Hay Fever Got You Down? When To See An Allergist And What To Expect

Posted on: 1 May 2015

Receiving proper treatment plays a vital role in really kicking your allergy symptoms in the butt. If you have been a long time sufferer of allergies, at some point in time, you should decide enough is enough. If you haven't decided yet, it can be helpful to know when it is a good idea to see a specialist instead of your regular doctor. It can also be helpful to know what to expect when you do go to an allergist for the first time.

When Should You Make an Appointment?

The unfortunate truth is it is not uncommon for someone to suffer from allergies for years before ever thinking about seeing an allergist. This is because a lot of allergy symptoms are manageable with over-the-counter medication. The problem is most people do not realize over-the-counter allergy medication is only intended for short term usage. If you use them for more than a couple of weeks, they tend to lose effectiveness. If you take allergy medication every day or for more than two to three weeks at a time, consider seeing a specialist.

Compose a Diary of Your Symptoms

It will help both your doctor and the allergist if you keep a diary of your symptoms. Where do you usually experience allergy attacks? What kind of environment are you in? Are you inside or outside? Were you cooking? Were you at work? This can be helpful in pinpointing what you are allergic to and what triggers your symptoms. If there is a chance your allergies could be food related, keep a food diary too.

What to Expect During that First Visit

If you suffer from moderate or severe allergies, it is better to make an appointment with a specialist than to continue to suffer. During the first appointment, the allergist is going to want to know as much as possible about your family's medical history as well as your own.

It is not uncommon for the allergist to decide to conduct testing during the first appointment. Testing, unfortunately, can take a few hours. In most cases, the allergist will have you on your stomach on a table with your shirt off. He or she will mark and poke your back in with different allergens to see what irritates your skin. Anything that is inconclusive will be repeated on your arms where the skin is more sensitive for better results.

It is important to keep in mind your initial appointment is just going to be a session of getting to know you and figuring out what you are allergic to. It is not until later appointments that the allergist will decide whether allergy shots or medication is necessary. Contact an allergy doctor like Asthma and Allergy Clinic today for more information.