If you believe that you have an allergy to something, it can be tempting to try out an allergy testing kit on your own time. They can be affordable and easily accessible, and some are even FDA-approved. However, there are many reasons why you should avoid these for your safety and health — here are just a few.
Your Results May Be Inaccurate
If you believe your proposed allergy is a threat to your health and wellness, you may want to consider a test that involves an ENT or allergy specialist. While testing always includes a degree of inaccuracy, it’s important to note that at-home allergy tests may not test for the right things. If, for example, this results in a false positive, it can lead to harmful changes in your lifestyle or diet that can cause more harm than good. Based on your experiences and careful observation of your reactions, an allergy or ENT specialist can determine the right things to look for when testing, unlike a general test kit that’s designed to accommodate many different people and symptoms.
You May Need Professional Interpretation
Provided that the results you acquire are accurate, you may still need some professional assistance with determining a treatment plan and how to manage your allergy. For example, determining the difference between intolerance and an allergy to certain foods can be difficult with the results you receive, and each may require a very different approach to treatment. Similarly, seeking out false positives can require the help of a medical provider who can match them to your medical history and past experiences with the proposed allergens.
You May Be Putting Yourself in Danger
One very important reason you should always test for allergies with a professional is that they can provide emergency medical care, if needed. During a professional allergy test, your allergy specialist will usually be prepared with medications to mitigate a severe allergic reaction like anaphylaxis, which can be fatal. Similarly, you can be putting yourself at risk if your at-home test turns up negative for substances you are allergic to. If you choose to perform an at-home test on you or your child, always have a close friend or family member nearby who can help in case of an emergency.
If you’re considering an allergy test, contact our office to schedule an appointment with our ENT specialists who can answer your questions, create a treatment plan, and recommend your options.