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Allergy Testing Specialist

Maryvale Family Practice

Family Practice located in Phoenix, AZ

Allergies affect millions of Americans and causes a wide range of symptoms. When you’re struggling with allergy symptoms, finding the source of your allergies may help you get relief. At Maryvale Family Practice, Nahla Chirco, FNP, a board-certified family nurse practitioner, performs allergy testing to identify the substance causing your allergies. To schedule your allergy testing, call the office in Phoenix, Arizona, or book an appointment online today.

Allergy Testing Q&A

What is an allergy?

An allergy occurs when your immune system overreacts to a foreign substance (called an allergen) that it considers harmful. When you come in contact with the allergen, your immune system releases antibodies that attack the foreign substance, which results in symptoms.

Common allergy symptoms include:

  • Skin rash
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Scratchy throat
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

In some people, allergies may cause life-threatening symptoms such as low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, or loss of consciousness. This is called anaphylaxis and requires emergency medical care.

What are some common allergens?

You can develop an allergy to any substance, but common allergens include:

  • Foods
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Dust mites
  • Pet dander and saliva
  • Insect stings
  • Drugs

You or your child may be at greater risk of developing allergies if they run in your family or there’s a personal medical history of asthma. 

What are the types of allergy testing?

Nahla provides allergy testing to identify the source of your allergy symptoms so she can create an effective treatment plan.

There are two types of allergy testing: skin testing and blood testing.

Skin allergy testing

Skin allergy testing is a safe, in-office procedure. During the test, Nahla pricks the surface of your skin, usually on the arm or back, with a suspected allergen and then waits for a reaction.

If you’re allergic to the substance, you may develop a red welt at the site of the skin prick within 20 minutes. Nahla tests multiple allergens at one time.

Blood allergy testing

Blood testing for allergies measures the amount of allergy-causing antibodies in your bloodstream. Nahla draws a sample of blood from your arm and sends it to the lab for testing. Results may take a few days. 

Blood allergy testing may help identify allergies to drugs, foods, insect stings, and environmental allergens. 

What happens after allergy testing?

After your allergy testing, Nahla spends time discussing the results with you. She also develops a plan to help you manage your allergies. When possible, she recommends you avoid your particular allergens to prevent a reaction.

However, if you’re unable to avoid the allergens, she may recommend medications to help you manage symptoms. If you have severe allergic reactions, she prescribes an epinephrine injector pen, which you must carry with you wherever you go.

When struggling with allergy symptoms, allergy testing can help you get the right treatment. Call Maryvale Family Practice or book an appointment online to schedule your allergy testing.