Finding Comfort: How an Allergist Can Help
posted by The Live Better Team | May 10, 2016
With one out of every five people in the United States experiencing either allergy or asthma symptoms, and allergies in children rising at an alarming rate, chances are good that someone in your family needs allergy relief.
Allergists are physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of asthma and other allergic diseases. They have the training and expertise to review your allergy history, conduct diagnostic tests to determine your specific triggers and help you develop a personalized treatment plan with avoidance techniques that allow you or your child to manage allergy symptoms.
You should consult with an allergy specialist if:
Your efforts to control your allergy symptoms are still failing after 6 months.
You suspect you may have had an anaphylactic reaction.
Your symptoms have become severe enough to require emergency treatment.
Other medical conditions complicate your treatment.
One out of every five people in the United States experience either allergy- or asthma-related symptoms, and allergies in children are rising at an alarming rate.
After taking a comprehensive medical history, your allergist will use skin testing to determine the allergen causing your reactions. A small amount of a suspected allergen is placed on your skin, and the area is scratched. Swelling at the site of the prick confirms your allergy.
If your prick test is inconclusive, your allergist may utilize a more sensitive test and inject an allergen under you skin with a syringe. Sometimes blood tests are used.
If you suspect your child has a food allergy, a food challenge is often performed to confirm the reaction observed in the scratch test. Your child consumes the suspected food under medical supervision so that the reaction can be observed and treated with epinephrine if needed. Food allergies among children increased approximately 50 percent between 1997 and 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Once the suspected allergen is confirmed, your allergist may recommend one or more medications to control your symptoms. Some are available over the counter, and others, including some nose drops, require a prescription.
You may be a candidate for allergy shot therapy, or immunotherapy, especially if your allergies are seasonal and caused by pollen. These injections desensitize you to your trigger by exposing you over time to gradual increments of your allergen. Your body learns to tolerate it and no longer considers it a threatening invader to be defended against.
Allergy shots can potentially lead to lasting remission of your symptoms and may even help prevent the development of asthma and new allergies. A recent study in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology shows “immunotherapy (allergy shots) reduced hay fever symptoms in 65 to 75-year-olds by 55 percent after three years of therapy, and decreased the amount of medication needed for relief of symptoms by 64 percent.”
The first step in identifying your unique allergy triggers is to set an appointment with a Revere Health Allergy and Immunology provider. We have over 30 years of combined experience and specialized training.
This is good news for baby boomers that are also increasingly suffering more allergies. Because seniors tend to have additional chronic diseases that are worsened by allergies, diagnosis and management of allergic rhinitis is important for overall health.
The first step in identifying your unique allergy triggers is an appointment with a Revere Health Allergy and Immunology provider. We have over 30 years of combined experience and specialized training in allergic and immunologic disorders. During your initial visit, we’ll perform a skin test to determine your personal set of triggers. Revere Health serves pediatric and adult patients with allergies in two Utah locations, using the most comprehensive and up-to-date medical therapies.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.