Allergy testing particularly for pollen involves a skin prick testing. It is used to confirm if your antibodies have reacted to a certain allergen as suggested by an allergist.
Antibodies are produced by your immune system and exist in the mast cells in your skin to neutralize infection or any threat to your body such as bacteria and viruses. These mast cells are made to discharge chemicals such as histamine that causes the symptoms of allergy when the pollen allergen is combined with the antibody in a lock state. This is why an allergy testing such as a skin prick testing is very important for diagnosing pollen allergies.
A skin prick testing is very simple and is generally safe. The results of this kind of allergy testing can be available in minutes. A healthcare personnel will use a needle to collect the small amount of pollen extract from the lower area of the skin surface either on your lower arm or your back. A swelling or redness in the skin part subjected to testing occurs if you are allergic. Respiratory and eye symptoms such as runny, itchy eyes and sneezing will confirm the results of the skin prick testing.
A blood test can serve as another allergy testing method for pollen allergy instead of the skin test. A blood sample is extracted from your body by a health personnel. The levels of pollen specific antibodies that your body produces to fight off the allergy can be obtained from the extracted blood through laboratory testing.
Skin and blood tests are very important for allergists and other kind of doctor to confirm if you are having an allergy caused by pollen. This would allow him or her to determine the right medicine for the kind of allergy you have and the right dosage as well.