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How Do I Know I Have Allergies?

Did you know that more than 8 percent of adults are diagnosed with allergies? If you have symptoms of allergies, like sinus problems, watery eyes, and rashes, but don’t know what specifically it is that you’re allergic to, then allergy testing can help you.

When you don’t know what causes your allergies, you could be needlessly exposing yourself to allergens. When you do get tested, you can discover which substances are triggering your allergies specifically. This way you can find effective treatment options and curb your allergies.

At Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut, our providers — Dr. Reinhard Kage, Dr. Barbara Kage, and Donna Duffy, PA-C — are here to find effective treatments and solutions for your allergies. 

Types of testing

Scratch test

The scratch test is the most common type of allergy testing. With this type of test, we typically use your arm or your back. We then scratch common allergens on your skin, which we mark to know which allergens we’re using in each spot. If you’re allergic to a certain allergen, then you’ll have a reaction on your skin. 

Scratch tests are beneficial because they’re very quick — you’ll know very soon after application if you’re allergic to any substances. They’re also pretty accurate and can be a relatively inexpensive option.

The only downside is that if you do take allergy medications, you will need to refrain from taking them about a week before your test. So, if you do need your medication or if you’ve had a severe allergic reaction in the past, then this is likely not a good option for you.

Blood test

Blood tests are preferred for small children as this type of testing only involves a small needle prick rather than a longer more drawn out scratch test, which requires your child to stay still for a longer period of time. 

Additionally, if you opt for blood testing, you don’t need to stop taking your allergy medication. Blood test results come back within a few days and you won’t have to deal with allergic reactions on your skin as you would with a scratch test. 

Personalized allergy solutions

If your tests do reveal that you’re allergic to a particular allergen, we can treat you with allergy shots. Allergy shots are a type of immunotherapy that makes your body immune to certain allergens. 

Each shot contains a minuscule amount of the specific allergen that you are allergic to, so that your body safely, slowly, and effectively builds up immunity to your allergens. The course of treatment can take up to five years to complete, and usually begins with weekly shots, followed by monthly shots until you are immune.

For more information or to make an appointment, call us or book an appointment right on our calendar today.

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