Allergy Testing

Do you have allergies? If you do then you have probably had some sort of allergy testing done. I have horrible seasonal allergies. I have taken over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Nasonex, Claritin, Xzyzal, Allegra, and even more that I can’t remember. The medicines worked but only for a short time and then my allergies returned full force. Since we have lived in TX, my allergies have gotten significantly worse. My ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat doc) told me to get Allergy tested. After I got tested I would then be put on weekly Allergy shots. The testing is to let them know what I am allergic to, at what doses and what doses to give me in my shots.

I did get tested when we lived in MI about 4 years ago. Back then they did it on your back. They had me lay on my stomach and pull my shirt up to expose my middle back. They then drew a diagram on my back and tested a different allergen in each box. It was not fun. After they pricked my skin with the allergen, I had to lie there for about 30 minutes so they could measure my skin’s reaction. Needless to say, I was not looking forward to it again.

This time though was much different. They now do the testing on your arms. The test is done in 2 parts. The first part is done on the underside of your forearm. They have what looks like a stick that has 5 little needles on it. Each needle is dipped into a different allergen. They then prick and rub the allergen onto your arms. There was a total of 8 sticks. The itching, for me, was pretty much immediate. I had to wait 15 minutes then the nurse measured the reactions. As you can see below, I did have quite a reaction. The line of large bumps is the grass allergens. This picture was taken after the first set of tests was done and she had wiped my arm down with rubbing alcohol so it had gone down a little.

The 2nd set of tests is done on your upper arm. This part was pretty scary. If you don’t like needles…this is not for you. They take a needle and inject a small amount of the allergen into your arm. There were a total of 25 needles. When I say the tray, I almost fainted. Anyway, she went through and injected a very small amount of each allergen into my arms. Once again, pretty big reactions as you can see below. They inject the allergen into the top of your skin so they aren’t sticking the needle very deep. But the below shots are grasses, trees, cat and dog.

After the test was complete, we went over the results. My biggest allergic reactions were to the American Elm, Mountain Cedar, Bermuda Grass, Short Ragweed, Dust Mites, Cat and Dog allergens. Dog was the worst and of course, I have poor Scruffy at home. (No, I won’t be getting rid of my dog.) So, I am set up to start getting Allergy shots in 2 weeks.

Have you had Allergy testing done before? Was it done the same way or differently? Are you taking Allergy shots now? If not, then what are you doing to prevent your Allergies?

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