What is the definition of an allergy?
Allergy is a malfunctioning of the human immune system that results in an adverse reaction to ordinarily harmless substances found in our surroundings. Allergens are the term used to describe such substances in this situation. The reaction creates inflammation, which can lead to various symptoms such as hay fever, eczema, asthma, and other conditions popularly referred to as allergies.
Allergy can be atopic or non-atopic.
Atopy is an immune system disorder that increases your risk of developing allergy conditions. This issue is caused by your genes. Your immune system is more sensitive to common allergy triggers that you breathe in or eat if you have atopy. The nose, eyes, skin, and lungs are the most common areas affected by atopic illnesses. Conjunctivitis, extrinsic atopic dermatitis, allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis, and allergic reactions to poisonous stings are all examples of these illnesses.
Some allergic disorders do not require a trigger but nonetheless entail an aberrant immune response to a wide range of external environmental factors. These are referred to as non-atopic conditions (non-IgE-mediated). Non-allergic asthma, also known as non-atopic asthma, is a kind of asthma that is less prevalent than allergic asthma since it is not caused by an allergy trigger such as pollen or dust. The reasons are unknown, although it usually appears later in life and can be more severe.
Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- Sneezing and an itchy, runny, or blocked nose (allergic rhinitis)
- Itchy, red, watering eyes (conjunctivitis)
- Wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and a cough
- A raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
- Swollen lips, tongue, eyes, or face
- Tummy pain, feeling sick, vomiting or diarrhea
- Dry, red, and cracked skin
Did you know that seven out of ten people have a runny nose, two out of three schoolchildren have respiratory problems, one out of every two adults has skin rashes, and up to 70% of pollen allergy patients have pollen-related food allergies? ( https://www.aaaai.org/About/News/For-Media/Allergy-Statistics)
Why is allergy testing so important?
Allergy Testing in the Lab
An allergy can't be detected only based on the patient's medical history. In order to effectively manage allergies, it is critical to have a thorough understanding of the patient's medical history, test results, and complete diagnosis.
The best method to protect yourself from an allergy is to have it examined through a series of detailed laboratory tests that are tailored to the likelihood of the trigger allergens. The benefits of allergy testing include identifying and understanding allergy triggers so that innovative techniques for decreasing allergen exposure can be devised. This can help reduce symptoms, hospital visits, and health expenditures, all caused by allergic reactions hence enhancing the quality of life.
Allergies tests panels include:
1. Dust panels, occupational panels, indoor panels, grass panels, animal panels, and mold panels are examples of environmental irritants.
2. Food Allergens: vegetarian, non-vegetarian, nuts, fruits, and fish panels
3. Drugs, such as amoxicillin, ampicillin, and human insulin
4. Allergens associated with age - adult and kid panels
5. Allergies based on symptoms: eczema panel, asthma panel, rhinitis/wheeze panel, and GIT panel.
ImmunoCAP is the allergy testing method utilized for these allergies. This approach is more modern and US FDA approved, with excellent sensitivity and specificity. When compared to skin prick, which is contraindicated, this procedure is safe for bad skin disorders and even during pregnancy. ImmunoCap Allergen components assist you in distinguishing between cross-reactive and particular food sensitization. This will help you to determine the risk of systemic reactions in patients with peanut, tree nuts, and other plant-derived food allergies. It also aids in reducing the requirement for provocation testing and improving allergen avoidance advice.