Skip to content

Allergies Health Center

Select An Article

Finding the Cause of Allergies

    Font Size

    How do people find the cause of allergies? Most learn to recognize their allergy triggers; they also learn to avoid them in the name of allergy prevention.

    An allergy specialist (allergist) may be able to help identify your triggers. Several different types of allergy tests are used to do this.

    Recommended Related to Allergies

    3 Questions About Fragrance Allergies

    If you find yourself developing a killer headache when riding an elevator with someone who was a bit generous dabbing on the perfume, you have company. More than 2 million Americans have fragrance allergies or sensitivities -- and the number is on the rise. Although that person's perfume may have been all too obvious a culprit, there are many hidden sources of fragrances, says Clifford W. Bassett, MD, medical director of Allergy & Asthma Care of New York. Bassett helped WebMD sniff out...

    Read the 3 Questions About Fragrance Allergies article > >

    • Skin testing is the most widely used and the most helpful in finding the cause of allergies. There are several different methods, but all involve exposing the skin to small amounts of various substances and observing the reactions over time. 
    • Specific iGe tests generally identify IgE antibodies to specific antigens, or allergy triggers. 
    • Other tests involve eliminating certain allergens from your environment and then re-introducing them to see if a reaction occurs.

    People with a history of serious or anaphylactic reactions may be prescribed an auto-injector, sometimes called a bee-sting kit or EpiPen. This contains a premeasured dose of epinephrine. You should carry two of these with you and inject yourself with the medication immediately if you are exposed to a substance that causes a severe allergic reaction.

     

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD on May 18, 2014
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    man blowing nose
    Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
    Allergy capsule
    Breathe easier with these products.
     
    cat on couch
    Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
    Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
    Which ones affect you?
     

    blowing nose
    Article
    woman with sore throat
    Article
     
    lone star tick
    Slideshow
    Woman blowing nose
    Slideshow
     

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    cat lying on shelf
    Article
    Allergy prick test
    VIDEO
     
    Man sneezing into tissue
    Assessment
    Woman holding feather duster up to face, twitching
    Quiz