Finding the Problem

Allergy Testing:

In order to determine what might be causing  your symptoms, you may have to be tested for allergies. You may have allergy symptoms, but by being tested it could be determined if you have allergies(allergic rhinitis) or just allergy symptoms(non allergic rhinitis) .There are several ways to do this.

Skin testing is the most common way allergist find out if you have allergies or not .Skin testing is the most reliable, quickest and is a relatively painless method to determine if allergies are the problem. Very small amount of an allergen (a substance you may be allergic to) is put onto the skin by scratching the surface of it gently. If an allergy is present to this allergen a small welt will develop where the skin was scratched and you would be considered to be allergic to the allergen ( like cats, bees, grass pollen, mold, etc).

There are other methods to determine if you have allergies . Blood testing (in vitro testing) can also be used when skin testing is unavailable or the patient may be on a medication that may block the allergic response or skin testing may not be safe. Blood testing does have additional pitfalls including cost and the fact that the results will not be known for days( if you have allergies or not). In addition you need your blood drawn which can be a problem especially in children.