An allergist or allergy doctor is someone who specializes in treating different types of allergies like rhinitis and other seasonal allergies. This is what you can expect when you visit an allergy doctor for the first time.
When to Visit an Allergist
You know how an allergy works and the ways to counter these irritations. If your running nose and the itchiness on your skin and other infections like coughing and sinus symptoms remains in spite you are taking the prescribed medications then its time you visit an allergist who specializes in allergies as soon as possible.
Types of Allergies
Before visiting an allergy doctor, you should check for the signs that you have an allergy. These are some types of allergies that an allergist will treat.
- Hay fever also called rhinitis
- Bee venom
- Food allergies
- Latex allergies
Allergy Treatment Steps
At first the allergy doctor will determine the problem and set up a schedule that consists of:
Removal of allergens: This process involves in the cleansing of your home that may be crawling with allergens. Pollens, dust mites, spores and mold are all allergens that can affect you and your family.
Natural therapies: Nasal sprays, HEPA filters and using home remedies like honey and apple cider vinegar can be effective in removal of your allergies.
Medication: Use of wide variety of prescribed medicines is also an option.
When none of the above works, the last resort for the allergist is to have you tested. Testing is required when you may have life threatening allergies like venom of bees or other insects. The gravity of your condition will determine what tests should be done and how to treat them
The most common way of testing is the skin test probably because it is easy, less painful and can heal most of the allergens like pollens, dust mites, animal dander and food allergies. Skin tests can require additional testing so the process may be slow. There are different types of skin tests.
Skin prick test: Pricks on your skin are caused by the environmental and food related allergies. This testing requires needles, but they are not painful because the needle just barely pierce the surface of your skin. The doctors will do tests by exposing your skin to different chemicals and see how your skin reacts to these.
Skin injection test: When your skin prick test comes negative and allergy doctor still suspects that you have a specific type of allergy, he will have to use injection. This injection goes a little deeper and you may feel a minor sting in your body.
Skin patch test: This test requires you to wear a patch that contains extracts of allergens for about 2 days. The allergist will advise you not to shower or do anything that might have you sweat a lot. After the said amount of time is over the allergy doctor will remove these patches and see how your skin responds to the allergens.
Blood tests are done when you have severe allergies like eczema. These tests are done because it is hard to carry out skin tests with eczema. Blood tests are more sensitive and are used to look for the presence of antibodies. Blood tests are expensive, but they are short. The doctor will take a sample of your blood and send you home then call you when they have the result.
This test is done when the previous two didn’t provide any final result. This test includes an inhale or consumption of allergens and usually used if you are suffering from food poisoning. It is recommended that you don’t eat anything at the day of the test.
There are barely any risks in the tests. Skin tests can lead to a red, itchy bump much like a mosquito bite. These can last for up to a day or two. They are very prominent so don’t be shy to cover them as they are temporary.
After Your Visit
After the required tests are done, the allergy doctor Chantilly, VA will assess the results and pinpoint the exact allergy and will recommend you with the required treatments. These treatments include:
- Allergy shots
- Prescribed medications
- Home and lifestyle changes (when you are diagnosed with food allergies)
- Avoiding allergens and exposure to them