Options for Allergy Testing and Treatment

There are many effective treatments available that bring welcome relief from allergy symptoms. But which type of treatment works best? That depends on your allergy.

Ranjit Grewal, MD, is a family medicine specialist who leads the team at Houston Family MD in Cypress, Texas. Well known and highly respected for his personalized approach to comprehensive health care, Dr. Grewal provides outstanding medical services for patients of all ages.

Read what this top-rated expert has to say about your options for allergy testing and its role in developing an effective treatment strategy.

Understanding allergy symptoms

Allergies occur when your immune system mistakes relatively harmless substances (allergens) such as pollen, pet dander, or certain foods for toxins that threaten your physical health and mounts a defense against the invader.

This immune system overreaction results in symptoms that may include:  

A more severe consequence of allergies may include swelling of the throat and tongue, loss of consciousness, drop in blood pressure, and respiratory failure. This life-threatening reaction (anaphylaxis) requires immediate medical attention.  

The importance of allergy testing

Many substances in the environment can bring on an allergic reaction. Common culprits include:

It’s important to note that many allergens cause similar symptoms. Food allergies, for instance, can cause abdominal symptoms as well as hives, nasal congestion, and difficulty breathing.

Effective allergy treatment requires accurately identifying substances that trigger your immune system and a strategy that addresses your specific needs.

Types of allergy testing and treatment

Allergy testing includes:

Skin testing

This painless test can safely and quickly identify the allergen(s) responsible for your symptoms. Medically supervised by Dr. Grewal and performed in-office, results of skin testing are typically observable within 20 minutes.  

Blood tests

Allergy blood tests identify specific antibodies (immunoglobulin E or IgE) in your blood that develop after an allergic reaction. 

Results of blood tests take much longer than those from skin testing, but Dr. Grewal may recommend a blood test if you’re unable to stop taking a prescription medication that can interfere with skin testing or if exposure to an allergen could cause a severe reaction.

Depending on the nature and severity of your allergy, treatment may include:

Note that patients with certain food or stinging insect allergies may be asked to keep epinephrine on hand to self-administer in case of an anaphylactic reaction.

For truly effective allergy treatment that starts with testing to accurately identify the cause of your symptoms, schedule a visit with Dr. Grewal today. Call the office or request an appointment online.

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