So if you present to your physician and they think that you have allergic rhinitis or possibly allergic rhinitis, one of the things that will be done is an allergy test. Allergy testing can be done in one of two ways. You can have a blood test and the physician can order a panel of different allergens and test the blood for allergies to those things: trees, grasses, weeds, even foods and so on and so forth. And a blood test may be recommended if you're on certain medications and if you can not stop those medications, it's difficult to do a skin test. Skin testing is the gold standard of allergy testing. And that is where we take small amounts of the allergens themselves and insert them just into the very outer layer of the skin, maybe on your arm, sometimes on the back, and we wait and measure the reaction that the skin has to those allergens. And that tells us if you're allergic to those particular substances. Allergy testing in the office typically takes about 30 minutes and is relatively painless. Some people may have a pretty strong reaction if they have a strong allergy. In which case, we sometimes have to put Benadryl cream on the site where the allergens were done. Sometimes we have to give a little shot of something to reduce a severe reaction in the office. But your physician who does allergy testing will be well aware of that, and all of that will be prepared before you have your allergy tests done in the office.
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