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Do you sneeze in the springtime? Or get an itchy throat, swollen tongue or rash when you eat out? Do you have a bad reaction to penicillin? Something’s up. But what?

It sounds like you have allergies. And when you have them, your immune system reacts to something that it doesn’t like (a certain food, dust, pollen and more). Your immune system thinks it’s an intruder and wants to fight it off. This can cause those annoying (and sometimes even scary) symptoms. 

The best way to take charge of your allergies is to figure out exactly what causes them. 

At Cleveland Clinic, our experienced healthcare providers will work with you to pinpoint the reason with allergy testing. And we’ll help you manage and prevent your allergic reactions — no matter what’s making you sneeze, itch, wheeze, tear up or cough.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Allergy Testing Care?

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Specialized knowledge:

Because allergy testing exposes you to small doses of potential allergens, working with trained experts who can keep you safe and comfortable is important. Our allergy specialists are up to date on the latest treatments and tests.

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Caring approach:

Allergies often cause more than physical symptoms. Our team can help you manage other allergy-related problems, like their effects on your mental health, sleep, social activities, work and school. Meet our team.

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Virtual visits:

Need a quick check-in with your providers? Our virtual visits are a secure, easy way to meet with them from home, work or even when you’re out of town. All you need is an internet connection and a computer, tablet or smartphone.

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National recognition:

Cleveland Clinic is a trusted healthcare leader. We're recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for our expertise and care.

Allergy Evaluation at Cleveland Clinic

At Cleveland Clinic, we test for a wide variety of allergens. Some of the most common are animal dander, bee venom, dust mites, pollen, medications and various foods. But there are many others.

What to expect at your first visit

At your first appointment with us, we’ll take the time to listen and get to know you. We want to understand more about your lifestyle and what’s been going on. And we’ll ask a few questions, like:

  • What are your symptoms?
  • When do your symptoms happen?
  • What makes your symptoms better or worse?

We’ll also talk with you about how your allergies are affecting your life. Are they keeping you from getting a good night’s rest? Do you not feel like exercising or socializing? Or are they hurting your performance and productivity at work or at school?

Next, we’ll do a physical exam, focusing on your eyes, ears, nose, mouth, throat, lungs and skin. Depending on your symptoms and what we learn from your physical exam, we may also have you do a lung function test (spirometry) or a chest X-ray.

Meet Our Allergy Testing Team

When you come here for allergy testing, you’ll work with a team of experienced providers to get the most personalized testing and treatment. Depending on your symptoms and the allergies we find, your care team could include:


Our healthcare providers see patients at convenient locations throughout Northeast Ohio and Florida.

Allergy Testing at Cleveland Clinic

We’ll use all the information we learn from your allergy evaluation to plan a personalized allergy testing plan. This plan could include several tests to figure out what allergens trigger your symptoms. We’ll start with the least invasive kinds of tests first. You might find some tests a bit uncomfortable, but none of them will be painful.

Skin prick test

For a skin prick test, your provider will place a tiny drop of an allergen on your skin. Then they’ll lightly prick or scratch that spot on your skin with a needle or a plastic device. If you’re allergic to that substance, you’ll have a reaction, such as redness, swelling or itching. The reaction might look a lot like a mosquito bite.

Many people get several skin-prick tests at the same time on different areas of their skin. This type of test is sometimes called a scratch test.

Intradermal allergy skin test

Intradermal means under the skin. A doctor or nurse will use a needle to inject a small amount of an allergen into your skin. They’ll then check for a reaction after a few minutes. This is a common test for suspected drug or venom allergies like penicillin or bee stings. 

Allergy blood test

Your provider will order labs to be drawn at the lab. The lab technician will use a needle to take a blood sample. They’ll then add an allergen to the sample and measure the amount of antibodies your blood produces to attack the allergen. We might do an allergy blood test if you can’t tolerate skin tests. It’ll help us figure out your allergy, or if you’re taking medications that might affect results.

Challenge test

If we have you do a challenge test, you’ll usually eat or drink a small amount of a suspected allergen we think you might be allergic to — like milk. We most frequently do this for food or drug allergy testing. 

Your care team will carefully choose the doses they give you and keep a close eye on you. We want to make sure you’re as safe and comfortable as possible. In rare cases, challenge testing can cause anaphylaxis (a severe reaction). The team is well-trained in how to handle such emergencies. We have medications and equipment like an epinephrine injection ready to help you if you have a rare, severe reaction.

What To Expect After Allergy Testing at Cleveland Clinic

You may get your results immediately or within a few days, depending on the types of tests you have.

After we understand what your allergies are, we’ll help you develop a personalized allergy treatment plan. This could include:

  • Avoiding allergens by changing your diet or changing your work or home environments.
  • Learning how to prevent and manage your allergies.
  • Medications.
  • Shots or medications (sublingual immunotherapy) that you can take that activate your immune system to fight allergies.

You’ll also meet regularly with your providers to make sure treatment is working and ask any questions or share any concerns you might have.

Taking the Next Step

You don’t have to suffer from allergic reactions and wonder what triggers them. Allergy testing at Cleveland Clinic can put an end to all that. We’re here to help you find out what you’re allergic to and help you manage your symptoms and prevent reactions. 

Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s allergy testing experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.


Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s allergy testing experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.

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