You don’t have a cold, but your nose feels uncomfortable;
Your suddenly eyes feel unbearably itchy;
You want to rest in bed, but you cough all night;
You love sunshine, but your body develops many extremely itchy rashes…
What could be some reasons behind these?
What could be the cause?
Allergic reactions are a common phenomenon, and most people will experience allergies at some point in their lives. The primary cause is a reaction to tissue damage or functional disorder that occurs when the immune system is stimulated by the same antigen again. Diseases caused by allergies include hives, eczema, allergic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, asthma, etc. Allergens are commonly found in food or medication, and the substance that causes allergies is called an allergen in medicine.
In clinical practice, many skin diseases are related to exposure to allergens. However, most patients with allergic diseases only receive treatment to relieve symptoms, and the real cause of the allergies is not found, leading to ineffective prevention and treatment of the disease, resulting in repeated and worsening symptoms.
It is often recommended that patients experiencing frequent allergic reactions undergo allergen testing to identify the specific cause of their allergies, whether they result from contact, ingestion, or inhalation of allergens. This approach aims to address the underlying problem effectively. Disregarding allergy testing and treatment may mistakenly imply that allergies are trivial, but this attitude may have severe consequences. Indeed, severe allergic reactions can pose a threat to life.
Allergy Testing Methods
In-vivo allergy testing is conducted by administering a minute quantity of small molecular protein allergens, such as milk, egg white, pollen, or dust mites, into the superficial layer of the skin, utilising techniques such as skin prick tests or intradermal tests. The skin’s reaction is then observed for signs of an allergic response. The appearance of redness or swelling on the skin after the test indicates that the substance could be the cause of an allergy.
Patch testing is mainly used to detect small-molecule allergens that come into direct contact with the skin, such as additives in metals, plastic rubber, and cosmetics. This involves placing these substances in a specially-made aluminium chamber that is then affixed to the skin on the back for a 48-hour duration, following which the reaction is observed.
It should be noted that this technique requires patients to undergo multiple visits to complete the testing. Photopatch testing can be combined with patch testing to identify suspected allergens for conditions suspected of UV allergies.
In-vitro testing involves testing the patient’s blood for the presence of allergies outside the body, without the direct use of allergens. Compared to in vivo testing, in vitro testing has several advantages.
This method is relatively non-invasive and painless, requiring only a small amount of the patient’s peripheral blood. It is highly safe, as allergens do not come into direct contact with the patient. In vitro testing can detect many items and is highly accurate. Its broad range of applications eliminates the need to discontinue medication before testing.
When checking for allergies, doctors typically rely on allergy testing, which involves looking for “allergen-specific IgE antibodies” in your blood. These antibodies are produced by your body in response to an allergic reaction, and their presence in your blood can indicate that you may be allergic to certain substances. By using a blood test to detect these antibodies, doctors can identify potential allergens and create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
Undergoing an allergy test is a crucial step in identifying potential allergens that may be causing your allergies. Armed with this information, you can take precautions and adjust your lifestyle accordingly to avoid these triggers. This can greatly improve your overall quality of life by minimising the frequency and severity of allergic reactions, which can range from mild discomfort to life-threatening conditions. Ultimately, allergy testing empowers you to make informed decisions about your health and well-being.
When considering an allergy test, it is essential to prioritise finding a healthcare provider with the expertise and experience necessary to provide a comprehensive assessment of your allergies. Link Doctor offers allergy testing services, utilising the latest diagnostic technologies to identify potential allergens and provide targeted treatment options. With us, you can get allergy testing with rates starting from S$66. Reach us here to find out more.