Posted on: 24 June 2016Share
If you have been exhibiting distressing symptoms that point toward an allergy, your primary care physician will likely refer you to an allergy specialist. The specialty practitioner will use your medical history, symptoms and test results to accurately diagnose your medical condition. If allergies are the cause, your specialist will also determine the allergens causing your symptoms and the best course of treatment for you. Here's what to expect at your upcoming allergy appointment.
Your doctor will start the appointment by reviewing your health history. Allergies are often linked with other health conditions, such as asthma and eczema, so it is important to list all of the conditions you have been diagnosed with, even if the problem has resolved. Since allergies have a genetic link, you must also provide medical information for your immediate family.
Your allergist will want to know about your current symptoms next. Each set of symptoms is closely linked to the cause of your allergies. For example, if you are allergic to ragweed, you may have red, watery eyes, sneezing and a headache after exposure to that allergen. If you are suffering from food allergies, on the other hand, you might actually have a rash and a stomach ache instead.
After narrowing down the allergens potentially causing your symptoms, your doctor can perform an allergy test. Most allergies are diagnosed using a skin prick test on your arm or back. For this test, your doctor lightly pricks your skin with a needle dipped in a specific allergen. After twenty minutes, the test areas are compared to the control to determine if your body reacted to the allergen injection. Rarely, your doctor may want to follow up with a blood test to reveal additional allergies or confirm the results.
Diagnosis And Treatment Discussion
Your health history, symptom rundown and allergy test results are all compiled to determine the best diagnosis for your condition. At that point, your doctor will likely provide a few different treatment options for your consideration. You may need to receive allergy shots, take oral medications or apply topical ointment to mitigate your allergic reaction. If you are severely allergic to a specific substance, and are at risk of suffering anaphylactic shock, you will likely be prescribed an epinephrine auto-injector to keep by your side at all times.
Upon receiving a diagnosis and treatment, you will need to follow your doctor's orders to keep allergy symptoms at bay. You may need to take daily medications or alter your environment at home to closely follow the given treatment. If you are allergic to dust mites, for example, you may need to invest in mattress and pillow covers, adhere to a strict vacuum schedule and take anti-histamine medication. You can return to your allergy doctor anytime to discuss alternative treatments if your given protocol does not provide relief in a reasonable time frame.
For more information, speak with the allergy specialist at a clinic like The Allergi Group.