If your child feels unwell after eating certain foods or comes home from Riverfront Park with a stuffy nose and watery eyes, they may have allergies. In order to confirm your child’s allergy diagnosis and get the best treatment possible to manage their symptoms, it’s important to make an appointment for allergy testing.
Preparing for Your Child’s Allergy Test
Before going in to see the allergist, keep a detailed log that includes information such as:
- Your child’s allergy symptoms (nasal congestion, rash, etc.)
- When their allergies seem to occur (time of day or particular seasons)
- Potential triggers (certain foods, grass, pollen)
- Any other medical conditions your child has or medication they take
- Any family medical history of allergies, asthma, eczema, etc.
This can help the allergist notice any patterns to their symptoms and help them determine what type of allergy testing to perform.
What Types of Allergy Tests Are There?
A skin prick test is the most common form of skin testing. It has been used successfully for years and is considered extremely reliable.
During the test, your child’s allergist will place a small drop of an allergen on their skin. They will then prick your child’s skin with a needle to get some of the allergen into the skin. If that allergen triggers your child, they will develop redness and swelling where they were pricked. These tests are accurate and safe for most patients over six months.
In some cases, their allergist might perform an intradermal test instead. During this test, a small amount of allergen is injected under the skin using a thin needle.
Drawing blood is another way to test for allergies. However, it is less commonly used than skin testing. Blood tests may take longer to get results and are less effective at determining some allergies than others. Yet there are certain situations where an allergist may be more inclined to use blood tests, such as if your child:
- Is on medication that may interfere with skin testing
- Has eczema
- Has a history of severe allergic reactions
What to Do if Your Child’s Allergy is Confirmed
If testing confirms that your child has allergies, your allergist will provide you with treatment and prevention options which may include:
- Avoiding certain foods or other triggers
- Taking over-the-counter or prescription medications to control symptoms
- Prescribing an inhaler and/or epinephrine injector in the case of asthma or severe allergies
If you have additional questions or would like to make an appointment for your child, contact Willamette ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery today.
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