Pins and Needles: The Allergy Skin Prick Test – What To Know!

For those unlucky Arizonans, seasonal allergies are the pits. The pollens that bring sneezing, itchy and swollen eyes, and all around misery can really put a cramp in our desert lifestyle. Many allergy sufferers will at some point wind up at doctors office for a skin prick test (SPT) to determine which pollens and allergens they are allergic to. The results of this test can help you avoid your particular triggers, whether it’s staying indoors during prime grass season or taking allergy medicine before you leave the house. The skin prick test itself is straightforward type of allergy testing, but knowing what to expect can help ease anxieties if the idea of getting this test puts you on pins and needles.

Allergy Testing to Determine Specific Type of Allergic Reaction & Treatment

Allergy Testing – What to Expect 

The first part of your appointment should be familiar. The nurse will take your height, weight and blood pressure. You’ll settle into a room and wait for the doctor. The allergist will come in and ask you questions regarding your symptoms and how you are feeling and will look in your eyes, nose and throat. He’ll also listen to your heart and lungs. This is the time to discuss how your current allergy medications are working for you and what you hope to gain from the appointment. The visit may lead to new medications or even allergy shots if your symptoms to certain pollens are severe.

After the allergy doctor talks with you, the nurse will give you some privacy so that you can strip down to your waist. You’ll put on a gown without a back and lie down on a table. When the nurse comes in, she’ll have with her all of the allergens that they will be testing.

 “For seasonal allergies, you can expect us to test your body on about 50 to 60 different types of allergens, mostly grasses, weeds, trees and a few molds.”

The nurse will quickly mark your back in rows with a sharpie or dry erase marker to create a map of sorts. The allergens are all sterile and are administered using a lancet, which barely breaks the skin. It is done very quickly and is usually over in about a minute. You may experience mild discomfort or even a ticklish sensation during the process. A control, which is always histamine, will also be applied. Everyone has histamine in their body, but it can affect them differently. Certain people don’t react to histamine right away, and this means that the test may be difficult to diagnose.

Allergy Skin Prick Test

You will be left for about 25 minutes while the allergens do their work and your body reacts. Once the allotted time is past, she will come back in with a chart and will check the results on your back and mark them down. Once finished, she’ll create a printout for you to keep that shows your results, and the doctor will come back in to talk to you. Your allergist will discuss your reactions to the various allergens, such as the size of the wheal and flare, which are the bumps and redness that your back will develop. He will also explain what the numbers mean for you and what treatments might be necessary going forward.

Having knowledge of what pollens and desert allergens affect your body will give you the power to ease your symptoms, whether it’s through avoidance or treatment. Allergy skin prick testing is complete and straightforward with hardly any discomfort to speak of.

Set up an appointment today for our skin allergy testing to find out what your triggers are so that you can put yourself back in the driver’s seat this summer.

This blog content originally posted @ https://allergyarizona.net/pins-and-needles-the-allergy-skin-prick-test-what-to-know/

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3 Things to know about food allergies

There are many people in the country today that suffer from some kind of food allergy. As a matter of fact, food allergies are quite common amongst babies and children, though they can happen to anyone, at any age. Let’s take a look at a few things that you must know about food allergies.

asthma allergy center

They are quite common

Gone are the days when food allergies used to be rare. In this day and age, these have become quite common. Over the years, the occurrence of food allergies has increased dramatically. This is why it is important to go for food allergies testing if you find unusual symptoms in your body after consuming some food.

They have varied symptoms

An allergic reaction because of some sort of food normally occurs right after consuming the trigger food. These reactions could be itchiness in the skin, hives, vomiting, itchy nose and eyes, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and the rest. However, these reactions could be life threatening as well. This is why seeking medical attention is utmost important when it comes to treating food allergies.

Kids can be allergic to several foods

Some of the common trigger foods that can cause allergic reactions in kids include milk, eggs, peanuts, shellfish, and wheat are the most common. So, in order to avoid fatal consequences, it is important to take your child to a reliable allergy clinic. If your child suffers from asthma too, then you can go to an asthma allergy center that treats other allergies as well, and get a comprehensive treatment for your kid.

5 FAQS to Know about Allergies and Allergists

Associates of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology estimates that more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. While that number is jarring, additional statistics show that approximately one out of six Americans suffer from allergic rhinitis. The following information will describe what allergic rhinitis is, what triggers it and why consulting an allergist as opposed to your primary care physician is the best course of action to take if you believe that you may be living with allergies.

What is allergic rhinitis?

Allergy means “strange activity” in Greek. Rhinitis, also Greek in origin, literally means “condition of the nose.” Therefore, allergic rhinitis, which is also referred to as hay fever, can be defined as a condition in which irritants cause “inflammation of the nose or its mucous membrane.”

What causes allergies?

Pollen is a powdery fertilizing agent that flowering plants release in order to fertilize other plants. It helps create beautiful gardens, but pollen also makes it difficult for people with seasonal allergies to enjoy them.

Pollen, which is transported through the air, attaches itself to a person’s hair, skin and clothing. When people who are sensitive to pollen breathe in pollen-laden air, typical symptoms include “sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, itchy throat and eyes and wheezing.”

Pollen and debris from an animal’s coat or feathers are two of the most common irritants that trigger allergic rhinitis symptoms. However, it is worth mentioning that pollen is not just limited to flowers. For example, certain trees, grasses, and desert plants like cacti are also pollen-heavy. Additionally, dust and chemicals from pipe, cigar and cigarette smoke are other windborne irritants, and all the above can be particularly tough on people living with allergies. This is just one reason why attempting to self-medicate with over the counter medicine is not advised.

Why do you need to see an allergist instead of your primary care physician?

Unlike general physicians, allergists are physicians who have completed additional training programs that allow them to effectively diagnose and treat asthma and allergic diseases. The following list describes some of the health issues that an allergist-immunologist treats:

  • asthma
  • hay fever
  • sinusitis
  • rashes
  • hives  (ACAAI)

What should you expect when you visit an allergist?

An allergist-immunologist will conduct a thorough medical history and physical exam. Skin and blood tests may also be incorporated in order to determine exactly what substances are causing allergic reactions. This is typically done in an in-house testing lab. The new client visit could take up to two hours. Once the irritants have been identified, allergists will create a treatment plan that may include dietary recommendations, inoculations and other medication specifically designed for their clients’ needs.

Is there a cure for allergies?

Unfortunately, no. However, immunotherapy and specialty medicines as well as education, can greatly reduce the symptoms that people living with allergies would normally experience by attempting to self-medicate, which can be dangerous. By consulting a top Phoenix allergist, these individuals can avoid wasting time, money and possibly putting their health at risk and focus on enjoying life.

References

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. (n.d.). Retrieved from acaai.org/

Allergy | Define Allergy at Dictionary.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from dictionary.com/browse/allergy

Rhinitis | Define Rhinitis at Dictionary.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from dictionary.com/browse/rhinitis

American Board of Allergy and Immunology:. (n.d.). Retrieved from abai.org

Allergy Facts | AAFA.org. (n.d.). Retrieved from aafa.org/page/allergy-facts.aspx

“This blog post originally posted @ https://allergyarizona.net/5-faqs-to-know-about-allergies-and-allergists/

5 Signs that you are suffering from allergies

Even for the chronic sufferer, an allergic reaction – to pollen, particular allergy causing foods or other irritants – is not always immediately evident. The symptoms can be confused with everything from a bug bite to a common head cold or sinusitis. Still, a preponderance of symptoms should give one a clear idea of what is happening. Here is a quick rundown on what to look for to determine if you are suffering from allergies:

Odd taste in mouth The human body is highly attuned to its wants and needs. As much as it likes to tell you what and when to eat, it will also quickly inform you if an unwanted substance is introduced. If you encounter an unwanted taste in your mouth, consider the source.

Scratchy throat – This symptom is most pronounced if a food allergen is ingested – with results often within just a few seconds! but dermal contact with a plant or the inhalation of another allergen can also produce this effect.

Nasal congestion / Watery eyes – Once the allergen is introduced to the body in whatever way, the body’s natural defenses try to rid itself of them. Mucus and tears are the first symptoms but nausea and diarrhea can follow within a couple of hours.

Skin rash – More commonly known as “hives,” this skin rash will develop within an hour or two of being exposed to the allergen. Many people think that this condition is only provoked by touching poison ivy or some other irritant. To the contrary, any allergen – whether touched or not – can cause hives.

Obstructed breathing – This symptom manifests itself in a number of ways most notably with the swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat. Usually the most troubling of allergic reactions, this symptom can even be life threatening.

For further information on recognizing and dealing with an allergic reaction, please contact us at Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates. We can be found online at AllergyArizona.net or reached directly at 602-242-4592.

Top Five Food Allergies

While everyone needs food to live, not everyone can eat every food. This fact is never more evident than when a person inadvertently eats a food that provokes an allergic reaction. Nausea, hives, itchy eyes and shortness of breath can ensue if the allergic reaction is not treated in the proper manner by an specialty allergy doctor.

Known in medical circles as “anaphylactic shock,” allergic reactions to food are not just irritating but can even lead to death in certain circumstances. Here is a quick rundown on the five foods most commonly associated with this disability:

Peanut AllergyProbably the most commonly known food allergy because of the attention it has drawn from schools and airlines, peanuts are a significant threat to the unaware. Peanuts are included in all sorts of foods as a filler and care should be taken to read food labels.

Shrimp – This allergy is usually ascribed to the iodine that builds up in various shellfish. Whatever the root reason, a shrimp allergy provokes an almost immediate and violent reaction from someone who inadvertently exposes themselves.

Milk – “Got milk?” Is a popular marketing slogan but it is more than an annoyance to those who are better off ignoring this oft praised but sometimes deadly liquid. Humans usually react most violently to cow’s milk but others – goat, sheep and buffalo – can have equally dire effects.

Wheat – The gluten in wheat can cause bouts of sneezing, headaches and skin rashes. This allergy is more of a nuisance than a real danger. Still, it should be dealt with as soon as possible.

Eggs – Most common in infants, an egg allergy usually manifests itself with vomiting. By adolescence, this allergy will usually be dissipated.

For more information on the best way to deal with an allergic reaction to food or any other irritant, or prevent food allergies in children, please contact us at allergyarizona.net, or call us directly at 602-242-4592.

How To Prevent Skin Allergies?

We all love having a flawless skin, free from conditions and allergies. But, it isn’t really a perfect world. With the presence of so many allergens around us, it doesn’t take much time to get a skin allergy. While there are several causes of having an irritated skin, some of the common causes include weak immune systems, medications, and infections.

Here are a few symptoms that can occur in various skin allergies:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Rashes and/or excessive itching
  • Occurrence of bumps or blisters on the skin
  • Peeling, cracking or flaking of the skin

They say prevention is better than cure. So, if you want to have a trouble-free skin, then here are a few things that may help you do so.

Strengthen your immune system – As already mentioned, if you are having frequent allergies, then it could be due to the problems in the immune system that lead to frequent infections. So, make sure you strengthen your immune system. Having a nutritious diet and by adding vitamin C to your diet might help in giving your immune system the boost it needs.

Take care of your skin – There are many allergic reactions that can be avoided merely by making simple changes in your lifestyle and by taking good care of your skin. Switch to natural skin care products that are free from harsh chemicals, keep your skin hydrated by drinking lots of water, and moisturize your skin regularly, to have a healthy skin.

Consult a board-certified allergist – The most important step that you need to take to prevent the occurrence of skin allergies is to consult a reliable and board certified allergist. Tell them about your skin condition in detail and they will help you find the underlying cause of the allergy, with the help of allergy testing. Once you will find out the reasons why you get allergic reactions, you will then be able to treat them better.

3 Tips On Dealing With Allergic Asthma

Just like no two people are same, their bodies’ responses to allergens aren’t same as well. While there are people who may experience sneezes and watery eyes because of certain allergens, there are others who may experience asthma attacks. As a matter of fact, allergic asthma happens to be one of the most common types of asthma in the world. So, what is the way to treat this allergic reaction?

Here are a few tips that may work great in helping you better manage your asthmatic allergy.

Understand the trigger points
As basic as it may sound, it is a great way to control your allergic asthma attacks. When you know what are the things that trigger the attacks, you can very well avoid doing them. For this, different allergy tests can be conducted. Apart from getting the allergy skin testing and food testing done, you should also try to maintain notes on the last allergic asthma attack you had and what could be the possible trigger points, based on the activity that you were doing at that time. This will help a lot in figuring out the reasons that lead to such attacks.

Keep it clean
Another important tip to prevent allergic asthma attacks would be to keep the surrounding cleans and free from dust mites, which are said to be one of the most common indoor allergic asthma allergens, as per studies. You can keep dust mites at bay by regularly washing all of your bedding and getting rid of those carpets from your home that are a haven for dust mites. Also, go for dust proof mattresses and pillows to avoid attracting the nasty little dust mites.

Contact an experienced allergist and asthma specialist
The most important tip to have an allergic asthma free life is to find a reliable and reputable Phoenix clinic, which has a team of experienced allergists for children, and asthma specialists. When you take the help of an expert to treat your respiratory/sinus concerns or allergic conditions, you take a big leap towards living a life free from allergic reactions.

So, stop waiting and start doing. Follow these simple tips and schedule an appointment for testing with a renowned allergist and immunologist nearby!