Question 4 Of : What Does An Allergy Test Consist Of
A Wet Hacking Cough Screams Cold
While a cough is common for both allergy flares and colds, the type of cough for each is different. A cold cough is wet and hacking, and often produces mucus or phlegm that gets progressively thicker, often taking on a green or yellow tinge.
Allergy-related coughs usually feel like you have a tickle in your throat. Thats because allergens often irritate the lining of your nose, which triggers your nasal passages to create a watery mucus. This can drip out of your nose and down the back of your throat, creating that tickling sensation.
How To Tell The Difference Between A Cold And Allergies
While certain symptoms of a cold overlap with allergies, such as a runny or stuffy nose, and sneezing, colds are distinctively accompanied by other general symptoms, such as low-grade fever, malaise, fatigue, muscle aches/pains, and decreased appetite, Park says.
You may notice your runny nose becoming a not-so-healthy snotty nosethe discharge becoming thicker and yellow or green in color, according to the Mayo Clinic. Also, the onset of cold symptoms are generally more severe than allergies, Park adds. Youll probably be able to trace back, or think of a friend or family member who gave you the cold.
Note: You should see a doctor if you begin to suffer significant sinus pain, severely swollen glands, and/or a fever of 103°F accompanied by sweating and chills.
Symptoms of allergies tend to last longer and have a recurrent pattern, correlating well with exposure to certain triggers , Park says.
Patterns are key when differentiating colds from allergies. If you have sudden sneeze fits and an itchy throat the same time every year, then odds are youre suffering from allergies.
Additionally, symptoms of allergies commonly include prominent itching in the nose, throat, and eyes, which tend to respond well to oral antihistamines, Park adds. This isnt consistent with colds.
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Allergy Patch Test Or Epicutaneous Test
This test is performed by placing some patches with different substances on the skin of the back. The test determines what allergen may be causing contact dermatitis. The patches are removed after 48 hours, but the final reading is performed after 72-96 hours. If you are sensitized to the substance, you should develop a local rash. The number of patches depends on the suspected substances your doctor wants to investigate. Inform your doctor about all the medication you are receiving. Systemic corticosteroids or immunomodulators can change the results of the test. Baths and sweating can move the patches, so be careful.
What Is An Allergic Reaction
You may be familiar with some common allergy symptoms, but what triggers them in the first place? You can thank your immune system, which helps protect your body from getting sick by attacking things like viruses and bacteria, but sometimes views harmless substances, such as particular foods, venom from insect stings, or certain materials, as a threat, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology .
When that happens, your immune system makes antibodies called immunoglobulin E to recognize and attack these substances. So, when a person with an allergy comes in contact with the thing theyre allergic to , the proteins from that substance latch onto the IgE antibodies, which triggers your body to release histamine, a molecule that sends messages between cells, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The release of histamine tells your immune system to start fighting off the substance, causing a cascade of physical responses, which you experience as an allergic reaction.
Allergic reactions are common, often happening within minutes to hours after a person has been exposed to the offending allergen. They can be immediate, like when someone walks into a room with a cat and starts sneezing or eats food theyre allergic to, Lara Gross, M.D., an allergist and immunologist with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, tells SELF. Or they can be delayed and prolonged, like being exposed to ragweed pollen in the air for weeks at a time.
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What Is It Used For
Food allergy testing is used to find out if you or your child has an allergy to a specific food. It may also be used to find out whether you have a true allergy or, instead, a sensitivity to a food.
Food sensitivity, also called food intolerance, is often confused with a food allergy. The two conditions can have similar symptoms, but complications can be very different.
A food allergy is an immune system reaction that can affect organs throughout the body. It can cause dangerous health conditions. Food sensitivity is usually much less serious. If you have a food sensitivity, your body can’t properly digest a certain food, or a food bothers your digestive system. Symptoms of food sensitivity are mostly limited to digestive problems such as abdominal pain, nausea, gas, and diarrhea.
Common food sensitivities include:
- Lactose, a type of sugar found in dairy products. It may be confused with a milk allergy.
- MSG, an additive found in many foods
- Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and other grains. It is sometimes confused with a wheat allergy. Gluten sensitivity and wheat allergies are also different from celiac disease. In celiac disease, your immune system damages your small intestine when you eat gluten. Some of the digestive symptoms can be similar, but celiac disease is not a food sensitivity or a food allergy.
How Do Allergies Form
Besides our genetic makeup, the environment also plays a key part in determining what we might be allergic to. Studies that show environment does play a fair role in allergies, especially with kids who are born of a C-section because they dont get the bacterial flora protection that goes through the vagina, explains Dr Shivdasani. They are born in a sterile environment and that actually backfires and causes more allergies. Similarly, kids who grow up in a sterile environment, and are not exposed to dirt and grime, can potentially have more allergies growing up. And then, of course, you have more antibiotic usethats quite rampant. Also, low Vitamin D reduces immunity and allergies are more prevalent in those with low Vitamin D. Similarly those with low omega 3 tend to have more allergies.
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Pollen Allergy Testing In Georgetown Tx
The best method to find out if you have a pollen allergy is to undergo allergy testing. Knowing your allergens can help you prepare for allergy season better and receive accurate treatment.
If youre in Georgetown, Texas, our specialists at Georgetown ENT are ready to serve and help. We can perform a skin prick or blood allergy test to determine if youre allergic to pollen. To schedule an appointment, you may call 869-0604 or use our secure online form. We can take care of your allergy needs and help you live more comfortably.
Can Asthma Be Cured
There is still much research that needs to be done to fully understand how to prevent, treat and cure asthma. Asthma Canadas National Research Program is committed to supporting leading asthma researchers and graduate student researchers working to expand our knowledge and one day, unlock a cure.
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How Does An Allergic Reaction Occur
When you come in contact with the same allergen later, the body is ready to respond with its protective IgE antibodies for that allergen. The antibodies attach themselves to white blood cells called mast cells that line the mucous membrane of the nose, eyes and lungs and cause inflammation. Cilia, the tiny hairs that trap and sweep allergens out of the way, become bogged down with mucus and fluid and allergy symptoms appear.
How To Avoid Allergic Reactions
Luckily, Akhavan offers a simple solution: “Finding out what ingredients you may be allergic to can be done with a simple test at your dermatologists office called allergy patch testing. As a general rule, I try to steer patients towards products with the least number of ingredients.” Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do other than just avoiding the allergen.
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How To Tell If You Have Asthma
Asthma is a respiratory condition caused by inflammation and constriction of the airways. Its a long-term condition that requires lifelong management and treatment to help prevent symptoms and reduce your chances of having an asthma attack.
But how do you know for sure if you have asthma? If youre experiencing a cough or shortness of breath, learn what differentiates asthma from other respiratory conditions and how a doctor can confirm a diagnosis, so you can get the right treatment for your symptoms.
Your Eyes Are Itchy And Watery
While you might notice some redness or discomfort around your eyes when youre sick with a cold, its more likely that allergies are causing eye symptoms like watering and itching, Dr. Rosenstreich says.
Your nose and throat might feel itchy with a cold, says Dr. Metcalfe, but a cold usually doesnt affect the eyes. Allergies may also cause some swelling around the eyes, adds Dr. Parikh.
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How Do You Know If You Have Anaphylaxis Symptoms
Mild allergic reactions arent typically medical emergencies, but severe ones absolutely are. As we mentioned, anaphylaxis is a sudden, life-threatening reaction that can happen with food, insect stings, latex, or medication allergies.
Youll develop anaphylaxis symptoms within minutes of being exposed to an allergen, and youll typically have symptoms in more than one part of your body, Dr. Gupta explains. According to the Mayo Clinic, signs of anaphylaxis can include:
- Flushed or pale skin
- Diarrhea, stomach cramps, or vomiting
When Allergy Testing Is Appropriate
Allergy testing is usually performed on people with suspected allergic rhinitis , asthma or reactions to insects or foods. In people with allergic rhinitis or asthma, allergy testing usually includes house dust mite, cat and dog dander , mould spores, pollen from relevant grasses, weeds or trees and in some cases, occupational allergens. Testing can also be used to confirm suspected allergies to foods, stinging insects and some medicines.
It is important to note that:
- Allergy test results cannot be used on their own and must be considered together with your clinical history.
- Medicare rebates are available for skin prick tests or blood tests for allergen specific IgE in Australia.
- In some cases, you may be referred to a clinical immunology/allergy specialist for further detailed assessment.
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Keep The Bedroom An Allergy Safe Zone
According to Dr. Reinhardt, the most important place to get rid of allergens is in the bedroom. Most people spend six to 12 hours in the bedroom sleeping, so it is important to make this a “safe zone.” But removing allergens is sometimes easier said than done.
Let’s say you have a pet dander allergy. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, this might mean that you just need to keep your pet out of the bedroom, or you may need to regularly deep-clean the room thoroughly to get rid of residual pet dander, including all of your bedding. Steam cleaning and dry cleaning may be necessary. If these measures fail, and your allergies don’t improve, it may be necessary to find a new home for your pet if you’re really sufferinglet your healthcare provider be your guide.
Removing other allergens may be easier : dust mites, for example, can be controlled by diligent cleaning, again, especially in the bedroom. This includes curtains, blinds, and all bedding. Some sources recommend encasing your bedding in a plastic or rubber wrapping. It is also important to dehumidify your home, since dust mites thrive in humid environments.
Question 8 Of : How Can You Tell If You Have A Food Allergy
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Question 5 Of : What Are The Most Common Types Of Allergies
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
As with asthma, people with COPD may experience coughing and shortness of breath.
Its also possible to have both asthma and COPD. Contact a doctor if youre experiencing symptoms of either condition.
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Unreliable Test Results Can Lead To Unnecessary Changes In Your Lifestyle
If the test says you are allergic to some foods, such as wheat, soy, eggs, or milk, you may stop eating those foods. You may end up with a poor diet, unnecessary worries and frustration, or extra food costs. If the test says you are allergic to cats or dogs, you may give up a loved pet.
And tests for chronic hivesred, itchy, raised areas of the skin that last for more than six weekscan show something that may not look normal but is not a problem. However, this can lead to anxiety, more tests, and referrals to specialists.
Products To Look Out For
So what should you be on the look out for? “All types of cosmetics from moisturizing lotions, haircare products, to makeup and sunscreen can cause potential skin allergy,” discloses Akhavan. “If it occurs shortly after starting a new product, that product is the most likely culprit, but it can even commonly occur as a new allergy to an ingredient you have been using for years.” Yikes.
If you have more sensitive skin, or a personal history of skin conditions, avoid using products that have lots of chemical preservatives. These ingredients tend to have higher rates of skin allergy.
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Avoiding Exposure To Allergens
The best way to keep your symptoms under control is often to avoid the things you’re allergic to, although this isn’t always practical.
For example, you may be able to help manage:
- food allergies by being careful about what you eat
- animal allergies by keeping pets outside as much as possible and washing them regularly
- mould allergies by keeping your home dry and well-ventilated, and dealing with any damp and condensation
- hay fever by staying indoors and avoiding grassy areas when the pollen count is high
- dust mite allergies by using allergy-proof duvets and pillows, and fitting wooden floors rather than carpets
Read more about the treating anaphylaxis.
Blood Tests For Allergen Specific Ige
Immunoglobulin E antibodies directed against specific allergens can be measured with a blood test. These tests are often performed when skin testing is not easily available, when there is a skin condition such as severe eczema, or when a person is taking medications , that interfere with accurate skin prick testing.
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