Spring is right around the corner, and if you’re like many of the patients we see at High Rock Internal Medicine in Lexington, North Carolina, so are your allergies! Spring allergies can put a damper on the season and cause you a lot of discomfort. At High Rock Internal Medicine, we’re proud to provide our patients with comprehensive allergy testing that helps pave the way to an allergy-free spring.
What are allergies?
When your body comes into contact with certain foreign substances, it can cause your immune system to deem these foreign substances as harmful and mount an attack against them. This immune reaction is called an allergic response. Allergies can be triggered by various things, known as allergens, such as pet dander, dust, pollen, certain foods, and much more.
Allergies affect people in different ways. Some people may not be affected by allergies at all, while others can be allergic to a multitude of things with varying severity. Mild allergic reactions usually manifest as itchiness, redness, or hives. Anaphylaxis is a severe reaction, where you have difficulty breathing and your body goes into shock. It can be fatal if not treated immediately.
What is an allergy test?
An allergy test is a specific type of examination performed by one of our specialized staff members to determine if potential allergens will cause your body to have a reaction. When we perform an allergy test, we expose you to many different potential allergens and take note of your body’s response to each.
There are two main types of allergy tests:
1. Skin test
Also known as a scratch or puncture test, a skin test checks for allergic reactions to as many as 40 unique substances all at once. A specialized tool is used to make very tiny scratches or punctures on your skin. Next, the allergen is applied to the scratch in a tiny droplet of water. Any reaction to the allergen will be nearly instantaneous with a skin test.
2. Blood test
Blood tests are less common than skin tests and are performed when there’s a high risk of experiencing a severe allergic reaction to a generic skin test. This is determined based on your medical history and overall health.
Who is a good candidate for allergy testing?
You should consider allergy testing if you’ve experienced allergies in the past and want a definitive answer on what substances are causing your allergic reactions. If you have a family history of allergies, allergy testing may also be right for you.
If you suffer from allergies and want to get a jump start on avoiding them this spring, call us at 336-477-9110 or schedule an appointment online for an allergy testing consultation with one of our team members.