If you have a runny nose, scratchy throat, or irritated eyes, you might have allergies. The tiny particles that cause these reactions are called allergens. Pollen, mold, and dust mites are the usual suspects.
When the body detects an allergen, most immune systems ignore it. Allergy sufferers, however, have what is known as a “Type 1 hypersensitivity.” This means their immune system has IgE antibodies that are ready to attack that specific allergen, in turn causing the release of histamine and other symptom-inducing chemicals.
Put simply, this means you'll experience symptoms like hives, itchiness, sneezing, and redness—those uncomfortable allergy symptoms no one likes to have.
There’s also a difference between an allergic reaction and an intolerance. You’ll notice an allergic reaction almost immediately, while an intolerance reaction can occur up to 72 hours later.
The two main types of allergy tests are the Skin Scratch Test, common at the allergy doctor, and the IgE Test, an at-home test.
Once you've identified your allergies, a Curex clinician can customize a treatment plan that trains your immune system to tolerate allergens. This treatment is meant to gradually reduce your uncomfortable symptoms, until you stop having the allergic reaction altogether.
Skin scratch tests require a visit to the allergist’s office. The nurse scratches part of your skin on your forearm or back, then applies a drop of an allergen to it. If your skin develops a bump, you may have an allergy to that substance. The advantage of such tests is that they provide quick, obvious results. Unfortunately, people who take antihistamines or have certain conditions (e.g. eczema, food allergies) often can’t take such test.
IgE tests normally require a visit to a lab. You’ll need to provide a blood sample drawn in a lab or by finger prick self-collected at home, and then wait a few days for results. Some doctors prefer the IgE Test over skin scratch test, because it’s less invasive and can identify over 40 allergies at once.
Allergy immunotherapy is used by thousands of clinicians in the U.S. to help people reduce their symptoms. In fact, more than 1 million Americans are currently taking allergy immunotherapy.
The first step is determining the cause of your allergies with a test. Then, you can receive a prescription for immunotherapy, which is available in a doctor's office as shots, or at-home via oral immunotherapy through Curex.
Immunotherapy works by exposing your body to small amounts of an allergen over time, habituating your immune system and reducing its reactivity.
Traditional immunotherapy requires subcutaneous injections (allergy shots) over 3-5 years, which requires a weekly visit the doctor's office and a shot! However, our clinicians can offer you more convenient and affordable options, self administered via oral immunotherapy at home.