When you get an allergy test, you don't have to do much to prepare. However, you may need to refrain from a few things before the test begins. If you don't, your test can be less accurate, for example, you could end up with false positives or negatives. Here are some things you should do and not do before you go through an allergy test.
See An Allergist or Ears, Nose, and Throat Specialist First
If you think you might have allergies, see an allergist or ENT specialist for an examination first. Your symptoms may not necessarily mean you have allergies. You may wish to document your reactions to give your doctor some idea of your problems. If the doctor determines that you may have allergies, then they will refer you to further testing.
Wear a Loose Short Sleeve Blouse or Shirt
The majority of allergy tests are skin pricks along the back. Therefore, make sure you can easily remove your top for easy access. If your doctor thinks you need intradermal testing, then they will do those on your arm.
Eat Something Before the Test
Contrary to what many people think, you can eat something before your test. In fact, you should probably eat something beforehand. However, don't eat anything you have been reactive to. You should also stay away from caffeinated food or beverages. Not only does this include coffee and cola, but also chocolate and tea.
Protect Your Skin
Stay out of the sun and avoid sunburns before the tests. Otherwise, the skin may be too sensitive, and the tests could cause pain and discomfort. Also, it could make it hard for the doctor to accurately read the results.
Refrain From Exercising if Necessary
Many doctors advise patients not to do strenuous exercise before the test. Your doctor may also recommend not doing it after the test because it could trigger a bad reaction. Some doctors have little or no concerns either way. Your doctor will let you know what is best for you in your situation.
Stop Taking Certain Medications
Some medications specifically suppress allergic reactions, so you may need to stop them within a certain time frame. For example, you will likely need to stop antihistamines and decongestants. Some antidepressants also affect allergy tests. However, your doctor will not force you to stop taking medications that are critical to your health.
Your doctor will give you specific instructions customized to your situation. Do not stop any medications, including asthma medications, without talking to your doctor first. If all goes well, you and your doctor will have a good idea about what is causing your allergic reactions. For more information about allergy testing, contact an allergist, such as Dino Peds.