Allergy Testing Q & A
How do I know if I have allergies?
An allergic reaction occurs when you come into contact with a substance that triggers your immune system. Allergies can strike at any time. While many children have allergies, they might grow out of them, or you could develop allergies later in life. Additionally, the severity of your allergic reaction can change with time, too.
Depending on your specific allergy, you might experience symptoms, including:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Postnasal drip
- Rashes and hives
- Skin redness
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Tongue swelling
- Throat closing
- Chest tightness
If you have any of these symptoms, you should contact Dr. Farooqui for allergy testing. Once you know what’s triggering your allergic reaction, you can take steps to manage your condition.
What happens during allergy testing?
Dr. Farooqui offers state-of-the-art food and environmental allergy testing in his office at New Tampa Internal Medicine Associates for your convenience. His goal is to help you get the information you need so you can take action to protect your health.
Allergy testing usually includes blood and skin tests. A member of the team at New Tampa Internal Medicine Associates draws a sample of your blood, which is tested for proteins and other chemicals that indicate an allergy.
During a skin test, Dr. Farooqui injects a small amount of a diluted allergen into your skin. After the injection, he monitors you for any signs of an allergic reaction. He may test for several suspected allergens at the same time, creating a row or grid of injections.
In some cases, Dr. Farooqui may recommend a food challenge test. You prepare for a food allergy test by following a strict elimination diet for at least two weeks to ensure any potential allergic triggers are out of your system. Then, during your trial, you eat a small piece of a suspected food allergen while Dr. Farooqui observes you for any signs of a reaction.
What does a customized allergy treatment plan include?
Once Dr. Farooqui identifies your allergies, he creates a customized treatment protocol. Your treatment may include avoidance strategies, medication like antihistamines to ease your symptoms, or immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy trains your body not to respond to an allergen. During the treatment, you receive shots of diluted amounts of the allergen, and this, in turn, helps your immune system become less sensitive to the substance.
Call New Tampa Internal Medicine Associates or make an appointment for allergy testing online today.