skin conditions like eczema, prevents an
Over reaction in a case a very strong allergen is used and it is a more friendly method to children because a
- Medicine cannot interfere with results.
- A sample of blood can be used to do many other allergy testing.
1.More costly than skin tests.