Authored by Zahra Nielsen

Medically reviewed by Justin Babbel DO.

Environmental allergy testing: What to expect and how to prepare

May 19, 2023 | Allergy and Immunology

The warmer months often breed allergens like pollen and mold, which can trigger unpleasant and sometimes dangerous allergic reactions. So before you lace up your hiking boots and head outside, read on to learn about the benefits of allergy testing and the precautions you should take to enjoy your time in the sun.

When to test for allergies

Dr. Justin Babbel is an allergy and immunology specialist at Revere Health who highlighted the most common allergy symptoms he sees in patients:

“Nasal allergy symptoms can be very bothersome.” Dr. Babbel said. “These symptoms include a runny nose, stuffy nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes.”

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, especially after being outside, you may want to consider making an appointment for an allergy test.

How do doctors test for environmental allergies?

“Revere Health Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology offer skin prick testing for environmental allergens,” Dr. Babbel explained. “Skin testing is more sensitive than blood testing and is the preferred way to diagnose environmental allergies.”

Here are more details on possible testing options:

  • Prick test or scratch test: In this test, an area of skin is pricked or scratched, then a small amount of allergen is placed on the area to test for an allergic reaction.
  • Intradermal test: Intradermal means “under the skin,” so during this test a small amount of allergen is injected in the skin to test for a venom or drug allergy. An intradermal test is less common than the prick test and more invasive.

What should I expect from an allergy test appointment?

The first thing your doctor will do is review your medical history to consider your overall health and experiences with past allergens. Dr. Babbel then detailed the process of testing for a variety of different allergies:

We check for the common environmental allergens, which include pollens from trees, grasses, and weeds, as well as molds, dust mites, and a variety of animals,” he said. “We then create a tailored medication regimen and discuss with patients if they would be good candidates for allergy immunotherapy injections. This is where we change the immune system to no longer recognize all of these potential allergens as threats.

Ongoing allergic reactions can cause unnecessary discomfort and prevent you from enjoying everyday activities. Revere Health’s Allergy, Asthma & Immunology specialists treat patients suffering from allergic and immunologic conditions, such as sinus and eye allergies, contact skin allergies, food allergies, drug and vaccine allergies, allergies to bee stings, hives, swelling, allergic reactions, anaphylaxis, and many more complex conditions.

Call us today so we can create an individualized treatment plan and improve your allergy symptoms.


Zahra Nielsen

Zahra Nielsen currently serves as Revere Health’s Community Relations Specialist. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science from Utah Valley University with the intention of working with at-risk communities, but she has since found a love for community engagement, volunteerism, and outreach. Since graduating, her career has taken her to non-profit organizations across the country. From Washington D.C, New York, and Salt Lake City, she has had the opportunity to work with notable organizations such as the National Council for Adoption, Volunteers of America, and United Way. After years of working in different areas of community engagement, Zahra has found her niche in writing. She hopes to pursue this creative form of outreach as a way of inspiring community members to be mindful of their well-being and the well-being of others. In her free time, Zahra likes to practice and teach yoga. She also enjoys live theatre, listening to music, and watching endless hours of quirky movies and TV shows with her husband.

Telehealth is not appropriate for every medical concern, so it’s important to ask your provider whether a virtual visit is suitable for your needs.

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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.