Allergy Testing Specialist in West Bridgewater, MA
Learn more about our allergy testing and meet our specialists today! Call our team of healthcare professionals at Bridgewater Primary Care and Cardiology or visit us online to book an appointment. We are located at 711 W Center St West Bridgewater, MA 02379.
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If you suspect you have allergies or would like to get tested, Bridgewater Primary Care and Cardiology physicians can help! We offer extensive primary care services, including allergy testing and treatment. Please do not hesitate to call our office or book an appointment online to be seen by one of our exceptional healthcare providers.
While numerous tests can be conducted to determine if a patient has allergies, these procedures fall into two main groups: skin testing and blood testing. Skin allergy tests are more commonly conducted than blood allergy tests. Of the skin tests, three procedures can be performed: prick, intradermal, or patch.
A prick test is what most people associate with an allergy test, as it allows for multiple allergens to be sampled at once in a grid formation. Allergen sample solutions will be placed on the back or forearm, and a few pricks or minor scrapes will be made to allow the solution to enter the wound. If a wheal, or “hive,” appears, this is considered a positive result confirming allergies.
On the other hand, a prick test may yield negative results even if an allergy exists; in this case, an intradermal test will likely be performed. In this instance, a small amount of the allergen solution will be injected just under the skin in the dermal (second) layer.
Again, if a wheal appears, the test is positive. Finally, contact dermatitis, a particular rash caused by contact with an irritant or an allergic reaction, can be tried with a skin patch. This patch containing allergens is kept on the skin for twenty-four to seventy-two hours in an attempt to provoke a rash. Allergies caused by food, medications, airborne allergens like pollen, or insect stings are best confirmed with skin tests.
Alternatively, a blood test may be performed, though it is less sensitive than a skin test. Choosing a blood test over a skin test may be due to a patient’s skin condition. For example, the appearance of eczema hives may skew the results of a skin test.
Further, if patients are taking continuous antihistamine medication, the effects of the drug will suppress allergic reactions and could result in a false negative. Blood tests differ from skin tests in that the level of immunoglobulin is measured, a particular type of antibody made by the immune system to fight off an allergen.
The most prevalent allergens are dust mites and animal dander, affecting up to twenty percent of the American population. Similarly, an estimated twenty-five percent of Americans experience allergy symptoms or sensitivity to household chemicals, for example, cleaning solutions or perfumes.
Following, various food allergies are seen in approximately eleven percent of the population. The most common food allergens are nuts (tree nuts, peanuts), shellfish (shrimp, crab, oysters), eggs, and animal milk, most notably cow’s milk. Allergies to grass or pollen, also known as hay fever, affect seven to eight percent of individuals. Approximately the same number of people have allergic reactions to medications. Often, medication allergies are associated with antibiotics, such as penicillin. Ibuprofen allergies are also seen, though they are not as prevalent. Next in line are insect stings and bites, such as bees, wasps, and fire ants. While cockroaches cannot sting and don’t usually bite, they are known for spreading many hazardous materials, which can cause allergic reactions similar to dust mites.
Mold, another potentially harmful substance, can also cause allergy symptoms and asthma attacks. Finally, latex allergies are recorded in less than one percent of the American population, though it can be quite the burden. Latex is an ingredient found in many ordinary items, such as balloons, band-aids, and condoms.
Blood tests typically screen for ten or more of the most common allergens. However, all allergies can be tested, and maybe more specific to your area if there are environmental causes, such as mold, pollen, etc.
At Bridgewater Primary Care and Cardiology, our team of excellent primary care physicians and our exceptional medical staff are dedicated to providing you with quality healthcare that covers all of your needs and concerns. If you are experiencing allergies, think you have allergies, or need allergy testing, please do not hesitate to contact our office. Appointments can be made online or over the phone. We are eager to hear from you and aid you in your health maintenance. We serve patients from West Bridgewater MA, Bridgewater MA, Taunton MA, Middleborough MA, Plymouth MA, Pembroke MA, Braintree MA, Mansfield MA, Stoughton MA, Brockton MA, Wareham MA, Somerset MA, Attleboro MA, Abington MA, and surrounding areas.