How does the doctor diagnose an allergy?
In cases of suspected allergy or an increase in allergic symptoms, patients must first consult their doctor. The patient's detailed health history is one indicator of a possible allergic disorder.
Skin prick test
In cases of suspected allergy, the doctor will perform a skin prick test. This test is the most important allergy test. A drop of the possible allergen is injected into the skin with a needle.
This test is the most routine method of examination when the doctor needs to determine whether certain allergens from pollen, pet hair, mould, food, insecticides or medications are the trigger for allergy symptoms. If the patient is allergic, there will be a spontaneous reaction within about 20 minutes.
If the results of the skin prick test are unclear, the doctor will also run a blood test. Blood tests can be used to detect antibodies from many allergens. To detect specific class E immunoglobulins (IgE) in the body, the patient's blood is exposed to the allergen. Depending on how many IgE antibodies are formed in the blood against this allergen, the allergy and severity can be determined.
If an allergy test is unclear, a nasal or conjunctival provocation test can provide more information. In this test, the allergen is either sprayed into the nose or placed into the eyes with drops. Close monitoring by a doctor is essential.