How Do I Know if I Have Allergies?

There are many ways in which someone with allergies may present. It could be in the form of an itchy, runny or blocked nose (allergic rhinitis) or a wheezy cough with shortness of breath, to itchy watery red eyes or even rashes along the skin.
Read on and if you find any of these symptoms familiar, you might want to explore Allergy Testing and Allergy Treatment further to get rid of those nasty symptoms once and for all!

1. Sensitive Nose (Allergic Rhinitis)

The medical definition for the sensitive nose is Allergic rhinitis. This is diagnosed when you have 2 or more of the following symptoms that persist for more than an hour on most days

  1. Runny Nose
  2. Blocked Nose
  3. Sneezing
  4. Itchy Nose

To further guide our diagnosis, we ask 2 more questions

  • How often the symptoms occur? – persistent (always) or intermittent (once in awhile)
  • How severe are the symptoms? – mild ( does not affect daily life) or moderate-severe (affects daily life)

In such situations, we recommend allergy testing such as skin prick test to determine what you are sensitive to and also how severe the sensitivities may be.
Also Read: How Do I Stop Sneezing from Cleaning!

How Does it Work Skin Prick Test Work?

Skin prick test is usually performed on the inner forearm or upper back.
After cleaning and marking the area, tiny lancets that barely penetrate the skin surface will be used to introduce a minute amount of the allergens into the skin.

2. Sensitive Lungs (Asthma)

Asthma is a condition that causes airways to become swollen, narrow and produce more phlegm and mucus. This results in symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, chest tightness or even shortness of breath.
Asthma symptoms can range from mild to severe which can be life-threatening. Unfortunately, there is no “cure” for Asthma but the symptoms can be controlled well so that one’s quality of life does not get affected. Furthermore, asthma severity may change over time, depending on the season, climate and temperature.
There are certain situations which trigger off an asthma attack. For some, it may exercise-induced asthma, where exercise causes the airways to spasm and narrow resulting in an asthma attack. For some others, it may be occupational asthma where the work environment may carry irritants, fumes, gasses, dust which triggers off an attack.
And lastly allergy-induced Asthma, which i will be discussing in greater detail. These are triggered by allergens that are airborne. These allergens may be anything from cat or dog dander, cockroach waste, pollen, molds or spores.
By knowing the allergen that triggers of this kind of Asthma, not only can we avoid it, but for some allergens, there is suitable treatment options Allergy treatment which can desensitize one to the allergens and thus minimize a subsequent attack.

3. Sensitive Eyes (Allergic Conjunctivitis)

For some, allergies may present itself as watery, itchy red eyes. These usually occur when the person is exposed to the allergen (usually airborne), triggering these sensitivities of the eyes. What usually makes it worse is when the eyes get itchy and one tends to rub the eyes more, thereby causing the redness and irritation in the eyes to worsen.
Some common allergens that may trigger off allergic conjunctivitis may Inhalant allergens panel. For some others, perfumes, cosmetics, creams and lotions that get into the eye may also trigger this.
Treatment options for sensitive eyes revolve around allergen avoidance and eye drops as well.

4. Sensitive skin (Atopic dermatitis)

This topic of sensitive skin is an extremely broad topic. Generally speaking, they can be divided into atopic dermatitis – a type of rash that is triggered from an allergy or contact dermatitis – a rash that occurs after chemical exposure.
For the latter, it is less common in younger children and the rash usually occurs around the site of chemical exposure.
But for the purposes of allergy testing and treatment, we explore this topic around atopic dermatitis. Some people also call this Eczema.
The diagnostic criteria that are present in atopic dermatitis include

  1. Itchy Skin
  2. Eczematous Rash (itchy patches on hands, elbows, bending areas (flexures, face, neck or back of arms, sparing the groin and armpit regions.)
  3. Improving and subsequently recurring rash
  4. Known allergy
  5. Family history of allergies
  6. First appearing at a young age

In fact, most patients who have atopic dermatitis also have a concurrent allergy to food or environmental triggers. By knowing and avoiding these allergens, one can prevent a type 1 allergy reaction from occurring (Hives, Urticaria, Wheal) – which is tested with skin prick testing.
For some people with eczema/Atopic dermatitis, their flare-ups are also triggered by allergens, which can be further avoided, mitigated when knowing what these allergens are.

Other types of allergies

There are more severe manifestations of allergies such as anaphylaxis (a life-threatening condition where the airways get swollen, difficulty breathing, choking, blood pressure falls).
If you have any of these symptoms, please inform your doctor as prevention is LIFE SAVING.
To find out more about another allergy testing, click here to find out more

  • Food allergy
  • Insect allergy
  • Occupational allergy
  • Drug allergy

If you wish to speak to our doctors about the above allergy testing and allergy treatment, please email us at You can also walk-in or call our Holland Village branch for Skin Prick Testing or Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) Allergy Treatment.

Other Read:

  1. How Do I Stop Sneezing? – Allergy From Cleaning
  2. How Does Skin Prick Test Work?
  3. How Do I Know I Have Allergies?
  4. Why Should I Get My Allergies Treated?
  5. Doctor’s Overview Of Allergies & How To Help You And Your Loved Ones

Tag: allergy testing