3 Types of Allergy Testing

More than 50 million Americans live with allergies. When you have allergies, your immune system misfires. Instead of ignoring something harmless, it overreacts, treating the substance as a threat and kicking your immune system into overdrive. 

That’s when you experience those uncomfortable allergy symptoms, like rashes, sneezing, watery eyes, or gastric distress.

To further complicate things, numerous triggers can cause allergic responses. They fall into three different categories: 

For some allergy sufferers, an allergic response is a minor inconvenience. Other people, however, suffer extreme discomfort and can even deal with life-threatening complications. As a result, knowing exactly what’s causing your allergic reaction plays a vital role in managing your condition.

At Murphy Medical Associates, our team offers three different types of allergy testing to help get to the bottom of your symptoms. 

Scratch tests

Scratch tests are often the first step in allergy testing. This common screening method can help identify food-related, airborne, and contact allergens. 

During a scratch test, we place a small amount of an allergen-containing liquid on your skin. Then, we use a special tool to lightly prick your skin so the liquid can penetrate the surface. 

Finally, we monitor the site to see how your skin reacts. Localized swelling, redness, or itchiness can indicate an allergic reaction. 

This approach often provides results within 20 minutes, but it’s also possible to have a more delayed reaction, up to several hours later. 

Intradermal testing

Intradermal testing also involves the skin. But, instead of putting potential allergens on the surface of your skin, our team injects a small amount into it.

This type of allergy testing can help detect more subtle allergic reactions. However, these allergens can also trigger a stronger allergic response. As a result, we don’t use intradermal testing to check for food allergies.

Blood testing

If skin testing through scratch or intradermal methods isn’t an option, we could recommend a blood test. This approach measures a type of antibody known as immunoglobulin E (igE) in your blood. High levels of igE indicate a response to certain allergens.

To perform this type of testing, we draw a blood sample from your arm for lab screening. Common reasons for allergy blood testing include:

Blood testing can help to safely identify a wide range of allergies, including those to some medications. However, it can take slightly longer to get your results.

Are you ready to find out what’s causing your allergy symptoms? Contact the Murphy Medical Associates location closest to you to schedule allergy testing today. We have offices in Greenwich, Stamford, and Stratford, Connecticut, and we’re eager to help with all of your preventive and general health needs.

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