Allergies can be caused by many internal and external factors, with symptoms ranging from annoying to life threatening. No matter what the circumstance or severity, any allergy sufferer can testify that they are miserable. Fortunately, allergies can be treated, and in some cases, the triggers are easily avoidable. One of the most frustrating situations an individual can be in, is to suffer with respiratory, nasal, or eye symptoms without knowing the trigger. At Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates/Food Allergy Center of Illinois, we use a variety of diagnostic techniques, depending on the situation.
In most cases, skin testing is the preferable option. It is one of the most accurate, cost effective, comfortable, and convenient methods of diagnosing many food and environmental allergies. It is more economical than blood testing, and it identifies more allergies.
Skin testing can accurately detect many of the most common allergies including:
- Medication, such as penicillin
- Allergy-triggered asthma
- Contact dermatitis
- Bees and other venomous insects
- Inhaled dust, mold, pollens, and other natural allergens (hay fever)
This technique, also known as prick testing, can detect over 40 common allergies, and yields near-instant results. It is completed right here in our comfortable office. The test is usually performed on the forearm or (for children) upper back. We will begin by examining the skin in that area and cleaning it with a sanitizing agent. We then carefully mark the points to be tested for accurate identification.
Once the site has been prepared, a minute amount of specific potential allergens is pricked onto the skin, corresponding with the appropriate marks. For accurate results, the allergen only needs to enter the upper layer of skin. The procedure will not feel like an injection – it is painless and it should not cause bleeding.
Typically, an allergic individual will react within 20 minutes. Due to the small quantity of allergens used, the reaction is not severe; it manifests as a small bump, resembling a mosquito bite. We will measure the size of the bump, and then remove the marks with alcohol.
Once the source of your symptoms has been identified, we can help you control or eliminate the problem. Potential treatments may include avoidance, medication, or immunotherapy.
You can live your life free from the misery of allergies. The skillful, compassionate, doctors and staff at Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates/Food Allergy Center of Illinois are here to help, with three offices conveniently located in Crystal Lake, and Elgin. Call (847) 888-8802 and schedule your appointment today.