At-home allergy tests have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help detect whether or not someone is truly suffering from allergies. Although some allergy testing kits have the federal government's approval, actually being tested by an allergy specialist might still be the best course of action. If you are unsure whether or not you should be professionally tested or use an at-home kit, here are some pros and cons of each to consider.
At-Home Allergy Testing Kits
One of the reasons many people are turning to at-home allergy testing kits is cost. An at-home kit is considered a more inexpensive option than traditional testing. As a result, the test is more accessible to those who do not have health insurance or are on very limited budgets. At-home testing also eliminates the time spent in the doctor's office waiting on the results.
There are some drawbacks to at-home kits to consider though. For instance, an at-home testing kit does not take into account your complete medical history. Without the medical history, the results received can sometimes be skewed. A test might miss an allergen that would have otherwise been spotted by a doctor who was trained to assess both the results and your history.
Even though an at-home kit could save you time and money, it could actually lead to more spent out-of-pocket. If the testing reveals that you do have an allergy, you will still need to see an allergy specialist for treatment. It is likely that the doctor will still conduct testing to determine if the results of the at-home test are accurate.
The obvious benefit of having an allergy test conducted in a medical office is it is professionally done in a controlled environment. If you do have a bad reaction to an allergen, the doctor can immediately treat you for the reaction.
In-office testing also means that if more specialized testing is needed, such as a blood test, the doctor has the resources available to do them. In-office testing also means that the probability of the results being incorrect are significantly lower than that of an at-home testing kit.
In-office testing does mean you can face higher expenses. However, if you have health insurance, your out-of-pocket expenses can be cut.
If you are still unsure whether an in-office test or at-home kit would be best, consider scheduling a consultation with an allergy specialist. He or she can discuss your options and help you with deciding which is best for your condition.