Statistics show that in Europe alone there are over 100 million sufferers of various kinds of allergies annually. In normal circumstances, this would have been cause for concern, however; since allergies can be controlled with medications, this potentially dangerous problem is often overlooked. Unfortunately, even with the rise of organic foodstuffs, the number of allergy patients has not come down, and is only marked for a rise in Europe and around the world.
While allergies are one of the most common forms of allergies, there are other types of allergies that affect millions of people in Europe. The symptoms for these allergies include runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, wheezing, and shortness of breath, rashes, itchy skin and eyes. Some of these allergies are seasonal and could be the result of pollen, grass, weeds, or molds; other types of allergies can be triggered of by cat, dog or pet dander, while food allergies could result from milk or milk products and some nuts. Testing for allergies is essential to find out the triggers and also the course of treatment that is best for the patient and a blood allergy test is one way to detect and measure the quantity of antibodies in the blood.
A blood allergy test measures the allergen-specific antibodies in the allergy sufferers blood, because each trigger causes the body to produce a specific allergen for which the body makes specific antibodies to fight it. These antibodies communicate with body cells to release specific chemicals which are the precursors of individual allergy symptoms. Typical allergy blood tests screen for the most common allergy triggers i.e., pollen from trees, grasses, weeds, dust, pet dander, and molds which are common in the patient's home. Also called ELISA or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay tests, they accurately measure the quantity of allergen specific antibodies in the blood.
The other method for allergy testing is to do an allergy skin test which involves scratching the skin with concentrated extracts of typical allergens i.e., mold, pollen, dust mites, dander, and foods. A positive reaction to these allergens would be indicated by a rash or itching. Allergy skin testing is perfect for people with fear of needles; it is slightly irritating, but no pain typically. Individuals who are subject to allergy skin testing will have to wait for 15-20 minutes or longer for any kind of reaction to manifest itself; this will ultimately determine the course of treatment as prescribed by the doctor. Patients will have to wait for 15-30 minutes for any kind of reaction to manifest itself; this will ultimately determine the course of treatment as prescribed by the doctor.
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