Allergies are a common condition affecting hundreds of millions of people across the world. While most allergic reactions are not serious or life-threatening, sometimes they can be. From rashes and hives to anaphylaxis, allergies can manifest in many different forms. To determine if you have allergies, visit one of our allergy specialists today.
When should you see an allergist?
If you need a daily antihistamine and feel that your symptoms are satisfactorily controlled, then over-the-counter medications may be a good option to control your symptoms.
However, there are circumstances when over-the-counter allergy medications are not enough. If your symptoms are not well controlled and they keep you from doing things you enjoy, such as being outdoors or using certain products, or if the symptoms require the use of medication combinations, then it’s time to see an allergist to determine what allergies you have and what medications or other treatments may be right for you.
Another reason to see an allergist is if you’re not tolerating the OTC medications or are not good at remembering to take daily medications. Allergy medications are generally effective and safe, but are not always the right treatment for every patient. Some people will require more complex and comprehensive treatments to maintain a good quality of life, and allergists can help with that.
If you’ve been diagnosed with asthma or have asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing or coughing, this could be related to allergies and seeing an allergist could be very beneficial.
Do you have to have a referral for an allergist?
As allergists are a specialized provider of healthcare, the typically require a referral. However, this referral is not difficult to come by. If you present your situation to your family physician, then they will more than likely refer you to the proper specialist. If not, however, then your symptoms might not be severe enough to warrant specialized care, and can be treated with simpler methodologies.
How are allergies determined?
There are many ways to test what causes an allergic reaction. Generally, as far as foods go, adults know what they’re allergic to. By the time a person reaches adulthood, they’ve tried most things that can cause an allergic reaction. Therefore, food allergies are typically seen in children. Nevertheless, tracking down what causes allergies can be difficult. The typical procedure is to backtrack and see what they were exposed to that was different or new. It could be caused by a food that they had never tried before, a new soap they used, or some spice that they had never used before. The culprit could be caused by multiple things.
With that being said, once you start eliminating those things, if they have another reaction and they were not exposed to the suspected source, then we start looking for other causes. As far as the gold standard for diagnosis, it is skin testing. They take a little bit of what is called an antigen and stick it under your skin with a little needle. If you react to it and you get a big welt, then we know that there is an allergy. While that is standard procedure, some offices do not implement this kind of testing. In place of this, sometimes a detailed history is used to determine what they’re allergic to. However, most of the time both of these practices are implemented.
If you or someone you know is exhibiting allergy symptoms, come to Piniella Asthma and Allergy today! Our team of allergy specialists are well-experienced in treating and controlling asthma, so you can find the relief you need! To talk with an expert, contact our office today. Visit us online or give us a call to schedule an appointment at our clinic.