Having allergies points towards the fact that your immune system has overreacted to something that you inhaled or touched while enjoying an outdoor activity, or maybe in the comfort of your home.
Anything can trigger allergies- even if it’s minor. You may experience allergies by eating a peanut butter sandwich, taking aspirin, or having a carpet in your bedroom and end up having an allergic reaction. Some symptoms like swelling, vomiting, breathing, itchiness, hives, and several others are most common.
Studies show that around 50 million Americans have an allergy, whether from food, pollen in the air, medications, latex, or cockroaches. Well, the list goes on- but a surprising fact to take note of is that people can even be allergic to water or reptiles.
But, the problem doesn’t end with discovering the kind of allergy you have, rather how it affects your body. Know that allergies not only affect your skin but also cause irritation to your respiratory system, stomach, eyes, and other parts. You can even suffer from a life-threatening anaphylactic shock.
How Allergies Affect Your Body?
Despite being aware of several allergies, a handful of categories have a similar reaction in your body. These usually start when your immune system misidentifies harmless things like dust as dangerous and foreign substances. Your body begins the production of antibodies, which are the immune-system proteins. These proteins monitor the body for threats associated with your health.
These antibodies also trigger an adequate release of chemicals like histamine. And that’s the reason you experience problems like wheezing, rashes, itching, and more. Thus, you develop symptoms like sneezing, hives, or even worse.
Another aspect to keep in mind is that allergies are not the same as food intolerances, especially when it comes to food. For instance, being lactose intolerant may trigger you to have problems like gas, indigestion, bloating, and an upset stomach whenever you consume a milk product. But is it the same as having a food allergy? Certainly not, because lactose intolerance is more about digesting a type of food.
Believe when the experts say that food allergy catering to food substances like peanuts can be more dangerous than food intolerance.
How Are Allergies Diagnosed at the Doctor’s Office?
Allergists use several tests to diagnose allergies. However, the doctor needs to know more about his patient before picking the proper test.
Expert medical professionals say that the tests they conduct in the office are based on a person’s medical history, exposure, and medical status. This information serves as the basis for picking the proper test for the right patient to conduct the correct diagnosis and ensure that there isn’t an adverse reaction. In simpler words, allergy tests should never happen in a vacuum; instead, it’s wise to interpret them according to actual responses and symptoms.
What are the Different Types of Allergy Tests?
After the doctor takes your initial history, he selects from many tests to diagnose an allergy. Thereby, once you’re well aware of your medical history, you can easily find out about the allergens causing your allergic reactions.
For instance, you can undergo Food allergy testing at home by taking a short quiz to get your allergy score. The starting steps are usually the skin test. An allergen is put in contact with your skin, either on a smaller surface or through an injection or tiny scratch. You may be allergic to that substance if your skin reacts, which you can know by reaching out to your doctor over the telephone. And, the best part is you can receive customized medications, which you can start immediately.
Another version of this is a patch test, wherein the patient wears an allergen patch to see if there’s a reaction. Doctors may also do a focused blood test to look for specific immunoglobulin antibodies. Studies show that people with antibodies are sensitized to an allergen. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they translate to itchy skin, swelling, hives, or any other symptoms.
Provocation tests are the ones that directly expose you to an allergen. These tests are popular as belonging to the last resort. And, that’s the reason why doctors consider these under close medical supervision. After all, the patient will require immediate medical treatment in case of several treatments.
What are the Benefits of Allergy Testing?
Allergy testing is a precise method in which you find out about the allergens causing allergic reactions.
Once you’re aware of the substances that are causing allergies, your physician will be in a position to help you. He may develop a treatment plan to alleviate as well as eliminate the symptoms causing allergies.
The types of allergy tests are many. Your allergist may help you determine the most appropriate test for you. This factor usually depends upon whether you’re consuming medicine that prevents or reduces a substance reaction. Or, you may even have a skin condition that makes it difficult for you to see the skin testing results. The chances for you to have a previous allergic reaction with several symptoms are many.
By discovering the substances that cause your body to overreact, you’ll be able to avoid the allergy triggers. Yes, you’ll be able to know if a person is allergic to insect venom or is it the medication.
What is the Best Time to Contact a Doctor?
The best way of identifying, diagnosing, and treating an allergy is to connect with a doctor, who’s preferably an allergist. It is always wise to check in with your doctor whenever you feel the need for help in managing your allergies or even when you’d like to know what your allergies are.
Nevertheless, if you have a tied-up schedule, you can start with an at-home allergy test and follow up with a doctor on a telephone call.
The Bottom Line- Get Tested for Allergies
“Control your allergies, don’t let allergies control you.”
If you’re suffering from allergies and wish to understand your course of action and treatment options, ensure indulging in allergy testing right away. In the meantime filtering out allergens will help you to lessen the suffering of allergy attacks. You can install screens that can capture pollens and other allergens before they come into the house.
After all, it’s about developing a treatment plan and eliminating the allergy symptoms for sound health.