|Allergy Medicine 101 »|
What to Expect at the Allergist
If it feels like you’re always reaching for a tissue, it’s probably a good idea to visit a doctor. A healthcare professional can help you find out the cause of your allergies with an effective and simple test. Here’s what to expect:
Before your appointment, make a note of the what, when and where of your allergy symptoms so you can share this information with your doctor. This will help you work out an allergy management strategy together.
Scratch, puncture or prick test
A doctor or nurse places a drop of each potential allergen on your skin and then pricks your skin, allowing the allergen to enter. Fifteen minutes later you’ll be able to see how your skin reacts to each allergen.
A small amount of each potential allergen is injected just under your skin. Fifteen minutes later a doctor or nurse will take a look at your skin’s reaction.
An allergen is applied to a patch and then placed on your skin. After 48 hours you’ll go back to your doctor to see which allergens have affected you the most.
Allergy Blood Test (specific IgE or RAST)
A blood sample is taken to check for specific IgE (immunoglobulin E) antibodies. This can help your doctor see what allergens are responsible for your allergy symptoms.