Allergies can certainly be considered a civilization disease. It is estimated that even in a dozen or so percent population has developed, or will develop in the future, some type of allergy. Regardless of whether we are dealing with inhaled, contact, alimentary or conjugated type of disease, they are mostly chronic and require a change in lifestyle. Fortunately, thanks to various types of allergy tests, you can be absolutely sure what allergies you are struggling with. Then it is not only easier to start therapy, but above all to avoid disastrous effects, among which the most serious is anaphylactic shock, which can even lead to death.
Allergy tests are performed to determine which factor causes the symptoms that are preventing normal functioning. However, the diagnosis is based not only on examinations but also on the patient's history. A comprehensive approach to the problem is necessary here. The most commonly used (and most effective) measurements include:
- spot skin tests - which expose the forearm skin to a potential allergen. The skin is gently punctured, and the diagnostic result is known after several minutes. The disadvantage remains that the test is associated with a possible skin reaction. A variation of this test are intradermal tests - often helping to clarify previously obtained results;
- patch tests - used successfully, especially in the case of contact allergies, consist of leaving paper discs saturated with a substance that causes an allergic reaction on the skin for 48 consecutive hours. Discomfort may necessitate the maintenance of a potential allergen on the skin, however - this test is recommended for some patients;
- blood tests - carried out on the basis of samples taken is the least invasive. The number of white blood cells with acidophilic properties is assessed, as well as the concentration of IgE (class E immunoglobulin);
The procedures for each test are different - for spot and patch tests, remember not to use cortisone or antihistamines for the 7 days preceding the test, and do not use perfumes, tobacco, drink alcohol, coffee and do not wear synthetic fabrics. Blood tests can be performed regardless of the conditions.