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Should you see a special allergist allergy doctor and if so how do you choose one?


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2003-08-20 00:00:00
2003-08-20 00:00:00

For both asthma and allergies, a doctor in general practice may not recognize allergies. Some doctors do recognize and treat allergies while others do not. An allergist (sometimes listed as "Allergies and Immunology") specializes in this particular area and are up-to-date (we hope!) on treatments. As with any doctor, it is good to get recommendations from your doctor, friends, or professional organizations. If you are not comfortable with one allergist, try another. For children, there are allergists who specialize in pediatric allergies or advertise that they treat children. Though any allergist can treat adults or children, it sometimes helps to have one who definitely *likes* children and respects the differences between adults and children.


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An allergy refers to an exaggerated reaction of the immune system in response to certain foreign substances. In non-clinical terms, allergies can mean water eyes, sneezing and even breathing problems. The best way to deal with allergies is to find out what it is you are allergic to. It's comforting to know you are not alone, as a fifth of the U.S. population suffers from some type of allergy.Your primary care physician is trained in many aspects of health, including a general knowledge of allergies. However, for the best way to get a full allergy assessment and related treatment is to go to an allergist. An allergist specializes in the treatment of allergies and can better pinpoint the source of your allergies. How do you choose the one that's right for you? Your primary care physician is a good starting point.Most Common Allergens in the United StatesPollens - Pollens are produced by trees, flowering plants and grass and are the most common allergy trigger in the United States. Pollens are spread through the air and wreck havoc when inhaled. Pollen is generally released from spring through autumn.Animal hair - Sometimes pet hair contains proteins that trigger certain allergic reactions. Allergic reactions to animal hair can be immediate or develop over time.Dust mites - Dust mites are found in dust in the home and workplace and cannot be seen by the unaided eye. The protein produced by their waste is what causes the allergic reaction.Insect bites - Insect bites are caused by a defensive mechanism in insects, but the proteins left behind by such stings or bites can cause reactions ranging from swelling and itching to life-threatening reactions.Mold - Mold develops in damp areas where mold spores become air borne and are inhaled in the same way that pollens behave except that they exist year round.Food - Nearly 100 different types of food have been identified as causing allergic reactions in certain people predisposed to allergies in food. The most common food allergies are peanuts, shellfish, milk and wheat.How to Choose an AllergistAside from your primary care physician, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology is a good online source listing allergists located throughout the United States. Some points to consider when choosing an allergist:Are initial treatments effective?Is the allergist professional and friendly?Is the allergist easy to reach in case of emergency?Please note that if you are having a severe allergic reaction it is best to go the emergency room.Are you comfortable with the allergist? Allergy shot treatments may last for up to four years. So, it is important to choose an allergist you are comfortable with.

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One may find that a good make of allergy relief is Allegra Allergy. It has quite a few different varieties to choose from. There is also Zyrtec available, among many others.

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Millions of people suffer from allergies each year and these statistics are not getting any lower. Infants, children and adults of all ages suffer from allergies and the symptoms range and have various levels of severity. While allergy symptoms certainly are not fun to deal with, there are many over-the-counter products and lifestyle changes you can make to help treat these symptoms. First thing is first, you will need to get tested. Once you begin experiencing allergy symptoms, it’s time to get allergy tested from a reputable allergist in your area. An allergist will perform a skin prick test, which is done on the arms or back. Although the test may not be comfortable, it is safe and non-evasive, allowing for a small amount of the most common allergens to be released underneath the skin, looking for a reaction. Once an allergic reaction is found, the allergist will rate its severity. Once you know what you are allergic to, you can treat your symptoms, make the appropriate lifestyle changes, and choose the best medications. Second, keep your nose clean. These irrigation systems, such as the popular NetiPot and NeilMed solutions, use an iodized salt solution and warm water to clean out the nose. It’s natural, safe and effective so you don’t have to worry about adding harmful chemicals to the body. When cleaning out the nose, you’re ridding the nose of allergens and keeping it free of mucus. You can also opt for a saline nose spray or eye drops, which will add some relief to itchy noses and eyes. Keep in mind that most of these products are best used for short periods of time, while nasal irrigation can be used for everyday maintenance. Finally, use an over-the-counter medication to treat your symptoms. These antihistamines block the production of histamine, therefore reducing allergy symptoms. Keep in mind that while there are plenty of medications to choose from, severe cases may need a prescription strength medicine that can be obtained from the doctor or allergist. Making small changes throughout the home, such as de-cluttering, vacuuming each day and keeping the house dry of mildew and moisture, are also ways to make you more comfortable when treating allergy symptoms.

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Allergies affect up to 40% of children in the United States. This is a major problem that can lead to a lack of focus. If you choose to go with an allergy medication, one of the most popular options is SINGULAR. However, you have to decide if it�s right for your child. While it might be effective, potential side effects include hostility, depression, disorientation, hallucination fever, headache and diarrhea. Regardless of what allergy medication your child takes, make sure he or she takes it in the morning, which will lead to the best results.

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