75 million Americans are suffering from some type of allergy, according to the CDC. That is nothing to sneeze at, considering how badly some allergies are capable of lowering one’s quality of life.
Before acquiring any medication over-the-counter to control your allergy, here are a few things you may need to know and/or do about your problem.
Who is an allergy doctor?
An allergy doctor is a professional who specializes in the handling of allergies such as hay fever and asthma. Allergy doctors or allergists are specially trained to look for triggers to individual allergies, prescribe medication, if necessary, and offer advice on lifestyle change to manage one’s allergy.
2. Before First Appointment: Medications to stop taking
Leading up to the visit, let your doctor in on any medication you’re taking or have taken recently to avoid altering your diagnosis. Antihistamines are an example of drugs that can interfere with the allergy tests.
3. What does your allergy doctor want to know?
The first appointment with an allergy doctor is about introducing them to your problem, hence you should come armed with as much information as possible.
Mostly, keep a diary of your meals a few days leading up to the visit, and record all significant reactions that follow. This is the information your allergy doctor uses in developing an assessment of your allergy. The more information you give, the more accurate your diagnosis is bound to be.
4. What questions should you ask your allergy doctor?
Have the following questions on the ready for the day of the appointment:
- How do I avoid triggers to my allergy?
- Are my symptoms serious?
- What needs to be monitored after the appointment?
- Is the problem going to get better or worse over time?
- What should I consider as an emergency?