WHAT ARE ALLERGIES?
Allergies manifest when certain environmental substances cause discomfort and distress upon contact. According to statistics from the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, up to 40 to 50 million individuals in the United States grapple with allergies or asthma. Essentially, an allergy emerges when your immune system reacts excessively to an otherwise innocuous substance, referred to as an allergen, within your surroundings. This heightened immune response can result in a wide spectrum of uncomfortable and, at times, severe symptoms.
Allergens can take various forms, encompassing inhaled allergens like pollen, which ranks as the most prevalent. Consumed allergens such as peanuts, shellfish, and soy are equally common culprits. Additionally, contact allergens, like those encountered in poison ivy, can induce skin reactions. Accurate identification of the specific allergen triggering your symptoms is paramount for effective management. Allergy testing in Murfreesboro, TN serves as a valuable tool to pinpoint the precise allergens responsible, empowering you to either avoid or manage your exposure to them.
COMMON ALLERGY SYMPTOMS INCLUDE:
- Runny or congested nose
- Frequent sneezing
- Irritated or watery eyes
- Skin rashes or hives
- Swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing or persistent cough
- Abdominal cramps or diarrhea
- Nausea or vomiting
- Headaches or fatigue
- Anaphylaxis, an acute and life-threatening systemic reaction
COMMON ALLERGENS THAT TRIGGER THESE SYMPTOMS ENCOMPASS:
- Pollen originating from trees, grasses, and weeds
- Mold spores
- Dust mites
- Animal dander, including cats or dogs
- Insect bites and stings, such as those from bees, wasps, and mosquitoes
- Foods, including peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, and soy
- Medications like antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Latex, frequently present in rubber gloves and balloons
- Chemicals found in fragrances, cleaning products, and pesticides
ALLERGY TESTING: SKIN PRICK OR SCRATCH TEST
Effective allergy testing is pivotal for identifying the specific allergens responsible for your symptoms. One common method employed is the skin prick or scratch test. During this procedure, your healthcare provider will thoroughly cleanse the skin on your forearm or upper back. Subsequently, during your allergy testing in Murfreesboro, TN they will apply a small quantity of suspected allergens and utilize a pricking device to introduce them beneath the skin.
After approximately 20 minutes, your healthcare provider will assess for any allergic reactions, typically characterized by raised bumps or swelling at the application site. The size and appearance of these reactions provide valuable insights into the severity of the allergy. Skin prick or scratch tests are generally safe and minimally invasive, making them a practical means of pinpointing specific allergens.