n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Investigation of the allergic patient : the importance of early diagnosis : main article




Allergy diagnosis is based on careful history taking and tests selected according to the age, geographical location, occupation and the clinical profile of the patient. <br>Early diagnosis (as young as 3 months of age) assists with prevention of severe type I reactions, the management of atopic eczema flares and the prevention of asthma. <br>Allergy tests for foods now have cutoff values that can predict with confidence a 95% chance of developing a clinical reaction to that food if challenged with it. <br>Inhalant allergy tests are selected based on the geographical location of the patient. <br>Testing for non-IgE-mediated reactions may be conducted using elimination challenge diets or using the CAST test for preservative sensitivities. <br>Elimination challenge diets have an important role to play in the selection of specific tests to identify foods responsible for adverse reactions. <br>Western blots and in-house ELISAs are important tools for the identification of specific IgE responses to indigenous allergens and 'now' allergens which are not yet commercially available.


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