How Allergy Testing Works

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

– Very interesting,
I didn’t know that. Okay, next up, let’s
talk about the importance Okay, next up, let’s
talk about the importance of understanding why
we have to get tested when seeking medical treatment. It’s a great way to gain
information about our health and sometimes it’s easier
when you know what to expect. So today, Jackie’s getting
the scoop on allergy testing. (upbeat music) – Hey guys, it’s Jackie,
and I’m here today with Dr Schafer, and we are
talking about allergy tests. So, doctor, I think
a good place to start is by talking about who
actually is typically getting allergy tests,
because this isn’t something that
everybody goes through. – So we will typically do
food allergy testing in someone who has had a
reaction to a food or a meal and we’re trying to
pinpoint the food. For environmental allergies,
we will look for those if patients have asthma
symptoms, also if they have nasal-type symptoms that
are difficult to control or recurrent sinus infections
is another common area. Venom or bee sting
allergy, we do that if somebody has had a sting
and suffered a reaction. There’s really no reason
to do allergy testing without some history or some
symptoms suggesting an allergy. – For most adults,
this is gonna involve some pricking or
scratching on their arm. How is that process
different for children? – The differences come
in what we test for so how many environmental
allergies we test for for example in younger
children, we will often tailor so we’re not doing quite
as many skin tests. And also, the placement of
the tests may be different. We may use the back for
testing instead of the arms and some of it has to
do with younger children it’s hard to keep their arms
still for the full 15 minutes until we can read the testing. – And you’re gonna show
me a little bit about how this process works? – I’d be happy to. (upbeat music) – So, I’m all ready for the
test, and this is the part where I would imagine people
start getting nervous. – So first, I’m
just gonna clean off your arms with some alcohol. And then I will just
remind people that we’re not breaking the skin
and it’s not a shot. They’re really more
like little sticks. So I explain, especially
young children that it feels more
like my finger nail kind of scratching the
skin, or a hair brush. – How many are you
typically doing and how long does
that process take? – It depends what
we’re testing for. For an adult with, you
know, pretty severe seasonal allergy
symptoms that we may be thinking about
starting on allergy shots you would probably
do an environmental
panel for this area. That includes 30 of those. For food allergies,
we’d test for the foods that we’re concerned the
patient may be allergic to. So sometimes that’s
two control tests so a salt water control and what’s called
a histamine control and that tells us the skin
doesn’t overreact or under react with whatever foods
we’re testing to. – So I think the bottom
line here is that having this
information about what you might be allergic
to can help you avoid those allergens and
can also be empowering for your overall health. – Allergy testing
is a safe process that we can use to identify
food, environmental venom or drug allergies. – Thank you so much Dr. Schafer. And to learn more about how
various medical procedures work head to our website,

2 thoughts on “How Allergy Testing Works

  1. Being allergic to a food must suck so much. I’m allergic to cats and pretty much anything that pollinates. But I couldn’t imagine not being able to eat peanuts or seafood. That’s like x5 worse 😬

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