If you have an allergy, your immune system overreacts to a substance you inhaled, touched or ate.
Your immune system controls how your body defends itself. For instance, if you have an allergy to pollen, your immune system identifies pollen as an invader or allergen. Your immune system overreacts by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies travel to cells that release chemicals, causing an allergic reaction. These reactions can range from annoying sneezing and sniffling to a life-threatening response called anaphylaxis.
So how can you be sure which allergens are responsible for your symptoms? Allergy tests, combined with a physical examination and medical history, can give precise information about what you are, as well as what you are not, allergic to. For instance, perhaps you or a family member has allergy symptoms and your household includes a pet. You don’t have to avoid contact with the pet if allergy testing shows an allergy to dust mites but not to pet dander.
Many people with untreated allergy symptoms aren’t aware of how much better they will feel once their symptoms are properly diagnosed and managed by a doctor with special interest in treating allergy.
Testing done by an allergist is generally safe and effective for adults and children of all ages.
Symptoms which usually prompt an allergist to perform testing include:
• Respiratory: itchy eyes, nose or throat; nasal congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, chest congestion, cough or wheezing
• Skin: itchiness or eczema
• Abdominal: vomiting or cramping and diarrhea consistently after eating certain foods
• Severe reactions to stinging insect stings (other than swelling at the site of the sting)
• Anaphylaxis : a serious allergic reaction that affects many parts of the body at the same time
It is important that allergy testing is directed by a healthcare professional with sufficient allergy/immunology training and prompted by your medical history.
Types of Allergy Tests
Different allergens bother different people, so your allergist will determine which test is the best for you. Regardless of the type of test, an allergist will first perform a physical examination and ask questions about your symptoms to determine if allergy testing is warranted.
IgE Skin Tests: This type of testing is the most common and is relatively painless. A very small amount of certain allergens is put into your skin by making a small indentation or “prick” on the surface of your skin.
Challenge Tests: A very small amount of an allergen is inhaled or taken by mouth. Challenges are done mostly with potential food or medication allergies.
Blood Tests: This test involves drawing blood, so results are not available as rapidly as with skin tests. IgE blood tests are generally used when skin tests might be unsafe or won’t work, such as if you are taking certain medications, or have a skin condition that may interfere with skin testing.
CLA Pette, a small plastic device that can measure the severity of a patient's allergic reaction to up to 36 different allergens, all using a single blood sample.
The CLA Allergy Test serves allergy patients worldwide —so every CLA Pette is geographically specific. Physicians select the panel appropriate for their patient.
Inhalant panel—pollen, dust, mites and other airborne allergens in the patient's region
Food panel—commonly ingested foods, such as milk, tomato, soybean or wheat
Combination panel—up to 36 of the most prevalent food and inhalant allergens overall
Alcat Test is a lab based immune stimulation test in which a patient's WBC's are challenged with various substances including foods, additives, colorings, chemicals, medicinal herbs, functional foods, molds and pharmaceutical compounds. The patient's unique set of responses help to identify substances that may trigger potentially harmful immune system reactions.
Prior to testing, please refer to the instructions below:
1) Stop all Atihistamines for 3-5 days
2) Stop all Steriodal Nasal Sprays for 48 hours
3) Stop all Steroids ( Oral ) for 2-4 weeks according to the dosage and duration of treatment
4) Avoid High doses of Vitamin C ( Reduce the dosage to 500mg /day for 3 days )
5) Kindly consult your doctor for any medication adjustment
6) Kindly inform the Nurse / Doctor if you are on Anticoagulant therapy
7) Arrangement for the blood sample collection from Monday to Thursday before 9:30 am only, please avoid the blood sample collection on the eve of public holiday or on a public holiday