Whether you have a persistent stuffy nose, watery eyes, or a cough, you’re probably trying to figure out the root cause of your symptoms and striving for relief. And if you think allergies may be the reason for your suffering, it may be time to see an allergist.
What Are Allergies?
When you have an allergy, your body produces a chemical called histamine as part of its defense mechanism when you come in contact with an allergen. The release of histamine triggers various physical symptoms that look different for each individual but typically affect your eyes, nose, skin, throat, and stomach.
What Are Common Allergy Symptoms?
Depending on the severity of your allergy, your body may react differently. The symptoms of an allergic reaction can either develop within a few minutes of exposure to the allergen or over the course of several hours.
Common allergy symptoms include:
- An itchy, clogged, or runny nose
- Red, watery, and itchy eyes
- A skin rash or hives
In extreme cases, severe allergic reactions called anaphylaxis can occur. This condition can be life-threatening, and you should call 911 if you or someone near you experiences an allergic reaction that includes:
- Difficulty breathing
- Blue skin or lips
- Swelling of the throat or mouth
- Drop in blood pressure
What Is an Allergist?
Allergists are doctors who specialize in identifying, treating, and preventing allergies and other problems in the immune system. They are sometimes referred to as immunologists. Allergy doctors have an in-depth understanding that can help you manage your allergy symptoms and improve your overall health and wellness.
What Training Does an Allergist Have?
Allergists undergo different training depending on their location, but the process usually involves completing the following extensive steps:
- Four years in medical school
- A residency (usually three years) in internal medicine or pediatrics
- A certification exam by the American Board of Pediatrics or the American Board of Internal Medicine
- A two-year allergy fellowship and certification exam by the American Board of Pediatrics or the American Board of Internal Medicine
What Does an Allergist Treat?
No allergy is too big or too small for an allergy doctor. They treat many conditions, including:
- Hay fever
- Immune disorders
- Food allergies
- Drug allergies
- Allergies to pets
- Allergic reactions
When to Go to an Allergist?
Wondering when to see an allergist? You should consider doing so if you experience any of the following:
- Difficulty breathing or nasal blockage caused by allergies
- Allergic reactions like hives without knowing the cause behind them
- Over-the-counter allergy medications don’t help or create severe side effects
- Asthma or allergies that interfere with your daily activities
- Shortness of breath
The above list is not exhaustive. You may want to see an allergist for other reasons. For example, you may seek the peace of mind of knowing if you have to worry about allergies or managing future reactions.
Who Should See an Allergist?
A person of any age can see an allergist if they experience allergy symptoms. If you already know you have allergies but have a hard time managing your symptoms and finding relief, see an allergist.
Do Allergists Do Allergy Testing?
Allergists are essentially allergy specialists, and a large part of their job is administering allergy testing. Depending on your needs, they have multiple types of allergy tests to use to determine your allergens.
What Are the Different Types of Allergy Tests?
There are two main types of allergy tests.
The first and most traditional method is called a skin prick test. This test is administered in an allergist’s office, where they expose your forearm skin or back to allergen extracts. After exposure, the allergy doctor pricks the skin under the drop, and a hive develops if an allergy exists.
The second method for allergy testing involves a blood test to identify environmental allergens. This test can be done in a lab or with an at-home allergy test kit which requires only a single finger prick.
How Do You Get an Allergy Test?
To complete allergy testing through Wyndly, you need an at-home allergy test which we can mail to you with step-by-step instructions. The process is as simple as using a finger prick to draw a blood sample.
Once you’re done, simply mail it back and an allergist will be in touch to discuss your results and personalized treatment plan.
Are You Ready for Long-Lasting Allergy Relief?
If you’re tired of allergies impacting your life, it’s time to find a solution that offers long-term relief. At Wyndly, our allergy doctors will create a personalized treatment plan to get you lifelong relief from your symptoms. Take our two-minute assessment today to see if Wyndly is right for you!