There are various diagnostic options for people suspected of having an allergic disease. Their results can contribute to confirming or eliminating the suspicion. In the end, the allergy diagnosis can be confirmed or excluded. Depending on the symptoms, the doctor decides on the type and sequence of the tests to be carried out.
If an allergy is suspected, it is usually best to consult an allergist, i.e.
- dermatology (dermatologist),
- ear, nose and throat (ENT) medicine,
- pneumology (lung medicine) or
- certain pediatricians with an additional qualification in allergology.
Good to know:
A positive result of an allergy test is not necessarily synonymous with a disease. A negative test result with the respective allergen, however, excludes an increased allergic tendency quite well.
Useful information for the assessment of allergy tests
When assessing test results, it should be borne in mind that allergy tests are not 100% reliable. They only indicate allergy readiness. The doctor then speaks of sensitization (technical term for allergy readiness). An allergy is only present if the symptoms are matching. Depending on the type of allergen and the resulting allergic reaction as well as the test method, the conclusiveness is often limited.
Skin tests to prove allergy readiness against pollen or house dust mites are relatively reliable. Testing for food or moulds is often more difficult. A positive allergy test result is therefore not necessarily to be equated with a disease. A negative test result with the suitable allergen excludes however quite well an increased allergy readiness.
No test result should therefore be considered alone. During the diagnosis and therapy decision, the doctor will always assess the medical history and various examination findings together and check for agreement. If the results are not clear, further tests may be necessary.