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What to Expect During Allergy Testing

Are you tired of having allergic reactions without knowing exactly what’s causing them? Are allergy symptoms like watery or puffy eyes and itchy skin driving you nuts? Maybe you already take over-the-counter allergy medicine but still can’t get any relief. It’s time to stop feeling miserable! Dr. Vandana Kumra of ENT New York in Manhattan can help you. She provides skin allergy testing in our office for women and men of all ages.

What causes allergies?

Allergic reactions occur when your immune system overreacts to an allergen like dust, pet dander, or mold. As your body wards off these foreign invaders, you may develop symptoms like hives, itching, and sneezing. You may also have swollen lips or tongue or have trouble breathing. In severe cases, people develop a life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis.

How to prepare for an allergy test

Tell Dr. Kumra about all the over-the-counter medications you take. If you take antihistamines, she may ask you to stop taking them a few days before your allergy test. 

What to expect during allergy testing

Dr. Kumra and our trained staff perform skin allergy tests on patients with suspected allergies to pollen, grasses, trees, mold, pet dander, certain foods, and more. A skin prick test, also called a scratch test, is the easiest and fastest way to figure out what you’re allergic to. The entire test takes less than an hour, and we check for up to 50 different allergens.

We clean an area on your arm or back and then mark your skin where each allergen is applied. Then, we lightly prick those marks to allow the allergen into your skin. Every body reacts differently, so we do two additional skin pricks for comparison. The first one is histamine, which causes a reaction in most people. If your body doesn’t react to the histamine, we may need to order additional tests to get an accurate diagnosis. The other solution is saline, which usually doesn't cause a reaction. If your body reacts to the saline, you may have sensitive skin, and we watch for false-positive results.

After about 20 minutes, red welts form on your skin if you’re allergic to that substance. Larger welts mean more sensitivity to the allergen. By the time you leave our office, you should know exactly what you’re allergic to and how to treat it. Some people take antihistamines; others get allergy shots over time.

Is allergy testing dangerous?

Allergy testing isn’t dangerous when done in our office under Dr. Kumra’s supervision. Most people are fine, and the welts go away within a few hours. On rare occasions, someone may have a bad reaction to an allergen and require emergency medication. There’s nothing to worry about though; you’re in good hands!

Isn’t it about time you found out exactly what you’re allergic to so you can stop feeling miserable? Make an appointment with Dr. Kumra of ENT New York with our online booking tool. Or, call 646-859-6136 today.

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