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Allergy Test – Treatment, Effect & Risks

Allergietest

An allergy test is used to detect allergens that can make a living being sick. An allergy test is always used when an allergy is suspected. In most cases, an allergy test can be carried out by the family doctor.

What is an allergy test?

We speak of an allergy when the body reacts to what are usually harmless substances (animal hair, pollen) with itchy eyes, a runny nose , shortness of breath or even a circulatory collapse.

According to estimates, there are around 25 million allergy sufferers in Germany – and the trend is rising. That is why an allergy test is always part of the basic equipment for dermatologists, pneumologists and allergists . With an allergy test, the reactions of the body are determined quickly and reliably.

If symptoms of an allergy are already present, the allergy test secures the diagnosis. If the symptoms are (still) missing, it is clarified: Is the person concerned already sensitive to one or more specific allergens?

Function, effect, application & goal

Only experienced specialists can carry out and evaluate an allergy test correctly. For this reason, a visit to a specialist should be mandatory if someone thinks they are suffering from an allergy. There are different ways to do an allergy test. The skin prick test is used most frequently. With this allergy test, it is possible to see within a few minutes whether the patient suffers from an allergy.First, the skin on the forearm is minimally scratched. After that, the allergenic substance is dripped onto the skin. If there is an allergy, an itchy wheal will form on the skin within a few minutes . In another allergy test, the allergenic substance is injected under the skin. However, this allergy test carries the risk of a severe allergic reaction and is only rarely used.

An inhalative allergy test is also possible. Here, the suspected substance is inhaled under medical supervision. An allergy test via the nose is also possible. Some allergy tests also determine the inflammation values ​​or antibodies in the blood via a blood sample . The risk of side effects is zero here. Furthermore, this test method is also considered to be the most meaningful when it comes to determining or excluding an allergy. However, the blood test cannot always exclude the allergy test directly on the patient’s body.

This also seems to be a cost issue. The epicutane test, which used to be frequently used on the back, is now less common. It often led to false positive reactions. If an allergy test is negative, the person tested most likely does not suffer from an allergy. If the allergy test is positive, a decision is made together with the doctor about how to proceed (medication, hyposensitization). An allergy test carried out in good time can therefore help to start therapy as early as possible.

This can often prevent worse things from happening (e.g. asthma ). Sometimes an allergy test has to be repeated if the result is inconclusive. Before an allergy test, it is very important that no antihistamines have been taken for a week . These drugs would curb any allergic reaction. The allergy test would then be useless.

Dangers & Risks

An allergy test is considered safe. As a rule, an allergy test does not involve any risks. Conducted in the vicinity of a doctor, emergency equipment is always available for an allergy test. Nevertheless, there is a small probability that the person affected will suffer a life-threatening shock . Action must be taken immediately and an ambulance called.It also becomes dangerous if a food allergy is to be diagnosed via an allergy test. The allergenic food can trigger delayed reactions. At this point, however, the patient may already be outside the practice again. For this reason, food provocations are carried out in the clinic whenever possible.

A case for the clinic is also an allergy test, which is intended to filter out drug intolerance. A very common side effect of an allergy test is circulatory collapse . However, it is not the allergy-causing substance that is to blame. Tension and psychological stress are usually the triggers.

Furthermore, the prick test as an allergy test has a bad reputation for provoking an allergy in the first place by scratching the skin. However, the scientists disagree and believe that an allergy test should ultimately detect the disease and not make you ill yourself.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.