Allergy Testing and Management
Allergens can come from pollen, food, dander from pets, bee stings, dust mites, latex, mold, and more. If you are allergic to one of these and exposed to it, your immune system goes into overdrive by producing specific antibodies. These may not be released in someone else's body when exposed to the same thing. These antibodies release chemicals that cause an allergic reaction. It's good to know what may trigger an allergic reaction so you can better prepare for and manage it. The doctors here at West Coast Ear, Nose, Throat, and Neck Surgery provide allergy testing in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard, and Camarillo, CA.
How does allergy testing work?
There are multiple ways to perform an allergy test, the most common being skin testing. However, depending on your case, another kind of test may be ordered.
The skin test involves a pinprick with a needle that has a tiny amount of the substance that your doctor or you think that you may be allergic to. Intradermal skin testing is another method. In this type of test, a small amount of the suspected allergens are placed right underneath the skin using a small needle. After either type of skin test, results will be available in about 15 minutes.
Sometimes, an individual will not make an appropriate candidate for a skin test. This is usually the case with individuals who are on medications that may affect the results of a skin test. In this case, a blood test may be ordered. Your blood will be tested for how it responds when exposed to potential allergens. A higher number of antibodies and white blood cells may determine that you have an allergy to something.
There are other, lesser-used allergy tests. These include a patch test which involves the wearing of a patch on your skin containing a small amount of potential allergen. After 2 days, you will return to the office and your provider will determine your level of allergy to the substance. There is also something called a Challenge test which must be conducted under medical supervision. This test involves swallowing a small amount of food that is a suspected allergen and watching how your body reacts.
How can I better manage reactions to my known allergens?
Some things that you can do to manage allergies in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard, Camarillo, CA are:
● Avoid allergens, particularly ones that cause a strong reaction
● Taking a daily antihistamine or other allergy medication
● Allergy shots dampen the response of the immune system when exposed to allergens.
● Carry a medical alert card and epinephrine pen with you for severe reactions.
Schedule an appointment for allergy testing at West Coast Ear, Nose, Throat, and Neck Surgery in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard, Camarillo, CA by calling one of 4 locations:
● Thousand Oaks - (805) 379-9646
● Simi Valley - (805) 527-7320
● Oxnard - (805) 983-0395
● Camarillo location - (805) 484-5929