An allergy occurs when an individual's immune system has a negative reaction to normally harmless substances (dust, fish, nuts or pollen) in their surroundings. An allergen is what causes the allergic reaction and the reactions are usually rapid, predictable, and acquired. An allergy is classified into 4 kinds of hypersensitivity, and typically referred to as type I hypersensitivity (immediate).
If you or a family member is suffering with the reactions of an allergen, you can call a professional allergy clinic and schedule an appointment. Here, an immunologist / allergist who is specially trained to diagnose, treat, and manage your allergies, will customize a treatment plan that is right for you.
In order to determine which allergens you are sensitive to, your allergist will conduct allergy testing on you. These tests can be performed using blood serum or on the skin. The skin tests are the most common and involve potential allergens being placed on the surface of the skin where the doctor will observe the reaction. If you receive positive reactions from any of your tests, this can narrow down what is causing your allergy reaction. When you are aware of what allergens trigger your allergic reaction, you can avoid or eliminate that substance from your life. Allergy testing is also done on individuals that have skin rashes, eczema, or asthma that is difficult to manage to determine if an allergy is responsible for making the condition worse, or for even causing the condition.
Your allergist may recommend allergy shots to treat your allergy problems. More than 85 percent of patients on allergy shots have a positive response to this treatment. These shots can be effective in reducing your need for allergy medication. An allergist / immunologist usually recommends allergy shots for patients that have severe allergy symptoms that may not respond well to medication, or for individuals that may not be able to tolerate allergy medicines. Another effective treatment to help control allergy reactions is taking allergy medication. Many medications can help manage your allergy conditions such as antihistamines that treat hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and conditions like hives.
If you have been suffering with a condition that you do not know quite what it is but you have symptoms such as constant coughing and sneezing, hives, rashes and more, it might be time to see an allergist for allergy testing. A board certified physician will do an assessment of your situation and will help find the right treatment to manage your condition.