Allergies happen when the immune system considers harmless substances a threat to the body. The immune system attacks these substances, triggering allergic reactions, such as sneezing, trouble breathing, or rashes. Some allergic reactions are mild, while others can become life-threatening in a short amount of time.
Allergy testing helps determine which specific allergens are causing allergic reactions. That’s the first step in treating allergies and lowering the risk of having reactions occur. For some patients, finding out what they’re allergic to is necessary for preventing potentially life-threatening reactions, such as allergies to bee stings or nuts. Dr. Oh provides allergy testing to help patients determine what's causing their allergies.
Dr. Oh commonly uses skin and blood tests for allergy testing. Skin tests include skin patch tests, skin prick tests, and intradermal tests. Skin patch tests, which Dr. Oh uses for skin allergies, involve putting a pad with the suspected allergen on the skin for 24-72 hours and checking for a reaction. Skin prick tests involve putting a drop of the suspected allergen on the skin, then pricking the area with a thin needle to let the allergen enter the body. Reactions, such as redness, typically occur within 15-20 minutes.
Intradermal tests involve directly injecting an allergen into the body and checking for a response. For blood tests, Dr. Oh removes a sample of blood to determine if it contains allergen-specific antibodies and how many there are. Blood tests can show if a certain allergen is causing reactions, but they don't indicate how severe the allergy is.
Dr. Oh uses oral food challenges and elimination diets to test for food allergies. Patients can find out if they have a pre-existing food allergy with an oral food challenge. This type of testing involves having patients eat the suspected allergen in small amounts to see if a reaction occurs. Dr. Oh provides close supervision during this kind of test. An elimination diet involves removing suspected allergens from the diet for 2-4 weeks. If symptoms resolve, this can indicate that these allergens were causing reactions.
For more information on allergy testing, please contact Tustin Ear, Nose & Throat, Sinus and Allergy Center for an appointment with Dr. Oh.
Tustin Ear, Nose & Throat, Sinus and Allergy Center accepts most major insurances. If you do no not see your insurance listed, please call our office and one of our knowledgable staff members would be happy to help
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