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Allergic Reaction (cont.)

Prevention of Allergic Reactions

Most people learn to recognize their allergy triggers; they also learn how to avoid them.

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

  • Skin testing is the most widely used and the most helpful. There are several different methods, but all involve exposing the skin to small amounts of various substances and observing the reactions over time.
  • Blood tests (RAST) generally identify IgE antibodies to specific antigens.
  • Other tests involve eliminating certain allergens from your environment and then reintroducing 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. This contains a premeasured dose of epinephrine (EpiPen is one brand name). You carry this with you and inject yourself with medication immediately if you are exposed to a substance that causes you to have a severe allergic reaction.

There is some evidence that breastfed infants are less likely to have allergies than bottle-fed infants.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/28/2014

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