Allergy Testing

Dr. Eko is a local leading expert in a number of key areas. As an internist and general medicine practitioner, Dr. Eko specializes in several procedures and diagnostic testing.

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Allergy Testing

Allergy testing is the very first step in treating ongoing allergy issues. Allergies are common, with more than 50 million people in the United States having some type of allergy. Despite how common they are, untreated allergies can decrease quality of life for sufferers. If left undiagnosed, there is little patients can do to alleviate their symptoms. The treatment of allergies depends on the allergen(s) involved. Knowing what triggers the allergy is what leads to proper care and management. Dr. Eko can get patients on the right path toward understanding their allergies and how to best treat them.

There are two different options for testing allergies. The first is a skin test and the second option is a blood test. Both testing options have their advantages and disadvantages. They can both be used to test for environmental allergies such as dust or certain trees as well as food allergies.

Skin Test
Skin tests give very quick results and are usually more affordable than blood tests. Once tested, patients can have the results of the test before they even leave the office. This means better understanding of the allergy as well as starting immediate treatment. The only real drawbacks to a skin test are that their accuracy depends on the practitioner and there are certain medicines that can interfere with the results. If a patient takes a medication that will interfere with the testing, the medicine must be switched for an alternative before testing takes place. This can sometimes delay the testing. If a patient is opting for the skin test because it is fast, needing to switch medicines can often defeat that benefit since there is a wait period once medications are switched.

Skin testing is not very painful. However, the after effects can be quite annoying. Positive reactions to allergens will create red bumps on the skin that can be very itchy. They resemble mosquito bumps but typically disappear after just a few minutes to a few hours. There is a topical cream that can be used to decrease the reaction, if necessary.

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Skin Test

Skin tests give very quick results and are usually more affordable than blood tests. Once tested, patients can have the results of the test before they even leave the office. This means better understanding of the allergy as well as starting immediate treatment. The only real drawbacks to a skin test are that their accuracy depends on the practitioner and there are certain medicines that can interfere with the results. If a patient takes a medication that will interfere with the testing, the medicine must be switched for an alternative before testing takes place. This can sometimes delay the testing. If a patient is opting for the skin test because it is fast, needing to switch medicines can often defeat that benefit since there is a wait period once medications are switched.

Skin testing is not very painful. However, the after effects can be quite annoying. Positive reactions to allergens will create red bumps on the skin that can be very itchy. They resemble mosquito bumps but typically disappear after just a few minutes to a few hours. There is a topical cream that can be used to decrease the reaction, if necessary.

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Blood Test

Blood tests are an alternative to skin testing and is usually viewed favorably by those who prefer just one needle. It is just one blood draw instead of a series of needles, which is the case with skin testing. There are no medicines that interfere with the results, unlike the skin test, so the blood draw can take place immediately if wanted. However, the drawback is that it takes longer to get the results. The amount of time varies depending on the lab used for the results.

In addition, it is possible to get false positives with a blood test and they typically cost more than skin tests. There are several different kinds of blood tests available and the one each patient requires can be tailored to their particular needs. Blood tests are also often used if testing with a strong allergen might can a very large positive reaction. If a patient suffers from a skin condition, such as psoriasis or eczema, it is often advised that a blood test is used as opposed to a skin test.

If a consultation with an allergist is needed, Dr. Eko will make an appropriate referral and coordinate with the allergist to ensure proper treatment is received. Once allergies are identified, patients may want to be followed by an allergist to ensure proper treatment. This often depends on the severity of the allergy.

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