How we test you for allergy
SPECIFIC tests are used to discover your sensitivity to particular allergens
For this purpose we use skin tests as these are the most convenient and more reliable. Skin tests are selective and based on the clues provided by your history of allergy.
The test solutions are made from extracts of inhaled, ingested or injected materials. Tests may include air-borne allergens such as pollens from grass, trees and weeds, house dust mite, hairs (danders) from various types of pets and other animals, venoms from insects, foods and some drugs.
Drops from specifically diluted solutions of various allergen extracts are placed on your skin and tested with a lancet to see if a reaction occurs after a specified time. Every allergy is different, so your allergy will be investigated and treated by us in an individual way.
The way to lessen your reaction to an allergy is by allergen immunotherapy, known as desensitisation.
Benefits of Testing and Desensitisation
THERE are many benefits that arise from successful testing and desensitisation.
Successful testing depends on the identification of the offending allergen. With successful desensitisation, symptoms disappear entirely, medication is reduced or entirely eliminated with a consequent cost saving of repeated purchases of expensive drugs.
You will improve your well-being and your allergy will be under control. You will have an improved social life, if it was affected by your allergy and you will also enjoy more freedom of movement. The benefit of desensitisation, like other types of vaccination, will last from many years to your lifetime.
If we have discovered, by testing, that you react to a particular allergen or allergens and these allergens cannot be avoided or controlled sufficiently to relieve your symptoms, we suggest a course of desensitisation.
This involves injections just under your skin of an extract of the allergen or allergens to which you have been found to be sensitive. These injections produce antibodies in your system which block the allergy reaction and your allergy can drop significantly.
After the initial desensitisation period has occurred, results are most satisfactory when injections are continued monthly over a year or so. The major allergens used for desensitisation are those that cannot be effectively avoided, such as pollens, house dust mites, moulds, animal danders and others.
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Courtesy of The Allergy Centre 03 9874 4144
This page was last reviewed on 18th Aug 2004