Allergies & How Your Doctor Diagnosis Them

01 Sep 2019

Over 40 million people suffer from allergies and must take steps to combat them regularly. Allergies are so common that diagnosing them may not seem necessary to many people. However, getting a medical examination from a doctor ensures that patients are safe and that the symptoms are not indicative of something more serious.

Diagnosing Allergies

To diagnose your allergies, a doctor will need to collect your medical history and perform an allergy test. Your allergist has the skills required to make patients comfortable and keep discomfort to a minimum while tests are being performed.

The Importance of Your Medical History

When it comes to allergies, your medical history is critical and can be even more insightful than an allergy test. Sometimes allergy tests may not yield clear results, which means your doctor needs to get information from other areas to make an accurate diagnosis. This information includes your medical history along with a physical examination.

Types of Allergy Tests

There are several different ways that your allergist will test for the presence of allergies. Choosing the right test can be crucial to getting an accurate diagnosis of your allergies. Allergists use their expertise to determine the most relevant allergens and develop a management and treatment plan for patients.

Each test is different and will be chosen based on information gathered from the patient as well as the medical history collected. The factors that influence the type of test your doctor orders range from your occupation to the hobbies that you have. Two common ways to test for allergic reactions include blood tests and skin tests.

Skin Testing

Performing a skin test is the most common method used to test for various allergies in patients. The results are rapid and highly accurate. The scratch test is often used, which is when a doctor applies a tiny bit of the allergen to the skin and watches for a reaction. It doesn’t involve any pain, and the skin may become red, resembling a mosquito bite, but no blood will be drawn.

Blood Testing

A blood test helps your doctor collect information and rule out causes for your allergy symptoms. Patients may receive this test instead of a skin test if they have sensitive skin, take certain medications, or have experienced adverse reactions to skin tests in the past. A sample of your blood will be drawn and then sent to a lab, where it will be tested against numerous allergens to determine the cause of your symptoms.

Dealing with Food Allergies

Food allergies must be handled with a bit differently than other allergies. If you or your doctor suspect that you have an allergy to a specific food or foods, you may benefit from the elimination diet. This is often recommended when patients suspect that food is causing an allergic reaction.

With this diet, you will cut out certain foods for several weeks at a time to see if your allergy symptoms are reduced. If so, then what you cut out of your diet is likely the cause of your discomfort. If symptoms persist, something else may be causing your symptoms.

When to Visit a Memorial Village ER Near You

If there is an emergency, 24-hour emergency care in Houston, TX is available at Memorial Village ER. The medical professionals available are trained to handle sudden allergic reactions and prevent symptoms from worsening. When an allergic reaction occurs, it is important to recognize the signs and seek care at an emergency room in Houston.

Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction

If you suspect that you or a loved one is having an allergic reaction, it is important to stay calm and seek medical help immediately. An emergency room in 77079 can provide patients with prompt care in the event of an emergency.

  • Vomiting
  • Rashes
  • Bloating
  • Swelling of body parts
  • Stomach cramps
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy nose
  • Tongue swelling
  • Wheezing
  • Feeling the chest tightening
  • Eyes that are watery and itchy
  • Swelling of the throat
  • Feeling light-headed, faint, or losing consciousness
  • Hives

If you notice any or several of the symptoms listed above, you should make your way to an emergency room near you for quick, professional care.