Allergies can become a frustrating, uncomfortable condition that directly impacts a patient’s quality of life. Identification of the allergens is the first step in getting a patient on the road to better health and symptom-free days. Fortunately, allergy testing has come a long way in recent years, allowing us to pinpoint the causes of allergies relatively quickly and accurately. There are a number of reasons why allergy testing is the best way to begin any allergy treatment program.

Getting to the Root of the Problem

Most people that experience allergy symptoms will run to the store and pick up an over-the-counter medication. While these products do provide temporary relief, they do not treat the source of the problem – your body’s immune response to the allergen. They will have to be taken repeatedly while you are exposed to the allergen, which can be weeks or even permanently for some patients. In addition, those medications can be accompanied by their own side effects, such as drowsiness, dryness and headaches.

When allergy testing is performed, the allergen causing those symptoms is precisely identified. This allows for more effective treatment of the allergy, whether that includes lifestyle changes to avoid the allergen, immunotherapy or medication. In addition to stopping your allergies in their tracks, identifying and treating the specific allergen leads to better health and a higher quality of life for the patient overall.

Choosing Your Test

Another reason to choose allergy testing today is the relative ease in which these tests can be performed. At Sydney Northern Beaches Allergy Clinic, we offer the following options in allergy testing:

Skin Prick Testing – During this test, allergens are introduced to the skin via small pin pricks. If the skin reacts to the allergen by swelling or itching, an allergy to that substance is identified. Skin prick testing is minimally-invasive and can be used to test multiple allergens in a single session.

Blood Testing – Blood testing may also be recommended to detect allergy-causing antibodies. While this test is also minimally-invasive, but results take longer. It may be recommended for patients where skin testing is not advised.

Treating the Allergy

Once the allergy is properly identified, treatment is focused on dealing with the specific allergen, rather than the patient’s symptoms. At Sydney Northern Beaches Allergy Clinic, we offer desensitisation through a special immunotherapy process that can be performed at home, without needles. Known as sublingual immunotherapy, treatment consists of a tablet or liquid placed under the tongue daily to desensitise your immune system to the allergen.

At this time, immunotherapy is the only treatment that addresses the cause of the allergy directly, rather than managing symptoms. To learn more about this treatment, contact Sydney Northern Beaches Allergy Clinic at (02) 9982-3439.