Tuesdays are Your Turn – Allergy Testing

From my email:

My daughter has had asthma for 3 years and this had been quite an learning experience. I am curious if other families have had their kid allergy tested and if they found that beneficial? The great chase for the trigger!!! – Jen

I took my 11 year-old asthma kid in for a skin test when she was five. That’s when I learned of her strong dust mite allergy – and also learned that such things called “dust mites” exist in the first place – and that I needed to encase her mattress and pillows in zippered hypoallergenic covers post-haste.

In fact, learning about that dust mite allergy and finally understanding my child needed a daily controller inhaler are the two lifestyle changes that helped my daughter the most, and especially at night.

So: beneficial? For us, absolutely.

How about the rest of you?

What are your experiences with allergy testing and triggers?

20 responses to “Tuesdays are Your Turn – Allergy Testing”

  1. Samantha says:

    We did allergy testing when my girl was 4, and I found it helpful. We couldn’t figure out what kept triggering her so badly and the doctor finally decided that maybe if we knew what she was allergic to then we could better manage it, Turns out she only reacted to mold. This is the worst possible allergen in this part of the country as we have outdoor mold year round but thats another story. Controlling for that and finding the right controller med have been helpful. Not perfect but helpful. So yes, for us the testing was a good thing. One caveat though, our doc told us that due to her age, she may react to things that didnt show up on her test. Plus I know that allergies can change over time. So it isnt a magic bullet but it has been a helpful tool in our arsenal.

  2. kerri says:

    My first round of allergy tests was inconclusive, hence why i am going back tomorrow for another round of skin testing and probably a chat with my allergist about blood/IgE testing [on Dr. Wenzel’s recommendation :-) ]. I’ll come back and let y’all know if my allergy tests reveal anything this time [aka. the histamine control better react tomorrow..!]

  3. Kat says:

    I got allergy tested, and am doing allergy shots, because pretty much all the antihistamines out there make me not miserable but still leave allergy symptoms. I’ve got mold and dust mite allergies. So year round for me too.Hopefully shots will help although I don’t know how well I would’ve been okay with them at a younger age.

  4. Kelley says:

    That was one of the first things my AG had done when we received her asthma dx partially due to her chronic sinus infections that were worsening her asthma symptoms. She daily takes claritin, nasonex and does a saline nasal rinse every night. Defintely check, because if dust mites are an allergy for your AG you’ll want to do the bedding encasements and limit stuffed animals around her bed/room. And get a good vacuum with a HEPA filter – those are a necessity (my AG & I both have the dust mite allergy).

  5. Amy says:

    Ooh, good tip on accuracy, Samantha & Kerri. Thanks for mentioning.

    Allergy tests – particularly skin tests and particularly for young kids – aren’t always super accurate. Blood tests are another option, and kids sometimes get retested several years after their first time, and new or different allergens will show up.

    Case in point: the dr. said AG seemed also to have a mild skin reaction to oak pollen during the test I mentioned above, but she’s never, ever displayed allergy symptoms to it. And let me tell you, she would have – we used to live on Florida, where the windshields are yellow with oak pollen on the worst mornings during the spring and fall allergy seasons.

  6. Sarah says:

    Allergy testing was huge in giving me control. That was how I figured out that I have a laundry list of environmental allergies that I need to stay on top of. I would probably still be having a really hard time of it if it weren’t for the allergy testing.

    I’d totally recommend allergy testing to anyone with asthma. Especially if you suspect you have some environmental allergies. But even if you don’t think you’re allergic, they can be useful (for example, I didn’t think I was allergic to cats, and they’re one of my worst allergies!)

  7. wheezyheron says:

    Funny that you post on this today… I had my first consult with my new lung doc and he was decidedly unimpressed that I have 3 cats.

    Despite the fact that a set of blood tests and skin tests have shown negative to cat allergies already this year, he sent me off for another set of blood tests today to double check.

    I’m pretty sure that allergies aren’t a big trigger for me (both in terms of symptoms and the fact that the tests they’ve done so far have come back negative). That said, again based on experience, I think there are a few specific things out there that I do react to, but to do enough tests to track them down… probably not worth it in my case, at least at the moment.

  8. Sara C. says:

    Well…we’ve done blood and skin testing. In my AG, she shows no allergy to ANYTHING. AT ALL. So, apparently, environmental allergies are NOT a trigger for her.

    My older daughter showed an allergy to birch and beech trees…but when she was tested….there were no birch or beech in bloom…and she was showing extreme nasal allergy symptoms…so the allergy doctor decided she’s allergic to SOMETHING she doesn’t have a skin reaction to…and treats her allergies with OTC zyrtec, nasonex and pataday for her eyes. Her allergies do not seem to be a trigger for her asthma, which really seems to ONLY be triggered by illness.

  9. Allison says:

    Allergy testing was very helpful in treating my asthma boy. He tested positive for dust mites, molds, grass pollen, and mildly to cats. Getting the carpet out of his room and encasing his mattress, etc. made a HUGE difference. His biggest asthma triggers are illness, dust mites and mold. Grass pollen doesn’t trigger his asthma, it just makes him want to scratch his eyes out and stuffs up his nose.

    As for accuracy, he tested negative to golden rod and ragweed, but it does seem to affect him. He’s only had skin tests. Maybe we’ll do the blood test in the future.

  10. Amy says:

    I’ve often wondered what my results would look like, if I ever got tested. I never had allergies until I turned 30. Then I developed infection-prone sinuses (my mom has them, too, and it started for her around the same age) and mild sensitivities to the longleaf pine in the South. Now that I moved, it’s ragweed, big time. I’m curious whether, now that I’ve developed a couple of allergies for the first time, I’d test positive for any mild ones I don’t even suspect. (But not curious enough to get tested. Only ragweed really affects my life.)

  11. MC says:

    I have mixed thoughts about allergy testing. I’ve had both skin and blood tests, and they’re not accurate for everyone. Weirdly, my allergist said that though skin tests are 95% accurate, it was impossible for them to be inaccurate in my case when I was having obvious allergy symptoms despite nothing showing up on tests (besides dust mites the 2nd time around). Then the 3rd time she decided I’m not allergic to rabbits though I’m obviously realllly allergic to them… they’re one of my biggest triggers for both asthma and allergies.

    So, since we’re once again wondering if something else has popped up (esp with a new dog in the house) because I keep getting bronchitis (3rd time in 4 weeks) and my immune system is pretty much not functioning well right now, my doctor is sending me to a different allergist next week… we’ll see if he can figure things out better maybe… hopefully.

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