By: Jimmie Greer
The allergy cases are increasing by 30 percent every year and recently an allergy has become the fifth leading chronic disease in people of all ages and genders. The allergy is a severe or mild immune response to certain substances. The reaction may cause sneezing, cough, vomiting, a rash, hives, itching and even low blood pressure and anaphylactic shock. That is why the signs shouldn’t be overlooked.
The allergy cannot be cured, but you may take preventive measures and treatment to avoid the deterioration. For this purpose, you should see an allergist, who will perform an allergy evaluation and define triggers, which cause the allergic reaction.
The awareness of allergens will help you to avoid them and use the most effective remedies to eliminate the allergy signs.
When Should You Contact the Allergist?
It is important to identify an allergen timely to prevent severe symptoms and the crisis. If you are experiencing one or several of these indications, you must see a doctor.
- Constant sneezing, itching of the nose
- A runny nose, which lasts longer than 7 days
- Watery eyes and swelling of the eyelids
- The skin rash, accompanied by itching
- Shortness of breath, suffocation
- Swelling of the mucous membranes
- Some specific reactions appear after eating foods or signs last for several months in a year
- Antihistamines don’t bring you relief
- You suffer from Asthma attacks
So, watch carefully the reaction of your body, do not delay the visit and be sure to write down the severity of symptoms and their duration, it will help to diagnose allergies.
Prepare For the Visit
The consultation starts with a detailed interview. The doctor asks the patient about the lifestyle, eating habits, living conditions, diseases. Thereby, be ready to give the necessary information:
- Details about the diseases of your relatives.
- Severe infections that you’ve had, the presence of chronic diseases, medications that you used recently.
- The description of the nature of your work and conditions.
- Symptoms and time of their occurrence.
- Your bad habits and eating habits.
- Your place of residence (district, the presence of open areas, parks, gardens).
All these facts will help the specialist to conduct an initial screening of potential allergens.
What Happens at the Doctor’s Consultation?
The doctor will take into account the given information and discuss the ways of prevention or give specific tips to minimize the exposure to the allergen.
On top of that, some tests may be conducted and more effective medicines will be prescribed.
How Are the Allergens Diagnosed?
Laboratory methods play an important role in the diagnosis. There is a variety of them, but the most common are:
1. Skin allergy tests
These tests help to identify diverse allergens, such as foods, dust, mold, pollen, medications, and animal dander. These are several types of them:
- A scratch test – the allergen is applied to the scratched area of the skin, normally, it is the inner part of the forearm.
- Prick test signifies that the allergist applies a solution to the skin through a series of small pricks or scratches, they allow this liquid to enter the skin.
- Intradermal test – the allergen is injected under the skin with a needle.
The results will appear after 20 minutes. If a rash, redness, and swelling are noticeable, then the result is positive.
2. Blood test
The test identifies the level of immunoglobulin, if it’s elevated, then it indicates an allergic reaction. Thus, the test is very informative and it enables to detect more than 200 allergens.
3. Provocation testing
The reaction occurs after the direct contact with the allergen. These are several kinds of this testing:
- Provocation inhalation test – allergens are inhaled to induce an exacerbation of symptoms.
- The oral provocation test is used to identify a food allergy.
4. Patch testing
It determines contact dermatitis. The patch with a chemical substance is applied to the person’s back. Within 48 hours, skin reactions appear.
What Are the Methods of the Allergy Treatment?
There are ways, which cut down the symptoms and may reduce the overproduction of IgE. They are the following:
- Drugs play a minor role in the treatment as they only soothe the symptoms, but can’t eliminate them completely. Doctors often prescribe antihistamines, decongestants, glucocorticoids, epinephrine, and mast cell stabilizers.
- Immunotherapy involves the development of immunity to the allergen through introducing doses of the trigger. Besides, the intravenous injection of monoclonal antibodies anti – IgE is also practiced.
Hence, an allergy evaluation is the primary step in treating allergies. Watch over your health, go to the doctor immediately after you have noticed first symptoms, and then you will be able to reduce the minor allergy signs and prevent the onset of serious consequences.
About author: Jimmie Greer is a founder of http://stopallergyguide.com/ He has always dreamed of being a doctor. His life has made its allowances by force of circumstances. Now he is happy and likes to share his life experience and knowledge with the people around.