Allergy Awareness Week: The Importance Of Being Tested - Allergy Test

It’s Allergy Awareness Week! More than 100 million people in the US experience various types of allergies each year. Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the US. The cost of allergies is close to $29 billion dollars, with nasal allergies comprising $3-$4 billion each year, and food allergies about $25 billion each year. It is estimated that 90,000 emergency room visits each year are due to anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) to foods.

Allergy Awareness Week is an important time to highlight the impact of allergies and spread awareness about the challenges faced by those affected.

What I Know About Allergies

Ironically, as I write this blog, I am sitting in an allergist’s office with one of my daughters as she undergoes an oral egg challenge to see if the egg allergy she has had since birth is not here any longer. It is a process where she eats small amounts of eggs every 15 minutes for one to two hours and is monitored to see if there is any reaction. If she is able to eat an entire egg in this time period, she will no longer be considered as being allergic to eggs, and it can be a regular part of her diet. She still has a severe allergy to peanuts and tree nuts, which we can hopefully explore as she gets older.

I know first-hand, as a parent of a child suffering from allergies, how life-limiting they can be. Personally, I also have a severe allergy to bee stings, wasps, and hornets, so I also understand how scary an anaphylactic reaction can feel and be. There is no cure for allergies, and often, they can wax and wane. Luckily, sometimes, they are outgrown and no longer pose a problem, but many other times, they can be lifelong. With advanced technology and allergy research, they can be managed with prevention, interventional therapy, and other treatments. Allergies are the most common but overlooked diseases in the United States. 100 Million People In The US Experience Various Types Of Allergies Each Year.

What is an allergy?

An allergy happens when the immune system reacts to a foreign substance called an allergen. Allergies can come in the form of something you eat, inhale, inject, or touch. Reactions can range from mild to life-threatening. If you have allergies, the first time you come in contact with a specific allergen, the body responds by creating something called immunoglobulin E (IgE).

Your immune system makes antibodies to form IgE. IgE antibodies bind to mast cells (allergy cells) that live in your skin, respiratory tract (airways) and the mucus membranes in the hollow organs that connect to each other from your mouth to the bottom of your digestive tract. An allergic reaction can cause symptoms like coughing, sneezing, hives, rashes, itchy eyes, a runny nose and/or a scratchy throat. In more severe cases, it can cause low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, asthma attacks, or even death if not treated properly.

Most Common Allergens and Treatments

The most common triggers for severe anaphylactic allergic reactions are medicines, foods, and insect stings. The most common food allergies are milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish. Sadly, medicines are actually the leading cause of most allergy-related deaths. Many people also experience seasonal and indoor/outdoor environmental allergies to grasses, pollen, mold spores, dust, cockroaches, insects, and pet dander as well.

For allergies that are not severe, there are several options to help manage. This includes avoidance or minimal amounts of exposure when possible, over the counter and/or prescription medications that can come in the form of pills, liquids, nasal sprays or eye drops. For mild allergies, there is the potential to look at natural remedies as well, which include air filters, neti pots, herbs and supplements, steam, and dehumidifiers.

For severe allergies or allergies not relieved by other treatments, immunotherapy is an option. This treatment involves a series of injections of purified allergen extracts that are given in small doses over the course of a few years. No matter what, if someone has a severe allergy, it is recommended to always carry an epinephrine injection, which is a lifesaving injection medication for someone with allergies.

During Allergy Awareness Week, it’s essential to discuss how allergy testing is a critical step in managing allergies effectively.

Allergy testing is important!

The first step to managing allergies safely and effectively is testing for them. Allergies can be tested through a skin prick, blood testing, or a blood spot. At Allergy Test we have amazing at-home IgE allergy tests that test for 38 items, including both food and environmental items. This test offers a fast and cost-effective way to screen for 38 of the most commonly ingested and inhaled allergens.

This amazing, inexpensive, and easy test takes away weeks and sometimes months of waiting for an appointment for an allergy test! It uses ELISA testing for raised IgE antibodies and, with a simple blood spot, offers accurate lab-validated results. It is extremely easy to use. Once purchased, you will receive delivery of the CE-approved sample collection kit within 3 working days, with easy instructions. As always, after reviewing your results, we always recommend following up with your licensed health care provider for further treatment.

Let’s use Allergy Awareness Week to educate ourselves and others about the importance of allergy testing and management. Discover your test here!