How are allergies diagnosed?

If you think you have allergies, don't wait to see if your symptoms go away. When your symptoms last longer than a week or two and tend to come back, make an appointment with an allergy/immunology specialist.

Allergy skin testing may be used to identify the allergens that are causing your allergy symptoms. The test is performed by pricking your skin with an extract of an allergen, and then checking your skin’s reaction.

If a skin test can’t be performed, blood work may be obtained. This test is not as sensitive as a skin test. The test evaluates the number of antibodies produced by your immune system. Higher levels of certain antibodies suggest possible allergy to that allergen.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/30/2020.

References

  • American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. Allergies Accessed 11/16/2020.
  • Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Allergy Facts and Figures Accessed 11/16/2020.

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