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Monday, June 01, 2020
Wednesday, 22 February 2017 14:31

How An Allergy Skin Test Is Performed

When the cause of an allergy is unknown, a skin prick test (also called a puncture or scratch test) can be performed at the doctor's office to identify possible allergens.
Multiple substances are scratched into to the surface of the skin to detect common allergens,including: mold, pollen, pet dander, dust mites and different types of food.

Allergy testing takes less than an hour and can be performed on adults or children of any age. For children the test is usually performed on the upper back. Adults will usually have an allergy test performed on the forearm. First, the nurse will clean the skin with alcohol and mark the test area. The allergen is then applied next to each mark. The needles used to apply the substance only scratches the surface of the skin, so the test is not painful. A different needle is used for each substance.

To check if the skin is reacting normally, a histamine will also be applied to the skin. If you don't react to histamine, which is uncommon, the allergy test may not identify an allergy even if you have one. In addition, glycerin or saline is applied to test for a reaction. If there is a reaction, it is often an indiction of sensitive skin, which muct e factored into the allergy test results to avoid a false diagnosis.

The skin test may detect an allergic reaction immediately, or the reaction may not occur until several days after exposure. If an allergic reaction is present, there will be a raised, red bump on the skin resembling a mosquito bite. The nurse will measure the size of the bump. The marks will then be removed with alcohol. If an allergen is identified, your doctor will discuss the options for treatment.


Published in Blog

Cold Weather Can Give You a Cold

One of the most common misconceptions about cold weather is that ii can make you sick. The reality is our bodies produce infection-fighting cells as a reaction to the cold puts on your body.

In addition, viruses that cause cold thrive at around 91 degrees; so if you're outside in the freezing cold, your nasal passages are chilled to a point below which viruses can easily survive.

Running in the Cold Burns Improves Performance and Burns More Calories

This is a fact. According to research published in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise, cold temperatures improve race times, and this quicker paces burns more calories in a shorter period of time.

Allergies Are Less Common in the Winter

For many people with allergies, spring and summer bring the start of itchy eyes and sneezing and runny noses. However, while pollen is of obviously lower during the winter months, our tightly sealed homes can lead to poor air quality, which can trigger allergies from dust and mold, especially if we share the home with our furry friends.

You Lose Most of Your Body Heat Through Your Head

This is one of the most common myths. Your body will lose heat just as quickly if you're not wearing gloves versus a hat. Any exposed area of skin will lose heat at a similar rate.

Taking Vitamin C Will Prevents Colds

Vitamin C does appear to be helpful in maintaining a healthy immune system. In addition, studies have shown that taking a large dose of vitamin C at the first sign of a cold may help lessen the severity and length of a cold. 

Drinking Alcohol Can Help Warm Your Body When It's Cold Outside

This is a myth. Alcohol may provide the sensation of warmth because it causes your blood to rush to the surface of your skin, but it will actually cause your core temperature to drop. It can also inhibit your body's ability to shiver and create extra heat.

 

Published in Blog
Thursday, 25 June 2015 01:14

Are Allergy Shots Right For You?

Allergy shots are not a magic bullet that will cure your allergies, however they can reduce the symptoms and make life easier. If you have severe allergies that last 3 months of the year or more, or you can't take allergy medications because of the side effects or adverse interactions with other medications you may be taking, allergy shots may be a good option.

Allergy shots can be given to children older than 2 years or older and adults without heart problems or severe asthma. To determine if allergy shots are right for you your doctor will review your medical history and do a medical exam. To identify your specific allergen(s), a series of allergy tests will be performed to decide what, if any allergy shots could be beneficial. It's important to perform the testing in small amounts to ensure there are no adverse reactions to the allergens.

If you don't like needles and the idea of taking a series of shots, you'll be happy to know that the needles used for for immunotherapy are smaller than needles used for most immunizations and medications.

To work properly and safely, allergy shots must be given in a series over time, so patience will be needed for the minimum of 6 months the series of shots will need to be administered. After the initial series, maintenance therapy will be usually be continued for 3-5 years.

If you suffer from allergies for more than 3 months out of the year, talk with your doctor to see if allergy medications or shots are a good option for you.

Published in Blog