How Do They Test Infants for Allergies
If you suspect that your infant is suffering from an allergy, you should consult with your pediatrician as soon as possible. There are several kinds of tests that can be run on infants to determine specific triggers. By isolating the particular trigger, it can then be easier to treat reaction or prevent it entirely by avoiding the trigger itself.
Children of all ages are susceptible to allergies. Infants as young as four months old can show symptoms of a reaction to airborne or contact triggers, specific foods or certain medications. Food allergies are among the most frequent form in infants and young children and reactions to these substances can be quite severe.
For the most part, allergy testing in infants is the same as it is for older children and adults. Depending on the type of allergy that is suspected, your doctor can use either a skin test, blood test or other testing methods to determine the trigger. When performed by trained personnel, testing is quite safe and it is the first step toward effective treatment.
Contact or airborne triggers can be isolated using either a skin prick test, patch test or blood test. In prick and patch tests, a small amount of the suspected trigger is applied directly to the skin and then the doctor waits to see if a reaction occurs.
Prick tests will produce a rapid reaction, within 15 minutes or so. Patch tests will require about 48 hours to produce results. In both cases, individual triggers can be isolated and identified.
Blood tests, also known as a Radio Allergo Sorbent Test (or RAST), are used to measure the level of Immunoglobulin E in the body. Individuals who are allergic reactive will have higher levels of IgE in their bodies. This type of test can isolate up to 400 different individual triggers and can be used for respiratory, food, seafood and nut allergies.
Other testing methods for infants include provocation testing and food challenge. In both cases, the patient will be directly exposed to a suspected trigger and then carefully monitored for any response. As these responses can sometimes be severe, this type of testing can only be performed under highly structured circumstances with medical personnel present at all times.
Any of these tests can produce positive results in even the youngest of infants, so it is never too early to test your child if you suspect a possible problem. Since food allergies are the most common type among children and they can have the most severe, even deadly, reactions, it is crucial that you determine the existence of this type of problem as quickly as possible.
If you are worried about your infant’s health and the possible existence of allergies, talk to your pediatrician today about which form of testing would be best. Together, you can determine exactly what is affecting your child and work to help prevent and even completely eliminate serious reactions so that he can grow up happy and healthy.
Wishing you the best of health
The Allergy Store
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