Allergies can affect anyone at any time, even if you have never experienced allergies before. Anyone can develop a new allergy, whether that allergy is a food or contact allergy. Two reasons to utilize an immunology doctor are to determine what you are allergic to and if you need a new treatment option.
Determine What You Are Allergic To
One of the biggest obstacles to dealing with allergies is trying to figure out what exactly is triggering your allergic reaction. Sure, based on your symptoms you can narrow it down to a food or contact allergy, but narrowing it down to the exact cause can be quite a bit more difficult.
For example, if you have allergic reactions whenever you touch a cat, you might not actually be allergic to the cat. In that situation, you could be allergic to something the cat has brought into the home if it spends time outside, or even ingredients in the cat's litter or food.
By visiting an immunology doctor, you can figure the exact cause of your reaction. A method that the immunology doctor will use is to prick your skin with small needles that have potential allergens on them. If your skin reacts by forming a bump or turning red, then the cause has been found. It typically takes about 20 minutes to see a reaction.
Now, in the above situation about the cat, the immunologist will put animal dander on one of the needles and a few different potential allergens that are commonly found near or on cats on a few different needles. This would allow you to determine if you need to get rid of the pet, or if you simply need to change his or her diet or keep him or her in the house.
New Treatment Options
Many forms of allergies are actually treatable by over-the-counter antihistamines. The problem is that many of these antihistamines can have a few side effects that can cause problems in your day-to-day life. For example, a common side effect of many antihistamines is drowsiness, and the effect is often powerful enough that people turn to these drugs as a sleep aid.
While effective, these antihistamines could easily impair your ability to do your job properly. This can lead to a situation where you have to choose between being miserable due to your allergies or doing a poor job.
However, an immunology doctor can help you find a new treatment option that will not affect your work performance. The options could include allergy shots or new prescription medications that may not have the drowsiness side effect.
Speak to an immunology doctor today in order to discuss the many ways in which you can deal with your allergies. In addition, the immunologist can help you discover exactly what is triggering your allergic reactions so that you can respond accordingly and begin proper treatment.