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Last Updated: September 20, 2019

Allergy Testing - Procedure, Cost, Recovery And Side Effects

What is Allergy Testing? How is allergy testing done? Are there any allergy testing side effects? How long does it take to recover? What are the risks of allergy testing? How much does it cost to have an allergy test in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the diet precautions to be taken during allergy testing? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is Allergy Testing?

Almost every individual is allergic to some medium or the other in his/her lifetime. No human body is of the same composition and hence what could be allergic to someone can be harmless to another person. It is advisable to know your allergic agents, and it is better to stay away from them rather than coming in contact with them and spending for the treatment. As a rule, your doctor would first test your allergic reactions before prescribing medications and drug. In some cases, a drug that doesn’t suit can do more harm than good.

In most of the cases, such a scenario can make your body behave abnormally, and you could experience an increase in blood pressure, heartbeat, fatigue, skin disorders, etc. In some rare cases, an allergic reaction can lead to a coma and can be fatal if immediate medical attention is not given. So, let us say it’s safe to check your allergens through a series of tests and determine what you are allergic to beforehand. The allergy tests have been designed in such a way to establish this fact. In the changing times and with new contagions evolving every day, it is better to be safe and find what is really right for you and what type of agents you are comfortable with.

How is allergy testing done?

The treatment is done by a blood test that checks for the substance in the blood called antibodies. They are efficient and form essential means of identifying what you are allergic to and what allergens you have to stay away from. The other types of test are sensitive and are used to determine the allergic nature of your skin. Most of the allergies throw their first symptoms only on the skin. Hence it would be safe to take a skin test too under the circumstances. Skin tests are of three types. Skin prick, Intradermal and skin patch test.

In the skin prick test, a droplet of the solution containing the allergens is dropped onto your skin to check for the reaction. In the intradermal test, an allergen is directly injected into your skin to check for a reaction. Both these tests are done in a controlled environment and the compound used will be very minimal. Hence you would not have to worry about things going wrong. In the skin patch test, an allergen solution is placed on a pad, and it is stuck to your skin for a period of 24 hours to 48 hours. This test is usually done for getting the reaction levels of a condition known as dermatitis.

Who would need an Allergy Test?

Any individual who wants to check his/her allergic pattern can undergo this test. What might be allergic for one person will not be allergic to the other? Hence it is always safe to check your allergic levels beforehand so that you can take adequate precautions or can stay away from them. The allergy test also can be done when you want to take a new medication or a prescription drug.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

People with a very high blood pressure and low blood pressure are not suitable candidates as, if they are allergic to certain allergens, this can cause the pressure to behave abnormally. Do consult with your doctor before you go for such tests. Also, pregnant women need to avoid these tests.

How long does it take to get skin test results?

Skin testing is quick and positive responses typically show up inside 20 minutes. Some of the time redness and swelling can happen a few hours after skin testing. The postponed response for generally vanishes in 24 to 48 hours, yet ought to be accounted for to the hypersensitivity specialist or medical attendant.

Are there any allergy testing side effects?

There will be no side effects for a blood test. However, if you are undergoing a skin prick test, then it works on the principle whether the chemical is allergic to you. In those cases, you might feel the allergic reactions. But since these are administered in controlled doses, the reactions are temporary and can go away on its own. These tests are safe to undergo.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

If you are having a simple blood test, there are no post-treatment guidelines to follow. You can carry on your usual routine without any change. If you are undergoing the skin patch test then depending on your allergic reaction you might have to rest for some time before you get back. Also based on the results your doctor will advise on the allergens you have to stay away from. These can be food or even a physical thing like dust, pollen, dirt, etc.

How long does it take to recover?

Allergy test treatment is usually done to determine the allergic reactions of your body in a controlled way. Hence there is no recovery period, and after your results, you might have to make some changes to your lifestyle and diet patterns. You might also be asked to stay away from certain pills and medications. Also, you might be asked to cover your face and nose in case you are allergic to dust when you step out.

What are the risks of allergy testing?

The most widely recognized dangers of skin testing are marginally swollen, red, bothersome knocks. These wheals might be most observable during the test. In certain individuals, however, redness, tingling and an area of swelling may build up a couple of hours after the test and endure for up to two or three days.

How much does it cost to have an allergy test in India?

The average test would cost around INR 2,000 to INR 3,000 in India. These are mostly blood test and can test your immunoglobulin levels. For skin tests and the patch tests, the cost can be additional and depends on the medical center you are having. The medications and the treatment options can be additional too.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The results of the treatment can be permanent only when you stay focused away from the harmful allergens. You have every chance of developing the condition again if you accidentally come in contact with your allergic agents. For example, unknowingly you take a medication that has a product that is not suitable for you – You could get the allergic reactions back. It is best to stay safe and have cautioned of your surroundings if you have a tendency to get allergic effects.

What are the diet precautions to be taken during allergy testing?

Skin allergies are not much related to our food intake. So there is no specific food intake or prohibition before or after the allergy testing though it is advised to avoid antihistamines for around 3 to 7 days prior to the test. It's fine to inhale asthma medicines and nasal steroid sprays.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

For an alternative treatment, you can try going for getting the supplements and nutrients from the fruits and vegetables. You need to consult with your doctor if you can take herbal remedies for keeping the allergic reactions under control, as most of them are extremely safe without any side effects. If any food is allergic to you can try having it in an alternate form.

Key Highlights:

Safety: High

Effectiveness: High

Timeliness: High

Relative Risk: Low

Side Effects: Very Low

Recovery Time: Very Low

Price Range: RS. 2000 - Rs. 3000

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