Allergen Testing For Newly Developed Allergies In Adults
People commonly associate allergy development with children. While many allergies do surface at a young age, they can also develop later in life. For adults with newly emerging allergy symptoms, there is a lot to learn about allergies and allergen testing.
Allergies and Adults
Allergens can be found nearly everywhere, including in the grass you walk on, the air you breathe, and the food you eat. To help protect the body from potential reactions, the immune system sends out various signals that essentially work to suppress the body's response to allergens. In some adults, the effectiveness of these signals declines over time and lowers the body's suppression abilities. As a result, you may start to react when you encounter an allergen that once caused zero response.
Allergen testing is not exactly the worst experience, but it is also not something you want to repeat over and over. So, it is important to prepare for the test so that you can get the results you need on the first try. First, stop taking your allergy medicine. The goal is to get a true, unaided response to the allergen from your body. You should also avoid putting lotion and oil on the testing site, as the ingredients in these solutions can alter the test results. Lastly, wear unrestrictive clothing so that the healthcare team can access the testing site easier.
The testing process generally begins with some questions about your exposure to allergens and any reactions you might have. This information is used to help determine what allergens you need to have included within the test. Once it begins, the person performing the test will gently prick your skin with a needle that contains a very small amount of the allergen in question. You will then sit and wait to see how your body reacts.
A good thing about allergen testing is that you do not have to wait for results to go to a lab and be processed. You will find out the results of the test immediately. Generally, if the area of the prick site is itchy, raised, or has a rash, it is a positive indicator of an allergic reaction. In extreme cases, a more severe response, such as throat swelling, or shortness of breath is also interpreted as a positive reaction.
Allergies can have a significant impact on your lifestyle, and most importantly, your health. If you suspect that you have developed allergies as an adult, be sure to speak with a healthcare professional and schedule allergen testing.