Are you tired of suffering from watery eyes and a runny nose? Of not being able to pet a cat without feeling itchy and red? Are you ready to be able to go outside, regardless of the pollen count? Then it’s time to find an allergy doctor who can help you control your allergy symptoms.
Choosing the Right Allergy Doctor
When you’ve never seen an allergy doctor, it can feel overwhelming trying to find the right practitioner. There are allergists, ENTs, otolaryngologist, immunotherapists, and so many more. Here’s how to find the best provider for you:
- Ask your friends, family, and network for referrals
- Research the physician’s credentials and experience
- Read patient reviews online
- Consider capabilities, including telehealth and on-call services
Take these aspects into consideration before scheduling your first appointment with an allergy specialist. The relationship with your allergy doctor lasts for years, and you want to make sure they’re the right doctor for you. At Wyndly our dedicated doctors take the time to learn about your allergy history and are available for 24/7 support.
What Causes Allergic Reactions?
Allergic reactions result when the body’s immune system reacts to a harmless substance like pollen or pet dander. The immune system recognizes the allergen as dangerous. In an attempt to get it out of the body, it induces an immune response.
What Are Common Allergy Symptoms?
This response is what causes your allergy symptoms, including:
- Red, watery eyes
- Stuffy or congested nose
- Itchy eyes, nose, or tongue
- Red, itchy skin
- Rash or hives
These allergy symptoms can develop as soon as you’re around the allergen, or it could take time for the allergic reaction to start. For people with sensitive allergies, just being in a room where an allergen was can be enough to cause unwanted symptoms.
What Are the Types of Allergy Tests?
Before an allergist can prescribe an allergy treatment, you must undergo allergy testing. There are two different types of allergy tests.
Skin Prick Test
The traditional method is called a skin prick test and is administered in an allergist’s office. An allergy specialist places allergen extracts on the skin of your forearm or back. Each drop has a different allergen in it – pollens, danders, venoms, and food. Then the specialist pricks the skin under the drop. If an allergy exists, a red, itchy hive develops.
At-Home Allergy Test
The second type of allergy test is a blood test or at-home allergy test. These tests identify seasonal and environmental allergens, like dust mites, pet dander, mold, and pollen. In a lab, this can require a vial of blood, but blood spot finger prick testing is also available. Because they only require a finger prick, they can be done from the comfort of home!
At Wyndly, we can mail you our at-home allergy test kit with step-by-step instructions. If you need assistance with the test, just call or text us, and we will walk you through the process. Once the test is complete, send it back to us in the prepaid envelope. As soon as we get the results, one of our allergists will be in touch to discuss your test results and personalized allergy treatment plan.
What Type of Allergy Test Should I Take?
All of these tests are effective at detecting allergies. You should take the test which is most convenient for you. At the end of the day, an allergy test should not be the only factor used to determine whether or not you have allergies. A doctor will also take into consideration the individual’s medical history and other factors. At Wyndly, our doctors will look at your allergy test results in combination with your allergy history to identify your allergies and create a treatment plan for your allergies.
Signs You Should See an Allergy Doctor
If you struggle to control your allergies with over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines or are unsure what specific allergens are causing your symptoms, you should consider seeing an allergist. An allergy specialist can prescribe different treatments that can ease or even eliminate your symptoms. They can also identify what you're allergic to to help you find the most effective treatment plan for your specific triggers.
Common Allergy Treatment Options
There are various treatments for allergies and allergy symptoms. Antihistamines can easily be found OTC and can provide short-term allergy relief. If antihistamines don't provide enough relief, allergy immunotherapy is a popular alternative as it can result in long-term relief.
Antihistamines are available OTC and through prescription and can temporarily reduce your allergy symptoms. Regardless of the type of antihistamines you take, they do not reduce your allergies long-term nor address the root cause of your allergies.
Immunotherapy is the only research-based treatment proven to give long-lasting allergy relief. By exposing your body to trace amounts of allergens, immunotherapy allows your immune system to develop a tolerance. Over time, this tolerance leads to a reduction in immune response and allergy symptoms.
Allergy shots are the most common form of immunotherapy seen in allergists’ offices. While highly effective, there are downsides. This allergy treatment requires years of weekly shots, as well as long waits at the doctor’s office. Allergy shots also have an increased risk of anaphylaxis, the severe allergic reaction mentioned above.
Sublingual immunotherapy is administered them underneath the tongue in the form of allergy drops or tablets. Sublingual immunotherapy exposes your immune system to small doses of what you're allergic to. Over time, the body becomes desensitized and stops reacting when exposed to allergy triggers. Sublingual immunotherapy is just as effective as allergy shots but is a popular alternative because unlike allergy shots, sublingual immunotherapy is safe to take at home.
Learn More With Wyndly
At Wyndly, we don’t just want to treat your allergies temporarily — we want to help you get lifelong relief! If you want to identify your allergies and get long-term relief it's time to see if an allergy doctor is right for you. Take our quick online allergy assessment now to see if you're a candidate!