A visit to an allergy specialist or allergist is necessary when you want to treat your allergies better. But what are different types of allergies, and how can you distinguish a common cold from an allergic reaction?
Allergy is the response of the body to any foreign particle. Those particles are not harmful to your body, but your immune system thinks that they are harmful. These foreign particles that activate your body’s immune system are called allergens. There are many types of allergens. Pollen allergy is the most common allergy. There are also pet allergies and food allergies.
Commonly known as hay fever, pollen allergies run havoc on people during summer, spring, and autumn. Scientific society calls this fever seasonal allergic rhinitis. The most important thing to note here is that plants that insects fertilize do not cause pollen allergy. Plants and trees that cause pollen allergy are:
Symptoms of Pollen Allergy
Symptoms of pollen allergy somewhat resemble the symptoms of cold and flu:
- Runny Nose
- Mucus production
- Itchy nose, eyes, and mouth
- Nasal congestion
- Watery Eyes
- Swelling around eyes
There is no good way to prevent a pollen allergy. Pollen allergies happen every season. But there are some ways through which you can prevent the allergy:
- Do not venture outside during the pollen season. Try to remain indoors as much as possible.
- Take allergy medicine before the season starts as a precaution.
- Bathe every day to remove possible pollen from your hair and body.
- Wear sunglasses and a hat. Also, wear masks during this season.
- Close the windows so no pollen gains entry to your house.
- Change the bedding covers and bed sheet.
- Dry your clothes in a dryer and not on an outdoor clothesline.
- Consult an allergy specialist if the symptom worsens.
Food allergies happen when you eat a particular food as much as a small food particle can activate an allergic reaction. Food allergies can cause a severe life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. The symptoms include swollen airways, breathing problems, digestive problems, and hives. Some people feel the symptoms severely, while others feel slightly uncomfortable. Peanut allergy, mushroom allergy, potato allergy, and spice allergy are some types of food allergies.
Following are the symptoms that a person allergic to food might suffer with:
- Tingling and itching of the mouth
- Digestion problems
- Swollen airways (anaphylaxis)
- Abdominal pain
- Dizziness, vertigo
- Nausea, vomiting
- A drop in blood pressure resulting in shock (anaphylaxis)
- Try to keep track of the food you eat. That way, you can find out the responsible allergen that is causing allergic reactions
- Talk to an allergy specialist and take medicines that he prescribes.
- Wear a medical bracelet in case you have an allergic reaction at an unknown location.
- Always keep an EpiPen with you in case of an anaphylactic reaction.
When to See an Allergy specialist
Many people avoid going to the doctor. They trust the over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants. It’s perfectly well to trust these medicines if they provide you relief. These medicines are most effective for people who have seasonal allergies. Patients who have severe allergies on which medicines do not have any effects should consult a doctor as soon as possible. Suppose the allergies are causing hindrance in your daily day-to-day life. In that case, you should get yourself by a trusted physician or an allergy specialist.
Asthma is a very serious, life-threatening condition that can become severe in case of any other allergy. If your asthma becomes severe, it is necessary to visit a doctor.
Keep Track of Your Symptoms
Your doctor will only help you if you tell him your symptoms correctly. For example, keeping track of when the allergic reaction occurs, the time of the day during which allergy occurs, and all the medicine provides relief or exacerbates the symptoms further. You should write all the symptoms and times of the allergic reaction in a journal or diary so you can answer the entire questions your prescriber asks. In case of food allergies, try to keep track of what you eat and what food is causing the allergy.
What to do during the Visit?
The doctor will be interested in knowing your family history. You should know your family history of allergies so that you can answer the doctor about it. Mostly food allergies are common between families. The doctor will ask about your symptoms and the time of day the symptoms exacerbate. The medicines you are already taking and if they provide relief or not. Maybe your doctor will recommend a specialist. So make sure to make a medical report file if all the information you have on your symptoms. Take your journal and diary with you if necessary.
Your specialist may check your nose, throat, and eyes for possible allergens. If you have any food allergies or airborne allergies, the doctor will run some tests to get a good read on what type of allergies you have. After that, the doctor may recommend allergy shots and antihistamines. He may also ask you to avoid triggers that cause allergies.
After the Visit
After you have been to the doctor, you must follow the instructions given by him. Take your medicines and allergy time on time. Avoid the triggers that may cause the allergy reactions to exacerbate. In case of pollen allergy, avoid going outdoors. In case of food allergy, avoid the particular food.
Try to visit the doctor before your symptoms worsen. Many patients ignore the symptoms and try not to go to the allergy specialist. You must visit the doctor. Ask them questions about your condition. If you are not satisfied with one visit, make another appointment. Doctors are there to help you. Do not shy away or be afraid of a doctor’s office.