If you suffer with allergies, you are not alone. More than 50 million people in the United States suffer with allergies every year. If you are finding your symptoms becoming increasingly troublesome, it may be time to seek the expertise of an allergist.
What Is An Allergist?
An allergist is a medically trained physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic diseases, such as allergic rhinitis, asthma, and eczema. They are specially trained to identify allergy triggers and to treat, prevent, or manage allergy problems effectively.
Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is a common allergy. It occurs when your immune system overreacts to particles in the air that you breathe. It attacks the particles once they enter your body, causing cold like symptoms, such as sneezing and a runny nose. The particles that cause an allergic reaction are called allergens.
Many things can cause allergic rhinitis, such as pollens from trees, grasses, and weeds, dust mites, animal dander, mold spores, and cockroaches. You may find there are certain triggers in your workplace, such as cereal grain, wood dust, chemicals, and perfumes, which can also cause allergic rhinitis. If developed during childhood, some allergies may go away with age, but often, people with allergies have symptoms for many years.
Symptoms Of Allergic Rhinitis
Some people can experience symptoms throughout the year, but others, especially those allergic to pollen, may only be affected at certain times of the year when a particular plant is active. Symptoms include:
- Sneezing (especially first thing in the morning)
- A blocked or runny nose or postnasal drip
- Itchy, red, sore, watery eyes
- An itchy nose or throat
- Coughing or wheezing
- A red or itchy rash
Sometimes, you may also get other problems, such as sinusitis or ear infections, as a result of your allergies.
How An Allergist Can Help You
If you suspect you have an allergy, an allergist can work with you to diagnose and treat it effectively. First, your allergist will examine you and ask about your symptoms (such as what they are, when you get them, and if anything makes them better or worse). Your allergist may then use an allergy test to accurately identify and confirm a diagnosis. Common allergy tests include:
A skin prick allergy test. This is the most common allergy test. It is a safe test that involves pricking the skin and placing an allergen to the pricked area, allowing it to get under the skin. If you are allergic to the substance, a reaction such as swelling, redness, itching, or other signs will appear within 20 minutes.
An intradermal allergy test involves actually injecting the allergen into the skin. It is often used to test for allergies from things that may naturally get injected into the skin, such as certain antibiotics (penicillin) or bee venom.
Patch allergy testing is often used to test skin reaction to allergens that touch the skin. Allergens are taped to the skin for 48 hours and then the area is monitored for reactions.
Blood allergy testing looks for changes in IgE antibodies produced by the immune system, which are specific to allergic reactions, rather than just skin reactions.
Finding the treatment that works best for you can take time. Treatments for allergies can range from over-the-counter medication, such as antihistamines and nasal sprays, advice on how to avoid or reduce symptoms, injection therapy, and allergy drops. Treatment for more serious symptoms can include inhalers for asthma, skin creams for eczema, and auto injectors for anaphylaxis.
Immunotherapy involves administering doses of an allergen, either through an injection beneath the skin (subcutaneous) or in tablet or drop form under the tongue (sublingual), to help reduce symptoms and help a patient build up a resistance and immunological tolerance to the effects of a particular allergen, such as pollen. Subcutaneous immunotherapy can help to prevent the development of new allergies and asthma.
An allergist may also recommend recue medications as part of an individual’s emergency self-treatment plan for acute attacks, such as for acute tongue swelling or anaphylaxis that can result from insect bites.
Allergy Specialists In Georgetown, TX
If you suffer from allergies, why not get tested and treated today? Georgetown ENT provide effective allergy testing and treatment programs for both children and adults. We offer comprehensive services and will find the treatment option that is best suited for you. Call us at (512) 869-0604 to schedule an appointment. You can also request an appointment online.