Runny noses and sniffles aren’t exactly rare this time of year; colds and the flu run rampant among adults and children alike. After the twentieth sneeze or so, chances are you’ll pop a sinus pill, load up on Kleenex, and plop yourself in front of the fire to watch another holiday-themed movie. Sometimes this works, but sometimes there’s something a bit more complicated going on that might require allergy testing. Ohio has an allergen-friendly climate, and often people go years without realizing they have seasonal allergies. If a cold and sinus medication hasn’t been doing the trick, and symptoms seem to drag on for days or weeks, you may be suffering from allergies.
The season for allergy testing
Many people believe that summer is the season for allergies, but that’s not necessarily true. While pollen is a common trigger, it’s certainly not the only one. Pet dander or dust might be more plentiful around your home in the cooler months, and the holiday season might bring out your allergies thanks to Christmas trees or scented candles and oils.
December is also a common month to be tested for allergies because many people want to have it taken care of before their insurance deductible starts over. Allergy testing is covered by the large majority of insurance plans. If your plan carries a deductible, you probably know that you’ll have to start paying over again in the new year. If you’ve already covered it this calendar year, then you can take advantage and get tested for allergies before time runs out.
The testing process
The most common type of allergy testing Ohio residents will encounter is the skin prick test. During this procedure, the medical professional performing the test will place drops of solution containing potential allergens on the skin, each an inch or more apart. They will then use a needle to prick the skin under each drop. If you have an allergic response to any particular allergen, a hive will appear at that site within about 15 minutes.
The skin prick test will identify the following:
- Food allergies, such as peanuts, shellfish or dairy.
- Airborne allergies, such as dust, pet dander, feathers, mold and pollen
- Allergies to certain types of medication, such as penicillin.
- Allergies to insect venom, such as bee stings.
If the skin prick test yields no results, yet there is still a strong suspicion that you have a specific allergy, an intradermal test may be done. During this test, the allergen is injected into the skin. While this test is more sensitive than the skin prick test, it is also more likely to give a false-positive result.
Triggers for asthma
While an allergy test alone won’t diagnose asthma, it could help you and your physician determine what your triggers are. For this reason, your physician might suggest a skin prick test to see if your asthma is triggered by dust or pollen, for example. If you suffer from both allergies and asthma, there is an excellent chance they have the same trigger.
Whether you know you’re suffering from allergies or you’ve been struggling to identify the source of your discomfort, come into Premier Allergy for allergy testing. Ohio residents statewide have found simple solutions to lifelong problems with the treatments of Dr. Summit Shah. Have you noticed your nose running a lot more this year? Perhaps you’re left wondering if it’s more than just a cold. A simple allergy test is the first step toward narrowing the possibilities so that you can begin treating the symptoms. Make the most of these colder months with a visit to Premier Allergy.