Allergy Testing FAQs for Patients

Each year, millions of patients suffer from seasonal allergy symptoms. In fact, the number of patients with seasonal allergies alone total over 12 million people, according to the CDC. Many more are likely to need care for permanent allergies such as peanut, latex, soy, gluten, and other common allergy triggers. Thankfully, allergy testing is a great option to see if patients need to get care for specific allergy triggers.

Seasonal allergies usually lead to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms such as sneezing, fever, coughing, and congestion for patients. Additionally, allergies can cause skin rashes and inflammation if they are a sensitive trigger for a patient. A patient may confuse symptoms for flu and common colds, so it helps to get allergy testing from a medical professional.

An allergy test is a specialty lab testing where medical providers use skin tests or blood tests to determine if your body is having an allergic reaction. Usually, an allergist or a similar expert administers a test based on the unique needs of a patient.

Even though most patients believe allergy testing is done by a specialist or in a hospital setting, it is also available at an urgent care center! In fact, an urgent care center or walk-in clinic like AFC Urgent Care Warrington can provide same-day allergy testing and treatment for patients that need care ASAP. Our clinic has certified allergists on hand to provide testing needs for patients.

We encourage you to visit our clinic right away if you believe you developed a seasonal allergy. Call us directly at 215-874-3209 if you need to plan your visit in advance. However, if you’re unsure about allergy testing or need more information, please keep reading our FAQs and answers below! We’ve complied the most frequently asked questions and responded based on the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology guidelines:

Are there dangerous side effects?

Allergy testing may result in some light side effects for patients that have a specific allergy. However, the side effects are minimal and don’t progress into long-term symptoms.

A skin test for example may cause a slight rash or bumps based on where the allergist or provider administered the test. The testing agent usually contains a little bit of the allergen, which causes slight rash. However, patients that have significant allergy sensitives will likely get a blood test done instead. The only side effects of a blood test are a slight pinch from a needle. Otherwise, allergy tests have minimal to no side effects for patients.

Which method makes the most sense for me?

As mentioned above, a patient’s degree of allergy is likely to influence which test is better for you. Most patients that have mild to moderate allergens are likely to have a skin test. Only patients with the most severe allergies will need a blood test. Per the ACAAI:

Skin tests give fast results. They usually cost less than allergy blood tests. What are the negatives? Some medicines can interfere with the tests. Also, the skill of the tester may affect the results. The test should be done by a person with lots of training.

Blood tests are helpful because they involve a single needle prick. Medicine does not interfere with the results. However, it takes a long time to get the results, and depending on the test, there can be false positives. Blood tests cost more than skin tests. There are many of types of allergy blood tests. Some types are more helpful than others.

Source: ACCAAI

If you feel ready for an allergy testing, then make sure you visit AFC Urgent Care Warrington for fast, affordable, and efficient allergy testing.