A trained allergy specialist performs an allergy test to determine whether you are allergic to a specific substance. Blood or skin tests (pricks/patches) are a part of the exam. Immunity is the body’s natural defense. A reaction of your immune system to something in your environment causes an allergy. Children of all ages are susceptible to allergies. It is easier to minimize allergy symptoms and improve quality of life when allergies are identified early. There are many causes of allergies, including indoor irritants, outdoor irritants, and foods. Make an appointment for your child with the Oakbrook il pediatrician if they show signs of allergy symptoms. An allergy can cause the following symptoms:
- Rashes on the skin
- breathing difficulties
- congestion, runny nose, or sneezing
- itchy eyes
- upset stomach
Keep a log of your symptoms and exposures before the appointment. Your doctor will be able to see if there is a pattern. To identify specific allergies in your child, they can perform various allergy tests. Children with allergies can experience symptoms that interfere with:
- General health and well-being
If you feel any of the above symptoms in your child, contact your doctor or search for the top-rated pediatricians near me and book the earliest appointment for your child’s safety.
Allergy Diagnostic Procedures and Treatments
Testing the skin with a skin prick is a reliable and straightforward way to determine your child’s allergies in about 15 to 20 minutes. A small amount of liquid containing different allergens (food or environmental) is applied to the skin (forearm or upper back) using a small scratch. When a favorable response occurs, the area will itch and have a bump and redness similar to a mosquito bite. It will gradually go away over the next 30 – 45 minutes after the allergy provider measures the red spots with a transparent ruler 15 minutes after the test is performed. It is not always the case that your child is allergic to the allergen that triggered the reaction. The doctor will determine whether your child is allergic to it. It is still reliable to perform a non-reactive skin test on your child to determine whether your child is allergic to that substance.
An allergy blood test measures the antibody that triggers allergic reactions, the IgE antibody, in response to specific allergens in the blood. ImmunoCAP is the most commonly used allergy blood test. Skin tests determine whether someone is allergic. Blood tests are also used; when performing a blood test, keep in mind that a positive result doesn’t always mean your child is allergic to the allergen.
Tests for graded oral food intolerance
An allergy test determines whether a person is allergic to a specific food. In the allergy clinic or the hospital, the patient takes the food challenge. In an adverse reaction, drugs come in use to reverse it, and the doctor and nurse keep an eye on the patient. Initially, the food allergen is presented to the patient in minimal amounts, followed by an observation period. Once a reaction has been observed, a slightly more significant portion of the food is given. If no allergic reaction occurs, the oral challenge continues until the food finishes. Due to the minimal initial dose and gradual increase in quantity, oral food challenges are unlikely to cause severe allergic reactions. Patients with unclear food allergies can undergo food challenges and those with a resolving food allergy.
In oral immunotherapy (OIT), your child tolerates an allergen by consuming it. OIT aims to decrease your child’s sensitivity to allergic food. If a child is accidentally exposed to allergic food, it may lower the risk of life-threatening allergic reactions. It is known as desensitization.
An Initial Escalation is the first step in finding a safe starting amount of your child’s allergic food. Your doctor will determine the correct dosage for your child based on their allergy symptoms. Your child will then eat a small amount of this food at home every day. Every two to four weeks, the dose is gradually increased until the set serving amount is reached. These visits are known as dose visits.
You should consider OIT if:
- Your child can be given a safe starting dose of the food allergen.
- Your child can cooperate with eating the food regularly.
- You are prepared to ensure your child receives the allergen daily.
- The clinic visits will last roughly six months or longer if the process goes smoothly with your child.
Drug Allergy Testing
Occasionally, allergy skin testing can be helpful for patients suspected of having a medicine allergy. Patients are often tested for allergies to the medicine by giving them an oral dose. According to the severity of the previous reaction and the patient’s health status, It is either done at an Allergy Clinic or the hospital. Depending on the medication and the child’s history of reaction, the challenge can take the form of a single dose or gradual dosing. There are medicines available to reverse any response, and the physician and nurse observe the patient.
Pulmonary Function Testing
This test measures lung function. Children with asthma often undergo pulmonary function testing to assess how to control their asthma. Other respiratory disorders may also be diagnosed with pulmonary function testing. A pulmonary function test is typically performed on children around six years old or older.
If the doctor determines that your child has one or more allergies, they will recommend a treatment plan. The specific plan can include over-the-counter or prescription medications, allergy shots, or avoiding irritants, allergens, or foods based on the allergy type.
The pediatrician will advise you on what to avoid and how to treat a reaction if your child accidentally comes into contact with the allergen. For example, if your child suffers from food allergies, you will be prescribed an injectable epinephrine pen.