Busting Allergy Testing Myths With Fresno’s Top Allergist

Busting Allergy Testing Myths With Fresno’s Top Allergist

Posted By:SSG Admin Posted On:27-Jun-2024

If you feel alone as you suffer from allergies, please realize you’re not.  In the U.S., it’s estimated that 25.7% of adults have seasonal allergies. Another 13.5% have food and eczema/contact dermatitis, too. Women are more likely to have eczema than men, and food allergy rates decline with older adults.

People with allergies often fail to seek proper diagnoses and treatments. There are several myths floating around regarding allergy testing. Fresno’s top allergy doctor wants to clear up that confusion and help you understand how a proper diagnosis puts you on the path to an allergy treatment that works.

Myth #1: Mild Allergies Aren’t Worth Diagnosing

We often hear this, and it’s wrong to think this way. Imagine your computer kept giving you an error message. Would you ignore it or start researching what’s wrong? If you ignore it, you risk your system crashing and being beyond repair, which you don’t want to do.

The same is true with mild allergies. They can be a sign of something else. They can also worsen over time. Soon, your mild allergies are severe. The symptoms you’ve been blowing off trigger an asthma attack. Imagine if you’re home alone when that asthma attack hits. 

It’s always better to have an allergy test to determine the cause of your mild allergies and take steps to keep them from worsening. At the very least, you know that your allergies are there and could worsen.

Myth #2: Allergy Test Results Show How Severe Your Allergies Are

Allergy tests show what allergens your body’s immune response reacts to. The severity of those allergens is not determined—the test works by showing the level of antibodies that are produced after exposure. 

Myth #3: Allergy Testing Is Unsafe for Children

It saddens us when we hear parents say they didn’t bother getting their children tested because the tests are only safe for adults.  Children can have allergy tests, too. It’s a good way to have your child’s allergies diagnosed and properly addressed before they worsen. The more you know about them, the easier it is to lower the risk of an allergic response. That’s important for protecting your child’s health.

Myth #4: Allergy Tests Are Incredibly Painful and Invasive

Allergy tests are not invasive at all. They’re also not that painful, but it does depend on your tolerance of needles. There are a few different options when it comes to allergy tests.

Blood Test (Serum IgE Test)t: A small vial of blood is drawn to measure the immune system’s response to different foods. If you’ve had a cholesterol test, CBC, or other test involving a blood draw, you already know what it feels like. There’s usually a prick when the needle goes in and nothing more than that.

Intradermal Test: With an intradermal allergy test, a small amount of the allergen is injected into the layers of the skin. Like the blood test, this test will have a bit of a sting when the needle goes in and the allergen is injected. It’s going to feel more like a very quick vaccination. 

Patch Test: A patch with different samples of allergens is taped to the skin for 48 hours. The allergy doctor then checks the skin a couple of days later to look for signs of a reaction.

Skin Prick Test: Many patients liken this test to that of a mosquito bite. An allergen is placed on the skin. A fine needle is used to prick the skin, which creates an opening for the allergen to enter. The doctor then checks the skin for a reaction over the next half hour or so.

Myth #5: Everyone Should Get an Allergy Test

There’s a growing craze of people getting allergy tests just to see if they are allergic to anything. If you don’t have symptoms, don’t get a test. You’re wasting money unnecessarily. If you are having allergy symptoms and nothing seems to help, an allergy doctor can help you determine if allergy testing is right for you.

Myth #6: Insurance Always Covers Allergy Tests

It would be nice if insurance always covered allergy tests, but it’s not always the case. Insurance may cover a test, but you might have to get a referral from your family doctor first.  Check before you get tested to avoid the unexpected expense. Some people end up having to pay out-of-pocket and are unhappy when they’re billed. That’s why we urge patients to check first.

Myth #7: Save Money! At-Home Allergy Tests Are Just as Effective

At-home tests are not a reliable source. They measure IgE antibodies, but some people naturally have higher levels without having an allergy to foods. 

No test is 100% accurate, which is why it’s important to have an allergy doctor go over the results with you. When you get tested by a Fresno allergy doctor, you’ll know what you have to do before the test to avoid a false positive.  You’ll also have instructions to follow before the test, such as stopping certain medications for days or weeks before the test. 

Myth #8: You Know Your Triggers, So Testing Is a Waste of Money

The final myth is that you know your triggers so why bother testing. You’re just wasting your money, right? You may think you know your triggers, but are you correct? Many people assume they’re allergic to something when they’re actually allergic to something else

Explore the Benefits of Accurate Allergy Tests

What benefits do you get from accurate allergy tests? Your treatment plan is going to target your exact allergens, not just those that are most common. The antihistamine you take may not be the best way to control your symptoms.

Knowing exactly what treatment works best reduces your symptoms and allows you to enjoy time both inside and outside more. You’re not constantly dragged down by tiredness, itchy/watery eyes, sneezing, skin reactions, congestion, and other common signs of allergies.

Some allergies respond well to allergy immunotherapy. By undergoing an allergy test, you’ll learn if you’re a good candidate for immunotherapy, which is a treatment where small amounts of an allergen are injected or placed under your tongue. It helps your body build immunity to that allergen.

It All Starts With an Appointment With Fresno’s Top Allergist

You don’t have to live in misery. If you’ve been convinced that allergy tests aren’t worth it or don’t work, it’s time to learn the truth. There are solutions out there that ease symptoms and allow you to do the things you love, even if you’re prone to allergies. 

Arrange an appointment with Fresno’s top allergist. Premium Allergy has solutions that work effectively, whether you want to try allergy shots or prefer needle-free options. Give us a call or book an appointment online.