Home Allergy Testing – Can You Test For Allergies At Home?
A quick online search for ‘home allergy test’ gives a whopping 113 million results! At a time when we are encouraged to stay at home this may be a tempting option to try and get a quick answer, if you suspect you have allergies. But can you really test for allergies at home? Do allergy tests work for all types of allergies – food, animal, environmental? And do they work for everyone? In this blog post I’ll take a look at the pros and cons of allergy testing and tell you what to look out for when choosing a home allergy test – as well as what to avoid.
Why Test for Allergies?
If you eat a slice of grandma’s coffee and walnut cake and come out in hives, or get sneezy after visiting your friend with cats, it can be pretty straightforward to work out what is causing your allergic reaction. But it’s not always clear cut. Some people experience mild symptoms that come and go pretty much all of the time. Or they just feel ‘not quite right’ and want to know if it could be an allergy that is making them feel a bit off. In this situation it can be hard work to get to the bottom of exactly what is causing your symptoms. It’s understandable to want to take an allergy test that gives you a quick, cut-and-dried answer to your question.
Unfortunately, allergy testing isn’t as simple as it might seem. There are several different types of allergy tests, and all have differing levels of accuracy and reliability. For the tests that are generally accepted as scientifically valid, they only work for certain types of allergic reaction. And even with a test, you still need a doctor’s advice to interpret the results correctly. So now, let’s look at each of these issues in a bit more detail.