An allergy is a reaction by immune system to some foreign substance in body.Immune system produces substances known as antibodies. When someone have allergies, the immune system makes antibodies that identify a particular allergen as harmful, even though it is not.
When person come in to contact with allergen, its immune system’s reaction can inflame your skin, sinuses, digestive system or respiratory system. Severity of allergies varies from person to person and can range from minor irritation to anaphylaxis — a life-threatening emergency.
As per one research article about 20-30% of Indian population suffers from at least one allergic diseases, from which 55% cases are of allergic rhinitis.
Common allergens may include:
Allergies are of different types and the symptoms may vary for each of the type:
Symptom of Anaphylaxis
Diagnosis of allergy is based in symptoms, physical examinations, various exposure and food habit
Your doctor might also recommend one or both of the following tests
A blood test along with skin allergy test can detect a patient’s sensitivity to common inhalants or food. Blood test detect and measure the amount of allergen specific antibodies like IgE against it. Allergy blood test may be referred as immunoassay tests. Skin test has three different ways depending which test doctor prefer, including scratch test where doctor will mark and label areas on your skin with a pen and place a drop of a potential allergen on each of those spots. Next, they'll scratch the outer layer of your skin to let the allergen in. Doctor performs intradermal test where they inject a small amount of allergen just under your skin. Patch test in which doctor could put an allergen on a patch and then stick that on your arm or back to understand the reaction.
Doctors can ask you several questions to assess what actually triggers the allergy. They check few symptoms like runny nose, cold, itchy watery eyes, skin rashes and can ask you about your food intake. Doctor recommend skin test, blood test or food elimination tests to understand with what person is allergic to.
Not all allergies are seasonal, but if you are experiencing sneeze and cough, or your nose and eyes itch and are runny during certain times of the year, seasonal allergies can be the reason. Different people experience seasonal allergy in different seasons, and can be prevented by avoidance of getting exposure of certain weather conditions.
Food Elimination test along with blood and skin test helps to diagnose food allergy. Doctor usually suggest this test along with maintaining food diary and duration of this test would be two to four weeks. During this period, patient will have to avoid the suspect foods while the doctor monitors symptoms. It should be undertaken with doctor’s supervision.