How is it diagnosed?

The patient's medical history is an important factor in diagnosing the allergy. The patient should tell the specialist about the environmental conditions in which they live (home, work, contact with animals, etc.), symptom trigger factors, family history of allergy, etc.

The methods most used in diagnosing the cause of the allergy are:

Skin tests

These tests aim to reproduce the allergic inflammatory response in the skin. The test allergens are selected according to the patient's medical history and the prevalence of sensitization of the environment in which they live. A drop of the suspect allergen is placed on the patient’s skin, and a lancet is used to prick the skin onto which the droplet has been deposited. If an allergic reaction develops as a result in the form of a wheal, the patient is considered to react to the allergen, and the latter may be responsible for certain symptoms.

Determination of specific IgE or RAST

A special blood test that detects immunoglobulin E (antibodies that intervene in the allergic reaction) specific to the allergen or allergens suspected of causing the symptoms.

Challenge tests

The patient is exposed to the substance suspected to be responsible for the allergic reaction with the purpose of reproducing the symptoms in the target organ (nose, eyes, bronchi, etc.). These tests are useful for diagnosing allergy to medicines, foods and additives. They are used in clinical trials, research and in some particular cases.