Find An Allergy Doctor To Help Control Asthma Symptoms
If you or a loved one is plagued with frequent allergies, you might need to find an allergy doctor. Although any doctor can treat allergies, an allergy doctor is a specialist.They have specialized knowledge of the function of the immune system, and are particularly skilled at treating allergies and asthma. They gain this knowledge through research and by focusing their practice on the treatment of allergies. Allergy specialists become board certified when they pass an exam covering allergies and immunology.
Finding an allergy specialist can be important for asthma sufferers because 90% of children and 50% of adults with asthma are triggered by allergies. Learning what triggers these allergies will help these patients to control their asthma. Doctors will send their patients to an allergy specialist to get an allergy test. This test will help to determine which allergens the patient is most sensitive to and are most likely to trigger an allergic reaction. Because allergy testing can trigger an allergic reaction, they are usually given by a specialist.
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Allergy tests are done either with skin testing or blood testing. With skin testing, suspected allergens are dropped into a small prick in the skin under the forearm. Several allergens can be tested for at the same time this way. Redness or swelling in the area where the allergen was introduced is an indication of an allergy. Results are quick, with reactions occurring within 20 minutes.
If the patient is taking medications that can interfere with the test but cannot be stopped to allow for testing, then a blood test is used. Patients with severe skin conditions are also usually given blood tests. The samples must be sent to a lab to be tested, so results take a few weeks to get. Skin testing is much faster, and each type of test is equally reliable. Blood testing is also more expensive, but is sometimes the best alternative.
Patients do not need to worry about how to find an allergy specialist. Any doctor that suspects their patient is having an issue with allergies can refer that patient to a local allergist. As a specialized area of medicine, these doctors often only take patients as a result of referrals from other doctors.
For people who suffer from sever allergy symptoms, their allergy doctor will sometimes recommend allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy. It used to be difficult to find an allergy doctorto do immunotherapy. However, as research shows that it is effective, more doctors are using this strategy to help treat allergy sufferers. The shots do not cure allergies. They are intended to build up the bodied immune system so that it can fight off the allergens and lessen the symptoms. In some cases, symptoms will disappear altogether.
Prevention is also an important strategy in treating allergy sufferers. When an allergen is identified, it can then be avoided. For example, plants can be removed from the yard, pets can be removed from the home, and certain foods can be avoided. Some common allergens like pollen, dust, and mold cannot be completely avoided. The goal with those allergens is to reduce exposure by means prescribed by your allergy doctor.
Should you need to find an allergy doctor on your own, you can contact your insurance company. They will have allergists in their list of authorized specialists. Discuss this list with your general doctor to find the best fit. Your doctor will have a good idea of which allergy specialists in the area have the best reputation. If immunotherapy is recommended, be prepared for a course of treatment that will last from 3 to 5 years to achieve the best results.