How can I tell if my child has allergy? How old should a child be for a full allergy test? What kind of tests are there?
An allergy is actually an abnormal response to environmental allergens. By allergens, we mean by inhalants; what is in the air, food, what we eat, and it is sometimes very difficult to differentiate allergies from other disorders. For example, if your child has a constant runny nose, you wonder if it is due to infection or whether it could be due to allergies.
If there is a strong history of family problems, then there is a higher chance that your child’s symptoms are due to allergies. Allergy tests can be done at any age. It does not matter whether the child is very young, but we will usually do an allergy test only if the symptoms are highly suggestive of allergic disorder. What we test against will also depend on what the child is exposed to and what symptoms he has. The types of allergy tests are the blood test, or what we call a skin prick test. These actually tests for immediate allergies and they measure antibodies due to IGE. IGE is an allergic antibody, and when we measure this, we can tell what your child is allergic to. You need to be careful that there are also many other tests that are offered online, which claim to be useful for allergy detection. However, we have to be careful to make sure that these tests are recommended by biomedical professionals.
About Dr Lee Bee Wah
Dr Lee Bee Wah is a Paediatrician from Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre. Dr Lee has a special interest in the areas of Paediatric Allergic Diseases, Epidemiology or allergy diseases in children, Allergen characterisation – and dust mite allergens, Probiotics in the prevention of allergic diseases and Childhood Vaccines.
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