Do you sneeze every time you pet a dog or cat? Do you have a runny nose or watery eyes when you go outside? Do you break out in hives when a bee stings you? If so, you may have allergic reactions to certain substances around you. Sometimes, it is easy to know what we are allergic to. However, there are instances where we don’t know what’s causing our allergy symptoms. This is where you make an appointment with an allergist for help.
Some people with allergies will sneeze a lot or get rashes that don’t spread to other parts of their bodies. These instances would only require the patient to take over-the-counter medications to relieve the symptoms. But others have more severe reactions to the allergen that they have inhaled, contacted or ingested, which needs immediate medical help. It is the kind of situation we want to avoid. That is why it is critical to have your allergies diagnosed.
Allergies are very common that it seems like diagnosis and treatments are not necessary. However, this is far from the truth. When you start experiencing allergy symptoms, and cannot pinpoint what’s causing it, you need to immediately contact your doctor to help administer the most effective treatment for your allergies. Your doctor will diagnose your condition by performing medical exams and allergy tests.
Most allergists ask patients questions about their symptoms to have a better understanding of their condition and possible causes. If you’re going to your doctor, be ready to answer questions about your family’s medical history and the kinds of medications that you take. You might also want to discuss your lifestyle and your environment at home, school, or work. It will help your allergist determine which substances you are commonly exposed to, which triggers your allergic reaction. Your doctor will perform a physical exam and may pay close attention to your eyes, nose, throat, ears, lungs, and skin. These are the body parts where your allergy symptoms may be visible or felt. The exam may also include a lung function test to detect how well you exhale and an X-ray to spot irregularities on your lungs and sinuses.
The most effective way to diagnose an allergy is through an allergy test. There are several allergy tests available to help diagnose your condition. One of the most common methods in diagnosing allergies is through a skin prick test.
Skin testing is considered to be the gold standard for allergy testing. It gives fast results and usually costs less than other allergy tests. The skin test can confirm many types of allergies and is accurate in confirming suspected allergens. The one that doctors use most often is called a skin prick test or sometimes called a puncture test. During this test, the doctor will prick your skin, insert a small amount of substance, and wait for any reaction from your body. This test is usually done to identify allergies relating to pollen, mold, pet dander, or dust mites.
Before a skin prick test is performed, your doctor will ask you a series of questions about your health history and symptoms. It will help the doctor find the allergen that triggers your allergic reaction. From your discussion, the doctor will identify which allergen to use for your testing. The test is usually done on the inside of your arm or your back. It is important to note that the skin prick won’t make you bleed. After your skin is pricked, the doctor will then assess if you have an allergic reaction to the given substance.
You’ll feel the prick, but it shouldn’t hurt that much. Your doctor may test several allergens at the same time. If an area swells and gets red, it means that you’re allergic to that allergen. It usually takes about 15 minutes before any reaction will take place. After the test, the doctor will clean the area where you were pricked and put on some cream to help with the itching and the redness. You can also take antihistamine after the skin prick test to decrease the reaction. The swelling in the area will go away after a few minutes or a few hours. Some medicines interfere with allergy skin tests. Ask your doctor about your medications before the skin prick testing is performed.
The nice thing about skin prick test allergy is that you’ll be able to find out what you’re allergic to during your visit to the allergist. Your doctor can immediately perform a skin prick test, and you’ll find out what triggers your allergic reaction right there and then. You don’t have to wait for a few more weeks to get the results. Because the doctor can quickly diagnose your allergies, he will also be able to develop a personalized plan that will help eliminate your symptoms and provide you with the most cost-effective treatment care that will produce the best results. Your allergy treatment plan may include medications, immunotherapy, or changes to your home or work environment. Once you start your treatment, you’ll be able to reduce or eliminate allergy symptoms, and you’ll have an improved quality of life.
If you’ve been having allergy symptoms and don’t know what is causing it, you need to have a chat with an allergist to help you diagnose your condition and help you develop a treatment plan. You can schedule a meeting with Dr. Paul Jantzi, an allergist in College Station. He has spent more than 13 years serving the South-Central Texas region as an allergist. He will provide you with professional services concerning your allergies, asthma, and immune system. Contact Dr. Jantzi and have yourself checked.
Brazos Valley Allergy and Asthma Clinics provide professional services to patients with allergies, asthma, and immune system problems. Their clinics utilize both established methods and technological advances to identify and treat many different diseases. If you want to learn more about allergy shots, schedule a meeting with them now.