How to find out what my allergies are
Why Take a Medical History?
When it comes to human allergic disease, an individual’s medical history is as significant as the results of an allergy test. Medical history is the critical link between allergy test results and allergic disease itself.
Allergy skin testing is the gold standard and is used along with the medical history to establish a diagnosis. Both blood and skin allergy tests can detect a patient’s sensitivity to common inhalants love pollen and dust mites or to medicines, certain foods, latex, venom, or other substances.
Generally skin testing is the most precise and preferred method used by trained allergists. Allergy blood tests may be ordered in certain specific situations, such as severe skin rashes, or if it is impossible to stop a medication that interferes with the interpretation of the skin test.
If the results of skin and blood allergy tests are not clear or are inconsistent with the patient’s medical history, allergists rely on their training and experience along with a patient’s medical history and a physical examination—not test results—to make the final diagnosis.
Research confirms what allergists already know: Allergy tests are valuable for their ability to give precise and dependable results that confirm information gathered in the medical history.
Where a substance causes unpleasant symptoms, such as diarrhoea, but does not involve the immune system.
People with an intolerance to certain foods can typically eat a little quantity without having any problems.
Sheet final reviewed: 22 November
Next review due: 22 November
Anywhere from 40 to 50 million people in the U.S.
own allergies or asthma. These diseases are so common that it might seem love the diagnosis and treatment are straightforward and that any doctor should be capable to ister the most effective therapies. However, allergists are experts in their field with specialized training that allows them to:
- Develop a personalized plan that eliminates your symptoms
- Treat more than just your symptoms
- Identify the source of your suffering
- Accurately diagnose your condition
- Perform allergy testing
- Provide you with the most cost-effective care that produces the best results
Two key steps in the process of allergy diagnosis are the medical history and allergy test selection.
Allergists use their skills in these areas to assist more patients feel well, stay athletic during the day, and relax at night. And that’s nothing to sneeze at.
The exaggeration of the normal effects of a substance. For example, the caffeine in a cup of coffee may cause extreme symptoms, such as palpitations and trembling.
A reaction produced by the body’s immune system when exposed to a normally harmless substance.
Why Is Allergy Test Choice Important?
An significant related consideration is for health practitioners to select the correct test, the one best capable to aid the diagnostic process.
For numerous reasons, that’s not an simple occupation. Allergy patients are often sensitized to numerous allergens, but are only clinically allergic to one or more specific substances. Allergists are trained to select tests that pinpoint the relevant allergen, which enables them to develop optimal therapies for each patient.
Board-certified allergists recognize that not every allergy tests are same.
They regularly review the scientific literature to study which testing systems work better than others and the laboratory practices that may affect test results.
Allergy tests should not be ordered randomly, either. They are chosen based on symptoms, environmental and occupational exposures, age, and even hobbies. Every results are then interpreted in the context of the patient’s medical history.
Get the facts: Discover answers with an allergist.
When spring allergy season first starts, causing you to sniffle and sneeze, tree pollen is to blame.
Trees start producing pollen as early as January in the Southern U.S.
Numerous trees hold producing pollen through June.
Getting assist for allergies
See a GP if you ponder you or your kid might own had an allergic reaction to something.
The symptoms of an allergic reaction can also be caused by other conditions.
A GP can assist determine whether it’s likely you own an allergy.
If they ponder you might own a mild allergy, they can offer advice and treatment to assist manage the condition.
If your allergy is particularly severe or it’s not clear what you’re allergic to, they may refer you to an allergy specialist for testing and advice about treatment.
Find out more about allergy testing
What causes allergies?
Allergies occur when the body’s immune system reacts to a specific substance as though it’s harmful.
It’s not clear why this happens, but most people affected own a family history of allergies or own closely related conditions, such as asthma or eczema.
The number of people with allergies is increasing every year.
The reasons for this are not understood, but 1 of the main theories is it’s the result of living in a cleaner, germ-free environment, which reduces the number of germs our immune system has to deal with.
It’s thought this may cause it to overreact when it comes into contact with harmless substances.
Substances that cause allergic reactions are called allergens.
The more common allergens include:
- latex – used to make some gloves and condoms
- mould – these can release little particles into the air that you can breathe in
- food – particularly nuts, fruit, shellfish, eggs and cows’ milk
- medicines – including ibuprofen, aspirin and certain antibiotics
- insect bites and stings
- grass and tree pollen – an allergy to these is known as hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
- animal dander, tiny flakes of skin or hair
- dust mites
- household chemicals – including those in detergents and hair dyes
Most of these allergens are generally harmless to people who are not allergic to them.
What Are the Symptoms of a Tree Pollen Allergy?
Pollen allergysymptoms are commonly called “hay fever.” Pollen released by trees, as well as grasses and weeds, cause these symptoms.
- Red and watery eyes
- Stuffy nose (nasal congestion)
- Itchy nose, eyes, ears and mouth
- Runny nose and mucus production
- Swelling around the eyes
If you haveallergic asthmaand are allergic to tree pollen, you might also own asthma symptoms while the trees are pollinating.
Tree pollen is finer than other pollens. Because of this, the wind can carry it for miles. These light, dry grains easily discover their way to your sinuses, lungs and eyes, making them hard to avoid.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction
Allergic reactions generally happen quickly within a few minutes of exposure to an allergen.
They can cause:
- a red, itchy rash
- wheezing and coughing
- a runny or blocked nose
- red, itchy, watery eyes
- worsening of asthma or eczema symptoms
Most allergic reactions are mild, but occasionally a severe reaction called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock can happen.
This is a medical emergency and needs urgent treatment.
How to manage an allergy
In many cases, the most effective way of managing an allergy is to avoid the allergen that causes the reaction whenever possible.
For example, if you own a food allergy, you should check a food’s ingredients list for allergens before eating it.
There are also several medicines available to help control symptoms of allergic reactions, including:
- lotions and creams, such as moisturising creams (emollients) – these can reduce skin redness and itchiness
- decongestants – tablets, capsules, nasal sprays or liquids that can be used as a short-term treatment for a blocked nose
- antihistamines – these can be taken when you notice the symptoms of a reaction, or before being exposed to an allergen, to stop a reaction occurring
- steroid medicines – sprays, drops, creams, inhalers and tablets that can assist reduce redness and swelling caused by an allergic reaction
For some people with extremely severe allergies, a treatment called immunotherapy may be recommended.
This involves being exposed to the allergen in a controlled way over a number of years so your body gets used to it and does not react to it so severely.