Helping Seniors Live Healthier Lives

Signs It's Time To Head In For Allergen Testing

Many people in the world suffer from allergies. Many of them are not entirely sure what they are allergic to, but they assume it's pollen, mold, or some other common allergen, and they're more or less able to keep their symptoms under control by avoiding their assumed allergens and using allergy medications from time to time. However, this approach does not work for everyone. Some allergy sufferers really need to — and should — find out what they are allergic to in order to better manage their symptoms. What are some signs that you should head in for allergy testing? Take a look.

1. Avoiding your supposed allergens is not working.

Maybe you always assumed you're allergic to mold or pollen, and so you've been taking steps to avoid those things, but you're having symptoms anyway. This is often a sign that you're allergic to something less common — something people do not initially expect. It would take a lot of experimenting to figure out what the at-fault allergen actually is, and going in for an allergy test is a lot easier. Allergists usually test their patients for a whole array of allergens all at once, so there is a very good chance you'll come out of your first test knowing what your exact allergens are so you can more effectively avoid them.

2. You're taking medications, but they're not really working.

Are you taking over-the-counter or even prescription allergy medications, but getting little to no relief? This is probably because you are still exposing yourself to so many allergens that the meds can't keep your symptoms under control. It could also be because the medication you're taking doesn't tend to be effective for the type of allergen your body is reacting to. Getting tested will allow your doctor to make better recommendations when it comes to medications. 

3. You're having more severe reactions.

Are your allergic reactions increasing in severity? Maybe you used to have itchy skin, but now you're developing hives, too. Or perhaps your mouth used to get a little scratchy, but now your throat is getting scratchy, too. You may be headed down the path to a serious, life-threatening anaphylaxis episode, so you need to find out exactly what you're allergic to so you can avoid it.

Allergen testing is a good idea for anyone who is struggling to manage their allergy symptoms. Talk to your doctor if you have any additional questions, or if you're unsure whether testing is right for you