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Types of Allergy: Which One Are You Suffering from?
- knowing which type of allergy you have can save your life
- you may have more than one allergy type
- special allergy testing can determine the specific allergies you are suffering from
If you suffer from allergies, it can be important to know the allergy type you suffer from, as well as how severe your condition is. There are hundreds or thousands of possible allergens, but there are some things that you can do to help pinpoint which substances you are allergic to, so you can avoid them and prevent any symptoms from occurring. There are several allergy testing methods that can be used, and they all have specific benefits and disadvantages. There is two types of skin testing, scratch and intradermal. In the scratch allergy type test, a small scratch is made and a little amount of a possible allergen is placed in the scratch. This can be done for a number of different allergens, but each type requires a new scratch to determine if a reaction is present for each substance. With intradermal testing, a small amount of the allergy material is placed under the skin to see if a reaction develops. Blood testing can also be done to determine what specific antibodies are present in your blood in high levels. This is a good clue that you are allergic to that substance.
Another allergy type testing is called challenge testing, and it can be very dangerous if not done properly by a doctor well trained in severe allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock. This testing involves being exposed to a group of foods or medicines that may cause very severe allergic reactions that can be life threatening if not treated immediately. The doctor starts out with a very small amount of the substance that you must drink or inhale. After a period of time, if there are no allergic symptoms, the doctor will give you a larger dose. This testing method is used for the allergens that commonly cause severe reactions, like nuts and shellfish among others. This method of testing is the most expensive, and it is only used when there are no other alternative methods that would be accurate or if the substance is known to cause severe problems.
Finding out what allergy type you suffer from, and how severe the allergies actually are, can be very important. Because allergies can range from mild to severe, you must have an understanding of the consequences if you accidently come into contact with the allergen. Thousands of people end up in hospital emergency rooms because of anaphylactic shock due to severe allergies, and some of these people have never experienced any symptoms previously. Almost any substance can be an allergen, depending on your specific chemistry, genetics, immunity, and other physical factors.
Common allergies which cause the worst problems can include nuts, milk, many medications and drugs, bee stings, insect bites, wasp stings, herbal supplements, wheat, fish, shellfish, and a number of others. Some allergies that normally may be irritating and uncomfortable but that do not cause dangerous medical conditions can include pollen, pet allergies including cats and dogs, dust mites, mold, nickel, poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, cosmetics, sunlight, sulfites which are commonly found in many foods, and hundreds of other compounds and substances. Allergy testing can help you determine exactly what allergies you suffer from, so that you can live symptom free and enjoy life. Allergy symptoms, even when they are just uncomfortable and not life threatening, can cause drastic changes in your routine and diet. Knowing what allergens affect you can help you avoid these substances and not have to worry about your mild reactions becoming worse, which can happen in some cases. It is possible to suffer from more than one allergy, and you may have ten or twenty or more. Because of this you may need to have more than one type of testing done to determine all the allergens that affect you.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
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