Allergy testing is the branch of medicine that deals with allergies and over-reaction of the immune system to foreign substances in nature harmless, such as pollen.
What does an allergist do?
An allergist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic diseases. The doctor is able to identify factors that trigger allergies and helps patients manage symptoms, prevent the initial occurrence and, if possible, treat the disorder. Allergies can occur anywhere in the body, but the most common areas are the nose, eyes, lungs, sinuses, throat, skin and stomach wall.
What diseases are treated by an allergist?
Among the diseases and disorders often treated by an allergist include anaphylaxis, asthma, contact dermatitis, skin allergies such as eczema and hives, and allergic rhinitis.
What are the procedures used by an allergist?
In addition to collecting the medical history and examining the patient, an allergist may ask the patient to keep a diary of symptoms or a food diary and temporarily exclude some types of food from their diet, if the specialist suspects a food allergy. Among the tests the doctor might prescribe are allergy testing such as skin tests, blood tests, and general analysis to rule out other possible health problems. The treatment for allergies may include an elimination diet, medication, and immunotherapy such as vaccines. An allergist will also show a patient how to prevent allergic symptoms.
When should a patient visit an allergist ?
A visit to an allergist is recommended when a patient is experiencing symptom such as skin rashes or respiratory problems, very typical problems of an allergic reaction. It is also advisable to visit an allergist when an allergic reaction is associated with sinusitis and nasal congestion, when antihistamines or OTC drugs are not effective or they trigger side effects, when symptoms interfere with daily activities or diminish the quality of life, or in case of severe asthma. In case of anaphylaxis it is necessary to call an ambulance