2 Common Types Of Allergies And How To Test Them

Millions of Americans deal with all sorts of allergies on a daily basis. But what are these allergies, and how can you find out if you have them? This article discusses the most common types of allergies and how to get a confirmed diagnosis.

Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, are caused by an overreaction of the immune system to airborne particles like pollen, dust, or mold spores. When these particles come into contact with the nose, mouth, or eyes, they trigger the release of histamine and other inflammatory chemicals. These chemicals can lead to symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose.

Seasonal allergies may worsen in the spring and fall when pollen levels are at their highest. However, some people may experience symptoms year-round if they live in an area with high levels of mold or dust. If you suspect that you have seasonal allergies, you should see a doctor for testing.

A skin prick test is often used to confirm the diagnosis. During this test, your doctor places a drop of allergy-causing substance (such as pollen or dust mite extract) on your skin. They then use a small, sterile probe to prick the outer layer of skin. If you develop a small bump or hive at the site, it usually means you're allergic to that substance.

If you have seasonal allergies, you can do a few things to help relieve your symptoms. Avoiding triggers such as pollen and mold spores is the best way to prevent an allergy attack. Your doctor may also prescribe medication, such as antihistamines to help relieve your symptoms.

Food Allergies

If you've ever had a sudden, intense feeling of anxiety or dread when thinking about a particular food, you may have experienced a food allergy. Food allergies can cause mild to severe symptoms and, in some cases, may be life-threatening. The good news is that effective treatments are available for managing food allergies.

There are two main types of food allergies: IgE-mediated and non-IgE-mediated. IgE-mediated reactions occur when the body produces antibodies (IgE) in response to a particular food protein. These reactions are usually quick, within minutes to hours after eating the offending food.

Non-IgE-mediated reactions, on the other hand, are slower reactions that can take days or even weeks to develop. Both types of reactions can cause different symptoms, including swelling, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and difficulty swallowing. In severe cases, anaphylaxis can occur, a potentially life-threatening reaction that includes symptoms such as low blood pressure and chest pain.

If you think you have a food allergy, it's important to get tested. A skin prick test or blood test can be used to confirm the diagnosis. Once you know which foods you're allergic to, you can work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan. You may need to trigger foods, take allergy medication, or receive allergy shots (immunotherapy).

Reach out to a service such as Dino Peds for more info.