How a Doctor can Help to Diagnose an Allergy
Are you suffering from stuffy nose or watery eyes? If yes, then you might have a cold. But if you feel sick only when outside or eat some foods, then this could be some form of allergy.
Some people who have allergies get rashes or hives and even sneeze a lot that do not spread to other body parts. But others may have a bad reaction that ca cause difficulty in breathing and require medical assistance without delay. It is a good thing to know if you are having allergies so that you may stay away from the things that trigger them known as allergens and take medicine when needed.
If you have some kind of allergy that cannot be relieved by taking over-the-counter medications or you have a food allergy, then it is time to visit a doctor who has done specialisation in allergies. He will ask necessary questions related to your health and family history of asthma or allergies. He will examine you and suggest a few tests for allergies to know for sure.
The common way to test for allergies is by performing a skin test that provides most accurate and quickest results. One test doctors ask to perform is a scratch test. Your doctor will put a small drop of an allergen on your skin which is inside your arm or on the back. Common allergens are pollen, mold, fur, pet skin, foods and certain medicines.
After this, your skin will be pricked or a small scratch will be made on the surface to allow the allergen for getting beneath it. The skin prick will not make you bleed in anyway. Rather, you will feel it though it should not hurt. Some doctors will be using a small needle to put the allergen beneath the first few skin layers.
The doctor will test different things at the same time. If one of the areas seem to swell up and become red just like a mosquito bite, then it means you are highly allergic to that allergen. It usually requires near about 15 minutes for finding out. Once the test is done, your doctor will clean skin properly and then apply some cream on it to help with any form of itching. Any swelling that occurs due to a reaction will go away within 30 minutes to a few hours.
Some medicines may get in your way of conducing necessary tests. You need to visit private allergy clinic in London and know if you need to stop taking certain medication before the test.
If you are taking some medicine that might affect the results of allergy test, cause sensitive skin, or have had a bad reaction to your skin test, then the doctor might perform a blood test instead.
Your blood sample will be sent at the laboratory and your doctor will deliver the results within a few days. This is usually more costly when compared to a skin test.
If your doctor suspects you are allergic to certain foods, then you will be asked to stop eating them to find out whether it helps which is known as an elimination diet.
You will have to reduce the intake of certain foods for at least 2 to 4 weeks and know if you are having any symptoms of allergy during that time. If you don’t, your doctor will ask to start eating those foods again and find out if the symptoms return. In case they do, this is a good way to understand you are allergic to those foods.
Your doctor might even ask to do something which is called a challenge for oral food. This should be done in a medical office only by an allergist. Your doctor will give smaller amounts of the food you might be allergic to and then detect for the symptoms. If you don’t have any, he will be giving you larger doses slowly. When you develop the symptoms, he will stop performing the test.
The common signs include flushed feeling or hives. If that takes place, he will give you some medicines to improve your condition. In case you do not have any reaction, you can forget about an allergy to that specific food.