For some people, allergies are a minor to moderate nuisance, providing a headache, itchy nose and ears, or a sore throat for a few days a year. For others, allergies can greatly interfere with quality of life. As a parent, this is not something you want to see happen to your child. If your child is consistently suffering from allergies that are not being well maintained via over the counter medications, it may be time to consider allergy testing for your child. Read on for more information regarding children and allergy testing.
Getting a Referral
Depending on the type of insurance you have, you will likely need a referral for allergy testing. A typical pediatrician doesn't usually perform these tests, but based on your children's symptoms, he or she may feel it necessary to refer your child to an allergist. The allergist's office is typically where the testing will take place.
Allergy testing typically takes place in two ways. The most common way is through a skin test. The allergist will make a small scratch, usually on the patient's back, and insert a trace amount of the allergen to see if the patient has a reaction. When it comes to food allergies, allergists also order blood tests in order to determine if there are detectable antibodies to certain foods. Your child's allergist may choose to perform just one of these tests, or to do a combination of both. If both tests come back positive, it can be ruled conclusive that there is in fact an allergy to the substance. Another type of allergy testing may take place after your child has been diagnosed with a food allergy. In some cases, children outgrow certain food allergies. In order to determine if this has taken place, your child's allergist may recommend a food test. Your child will be given a small amount of the food product he or she is allergic to, in order to see if there is a reaction. This is almost always done in a hospital in order to provide for emergency care, should your child begin to experience anaphalyxsis.
Preparing Your Child
Doctor's offices can be frightening enough to a child as it is, and the thought of dealing with needles and small scratches on the back can cause a child great anxiety. Preparing your child well ahead of time through conversation, role play, book reading, etc. can help to calm these fears. Additionally, reminding your child that he or she will experience a great amount of relief after having their allergies determined can help them to realize that the momentary discomfort will be worth it. Talk to professionals like Alaska Natural Health Solutions for more information.
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