Allergy testing is a vital medical tool. Allergies can be a nuisance, interfering with your efforts to go about your day peacefully, or they can be life-threatening in the most extreme cases. Around one-third of all adults have at least one allergy and about three percent of the population have allergies so bad that they could be lethal. Allergy testing involves exposing sufferers to a minute dose of the allergen to see if there is any reaction. In some cases, even this tiny amount can cause a serious reaction, but for most people the 'scratch test' or 'skin test' is sufficient to show a reaction without causing harm. Once an allergy is diagnosed, you will be able to consult your doctor about medication to control your reactions, and can also take steps to avoid the allergen in question as allergic reactions can be cumulative. It is important to note that a negative allergy test does not mean that you are not suffering. Irritations and intolerances can seem similar to mild allergies and you can feel very uncomfortable while you are suffering. Avoiding the food or substance that causes your symptoms should give you almost immediate relief. If you experience any of the following symptoms Sore, irritated eyes Runny, itchy nose Sneezing fits Rashes (patches of discoloured skin) or hives (similar to rashes, but with raised, welted areas) Stomach cramps Swelling and bloating Digestive issues (diarrhoea, vomiting) Airways closing or chest becoming tight/ coughing/ wheezing Feeling faint or disoriented or having a sense of being doomed. You may well be experiencing the symptoms of an allergy.