If you suffer from allergies, you know that they can be incredibly uncomfortable and make it difficult to live life to its fullest.
Allergies occur when the body’s immune system reacts to an allergen, which can be anything from dust and pet dander, to certain foods and even medications.
When an allergen is encountered, the body releases chemicals such as histamines, which can cause a variety of symptoms including itchy eyes, sneezing, watery eyes, headaches, rashes, and even difficulty breathing.
The first step in managing allergies is to identify the allergen and avoid contact with it. To do this, many people seek the help of a doctor who can perform tests and create a plan to reduce symptoms.
But when it comes to ocular allergies, the method of testing is a bit different from regular allergy testing. In this article we’ll take a look at these differences.
Regular Allergy Testing
Regular allergy testing is used to identify what is causing an allergic reaction, as well as the severity of the reaction
Depending on your symptoms and medical history, your doctor may choose between a skin test or a blood test.
Skin Prick Testing
Skin prick tests involve placing a drop of an allergen on the skin and then pricking the skin with a needle. Prick allergy testing is the least expensive and easiest method for diagnosing allergies in most people. Results are very accurate, and are available immediately after testing is complete.
An intradermal test is another form of skin testing and is mainly indicated for the detection of immediate and delayed type hypersensitivity towards exogenous or endogenous antigens. This type of test involves injecting a small amount of allergen into the skin.
Blood tests measure the amount of specific antibodies in the blood that are produced in response to an allergen. They involve a blood sample taken from a vein in your arm, using a small needle.
Some doctors consider blood testing to be less sensitive than a skin test, not to mention it’s also more invasive for the patient, that’s why prick skin tests are generally the preferred method of testing for allergies.
Ocular Allergy Testing
Ocular allergy testing is specifically designed to target specific allergens affecting your vision. These allergens are responsible for the most common types of allergies that affect the ocular surface including:
- Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis – a seasonally recurring conjunctivitis that affects the peripheral cornea.
- Atopic Keratoconjunctivitis – more common in older patients with a history of atopic dermatitis or eczema.
- Hay Fever Conjunctivitis Or Seasonal Allergic Conjunctivitis – This common allergy produces a sudden ocular response to an airborne allergen.
Ocular allergy tests can pinpoint the exact allergens responsible for your eye irritation or inflammation so that your doctor can create a customized treatment plan for symptom relief.
One of the most popular ocular allergy tests currently used by top ophthalmologists, is the Doctor’s Rx Allergy Formula diagnostic test.
This innovative, easy-to-use tool requires no needles or shots, is pain free, and only takes three minutes to complete. Results are available in just 10-15 minutes, allowing your doctor to develop a custom treatment plan tailored to your individual needs
The best part is that the Doctor’s Rx Allergy Formula can differentiate between ocular allergies, dry eyes, and blepharitis, which share similar symptoms.
Additionally, it is customized to the user’s region and tests for 60 of the most common allergens in that area.
Depending on what kind of symptoms you’re experiencing and your type of allergy, both traditional and ocular allergy testing could help provide valuable information about what triggers your allergic reactions and how best to manage them going forward.
With accurate diagnosis comes more effective treatments—so don’t wait any longer. Get tested today!