Klarify.me and Allergy Testing
What are Allergies?
An allergy is a bodily reaction to a particular food or substance. Allergies are very common and thought to affect more than 1 in 4 people in the UK at some point in their lives. They're particularly common in children, with some allergies going away as you get older and some being life long.
Common allergens include:
- Grass and tree pollen – an allergy to these is known as hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
- Animal dander, tiny flakes of skin or hair
- Food – particularly nuts, fruit, shellfish, eggs and cows' milk
- Insect bites and stings
- Medicines – including ibuprofen, aspirin and certain antibiotics
- Latex – used to make some gloves and condoms.
Some allergic reactions can be more serious however, so it is important to seek advice from your doctor on how to manage them.
What is hay fever and what causes hay fever?
Hay fever is a common respiratory allergy where someone is allergic to pollen, a dust that comes from trees, plants, grass and weed. Hay fever is a type of allergic rhinitis, an inflammation of the tissue lining the nose, which is caused when the immune system overreacts to allergens in the environment. Often, people suffering from hay fever experience symptoms in spring and summer because this is when pollen is usually released.
Allergy testing is crucial in keeping you healthy and being aware of your body's requirements. If you think you have an allergy, it is important to tell your GP about the symptoms, when they happen, how often they occur, and if anything seems to trigger them.
There are allergy home testing kits, but it is important to make sure the test kit is from a reliable manufacturer or being sold at a registered pharmacy. Klatrify.me offers innovative home test kits for allergies available to buy online.
There are many ways you can get tested for allergies, including home tests such as the Klarify.me Home Allergy Test.
Klarify makes allergy testing at home simple, with an easy to use home-to-lab test. The test kit includes everything you need to take a small blood sample, and then send it to their partner lab for analysis. This way, you can easily discover what your body reacts to.
Klarify.me is really expansive, as it is able to test for 294 different allergens, using sophisticated technology. It detects allergen specific IgE (type of antibody indicating an allergic process), and gives comprehensive and reliable results within 2 weeks. From pets, to pollen, food, moulds, mites, yeast and more, Klarify.me is able to check what allergies you might have.
Find in-depth instructions on how to use allergy test kits, Klarify.me, today.
Why are home allergy testing kits useful?
Sometimes it can be difficult to know what the best possible treatment can be for your symptoms, especially if you aren’t aware what’s causing them. An at home allergy test is an easy way to find out what might be causing your symptoms.
However, an allergy test alone won’t inform you if you have an allergy though. An accurate diagnosis of allergy requires both a test and a consultation with your doctor. A home allergy test is therefore a great way to prepare you for an appointment with your doctor to discuss symptoms in depth. Only a doctor can give you a diagnosis of allergy and access to the whole range of allergy management options.
How will a doctor test for allergies?
Skin prick testing
Skin prick testing is one of the most common allergy tests.
A skin prick test involves putting a drop of liquid onto your forearm that contains a substance you may be allergic to. The skin under the drop is then gently pricked.
If you're allergic to the substance, an itchy, red bump will appear within 15 minutes. Most people find skin prick testing not particularly painful, but it can be a little uncomfortable.
Blood tests are used instead of, or alongside, skin prick tests to help diagnose common allergies, which is why they are great for at-home tests, such as Klarify.me.
A sample of your blood is removed and analysed for specific antibodies produced by your immune system in response to an allergen.
Patch tests are used to investigate a type of eczema known as contact dermatitis, which can be caused by your skin being exposed to an allergen.
A small amount of the suspected allergen is added to special metal discs, which are then taped to your skin for 48 hours and monitored for a reaction.
If you have a suspected food allergy, you may be advised to avoid eating a particular food to see if your symptoms improve.
After a few weeks, you may then be asked to eat the food again to check if you have another reaction. Do not attempt to do this yourself without discussing it with a qualified healthcare professional.
In a few cases, a test called a food challenge may also be used to diagnose a food allergy.
During the test, you're given the food you think you're allergic to in gradually increasing amounts to see how you react under close supervision.
This test is riskier than other forms of testing, as it could cause a severe reaction, but is the most accurate way to diagnose food allergies. Challenge testing is always carried out in a clinic where a severe reaction can be treated if it does develop.
How to manage an allergy
The most obvious and effective way of managing an allergy is to avoid the allergen that causes the reaction. For example, if you have a food allergy, you should check the food's ingredients list for allergen you get bad reactions to before eating it.
There are also several medicines available to help control symptoms of allergic reactions, including:
- Antihistamines – these can be taken when you notice the symptoms of a reaction, or before being exposed to an allergen, to stop a reaction occurring.
- Decongestants – tablets, capsules, nasal sprays or liquids that can be used as a short-term treatment for a blocked nose.
- Lotions and creams, such as moisturising creams (emollients) – these can reduce skin redness and itchiness.
- Steroid medicines – sprays, drops, creams, inhalers and tablets that can help reduce redness and swelling caused by an allergic reaction.
For more information on allergies, it is important to visit your GP and talk to them about it in depth. If you want to know more about Klarify.me, you can contact Weldricks Pharmacy or visit one of our pharmacy branches.