We perform our allergy testing in-house, always under the supervision of our board-certified Austin allergists
When you come to see our Austin allergists with respiratory symptoms, skin problems, abdominal issues or serious reactions to an insect sting, we may recommend allergy testing. Allergy testing is the only definitive way to determine exactly what is triggering your allergic reactions. These tests should be performed by board-certified allergists. Allergists have a minimum of two extra years of specialized training in the field of allergies, as well as asthma and other immunologic disorders.
An IgE skin test is the most common method of allergy testing
For most people with allergies, the IgE skin test provides the results needed to make an accurate diagnosis. The test is performed in our office under the supervision of our Austin allergists.
During this relatively painless test, we make a little prick on your skin to place a small amount of an allergen there; for example, pollen. If you are allergic to a substance, reactions will occur. These reactions help us determine your triggers. The reactions are then treated in the office, typically resolving before leaving the office.
If there is no reaction to a substance, it usually means you are not allergic to that particular trigger; however, in some cases, our Austin allergists may still suspect that you have allergies, and they may recommend additional allergy testing. They may suggest an intradermal test, which is more sensitive than an IgE skin test. During this type of test, the allergens are injected under the skin.
Other types of allergy testing
For patients with certain conditions, our Austin allergists may decide that other types of allergy testing are necessary to establish a diagnosis.
- Challenge tests—during these tests, the patient either inhales or ingests the allergen. This type of allergy testing is often used to diagnose medication allergies or allergies to food.
- Blood tests—some patients cannot have a skin test. If they are taking specific medications, or if they have certain skin conditions, our Austin allergists may decide to administer a blood test.
Allergy testing should be performed by a board-certified allergy specialist
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) cautions patients against certain types of allergy testing not performed by a qualified allergist. According to the Academy, “these include: allergy screening tests done in supermarkets or drug stores, home testing, applied kinesiology (allergy testing by testing muscle strength or weakness), cytotoxicity testing for food allergy, Rinkel skin titration method, provocative neutralization testing, Immunoglobulin G (IgG) testing for food allergy or sublingual provocation.”*
Our Austin allergists and our staff work hard to keep patients comfortable and informed throughout the allergy testing procedure
If you or your family member needs allergy testing, contact us.