When Should I See an Allergy Doctor?
Sniffling. Sneezing. Itchiness. These are just a few of the annoying symptoms of allergies. Many of us experience allergies from time to time and find relief from over the counter medications. But is self-diagnosis enough? When does it become necessary to visit an allergy doctor to learn exactly what triggers your allergies and how to effectively treat them?
What is an allergic reaction?
The human body fights to keep us from getting sick by releasing chemicals that destroy harmful intruders like bacteria and viruses. Sometimes the immune system is tricked into releasing these chemicals, or antibodies, against harmless substances like pollen, dust, nuts, and more. When the body is flooded with these chemicals, a host of bothersome reactions occurs such as itchy eyes, hives, stuffy noses, and in highly allergic people, life-threatening breathing issues.
What triggers an allergic reaction?
Anyone can develop allergies. While children may suffer most, a person can develop allergies at any age. Studies show that family history may also play a role in developing allergies. A wide variety of normal substances can cause an allergic reaction. The most common include the following:
- Dust Mites
- Pet Dander
- Insect Bites
When should you consider seeing an allergy doctor?
Many people who suffer from allergies learn to live with symptoms like a stuffy nose, sneezing, or coughing. An allergy doctor can administer tests to find out the exact cause of your allergies and create a treatment plan to reduce or even eliminate symptoms. Consider seeing an allergy doctor if you live with any of these conditions:
- Chronic breathing problems
- Chronic sinus infections
- Hay fever that lasts several months
- Little or no relief from over-the-counter antihistamines
- Reduced quality of life
- Coughing or wheezing after exercising
- Tightness in the chest
Why is allergy testing beneficial for me?
When you visit an allergy doctor, he or she will administer specialized tests to find out exactly what is causing your allergic reactions. With that information, your allergy doctor will tailor a treatment plan unique to your individual needs that can effectively manage and often eliminate bothersome symptoms. One highly effective allergy testing method includes:
Intradermal Skin Testing – This type of skin test is commonly used to determine the type of allergen that is causing your reaction. It involves a specialist injecting a small amount of the allergen just below your skin’s surface and then observing the area for a reaction. This test is very quick and can be done during a short office visit. It is more advanced than some other allergy tests because it allows the doctor to determine your specific level of sensitivity to the allergen. Intradermal skin testing is commonly used to detect respiratory allergies, insect bite allergies, food allergies, and penicillin allergies.
Some of the most effective treatments for allergies may include allergy shots, prescription medication, or education on avoidance techniques to eliminate exposure to allergens.
Visit Lakeside Allergy ENT to treat your allergy symptoms.
At Lakeside Allergy ENT, we employ three board-certified otolaryngologists who are highly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of all conditions of the ears, nose, and throat, including allergy and asthma symptoms. With offices in Forney and Rockwall, we make it easy and convenient for you to visit a location close to your home. If you suffer from allergies and are ready to get your symptoms under control, make an appointment with us today at 972-771-5443 or submit your information in our “Request an Appointment” form on this page.