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When Sophie was 6 years old, she started experiencing a severe stuffy nose, sneezing and red, itchy eyes during spring and early summer. Her father also noticed Sophie complaining of an itchy mouth after eating hazelnuts. The results of an allergy blood test led to the diagnosis of a birch pollen allergy. Her healthcare professional recommended that she take oral antihistamines during birch pollen season and to avoid hazelnuts if the unpleasant oral symptoms continue.
Now, Sophie is 8 years old and after eating a bowl of fruit and nut cereal, she became covered in large hives. She was rushed to the emergency department where she was treated with antihistamines and oral steroids. Her healthcare professional recommends that she undergo additional testing to determine the cause of her reaction.
The results of an ImmunoCAPTM Allergen Components test indicate that Sophie is allergic to the parts of hazelnuts that can cause systemic reactions and she’s allergic to the part of birch pollen that is cross-reactive to hazelnuts. She therefore, needs to avoid hazelnuts and any foods that may contain them. Sophie’s allergy to hazelnuts is severe and she needs to carry emergency medication with her at all times.
Sophie’s results indicate that if she had undergone component testing earlier, maybe her allergy could have been understood before any severe reaction occurred. Many people are so used to living with their allergies that they never think that they can, or should, have their healthcare professional reassess their initial diagnosis. Just because you know what you were allergic to a year ago doesn’t mean you know everything you’re allergic to today. Testing can play an important role in your quality of life or the life of someone you love, by reducing unnecessary food avoidance and the fear of an adverse reaction. Be sure to consult with your healthcare professional.
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