Allergy Testing is offered to detect specific allergens. By identifying the culprit allergens, they can be avoided to preventing future allergic reactions or undergo Immunotherapy as part of the treatment. Allergy testing can be performed via blood tests or skin prick test.
Which Allergy Test is Suitable for Me?
Speak to your doctor on your individual concerns and allergy conditions. Your doctor will discuss in detail with you on the pros and cons of each tests before advise further.
- Allergy Blood Test
This is a blood-taking procedure performed via your trained doctor or phlebotomist. The allergy blood test detects specific IgE antibodies produced against specific allergens. There are a wide range of allergen panels that can be tested through IgE antibodies blood tests.
- Skin Prick Test
This is a relatively simple, and accurate way of detecting an allergy. Skin Prick Test is a procedure performed over the arm of a person. It involves marking of the tested skin area, following the introduction of allergens into the skin. The test is later interpreted by your doctor for any evidence of allergic reaction.
How long can I get my allergy test results
- Allergy blood test
It takes approximately 1-2 weeks for the results to be ready after laboratory processing.
- Skin prick test
This procedure takes approximately 20-30 minutes and You will be able to obtain a copy of the results on the same day.
What are the Common Side Effects is Skin Prick Test?
The test is offered in clinic setting with close monitoring from your health care providers.
Most people tolerated the procedure well with minimal pain and without any bleeding, though some may experience mild itch and redness over tested skin area.
Severe reaction to skin prick test is uncommon.
Do I Need to Stop my Allergy Medicine or other Long Term Medicine for Allergy Testing?
Some allergic medications (such as antihistamine- piriton, cetirizine, loratadine etc) can affect skin prick test results. Long term medications such as antidepressants may interfere the results as well. Please inform your doctor on all the medications that you are consuming.
How Accurate and Reliable is Allergy Testing?
When Skin Prick Test is performed correctly, it is relatively reliable. However, you may have a negative skin prick test, yet develop allergy later on in life. This is known as false negative. This might happen due to:
- Your body may develop new allergy over time due to repetitive exposure to the allergens.
- You may be consuming certain medications that lead to a false negative result.
- Physician variability- Skin prick test is performed by doctors with invariably slight deviation in their methods and skills.
The Allergy Blood Test has the edge of having a test result that is not interfered by medicine that the person is taking. However, there is a chance of false positive and This may cause unnecessary confusion and anxiety to patients.
How Often should I Consider Allergy Testing?
It varies individually, depending on new onset of allergy symptoms and possible associated new allergen triggers.
Is Allergy Testing Covered by my Insurance?