What is the Role of an Allergist?
Allergy treatment is very personalized. In addition to taking a detailed history of your illness, the doctor will evaluate your home and work environment, your living habits, and your family history. After this interview, a physical examination will be performed. Using common extracts, the doctor may perform various skin tests to help identify sensitivity to specific allergens that are capable of causing an allergic reaction. After conducting an examination, and possibly doing skin tests, breathing tests and laboratory tests, the doctor will be able to determine if you have an allergic disorder. This requires experience, skill and analysis. An accurate diagnosis and effective treatment cannot be obtained simply by performing laboratory tests alone. As an allergist, the most common problems the doctor evaluates include hayfever, chronic cough, asthma, sinusitis, middle ear congestion, food allergy, eczema, drug allergy, hives, swelling and insect sting reactions. The general philosophy of this practice is to provide the patient with rapid relief of their symptoms with as few medications as possible. When medications and environmental control are not sufficient, allergy injections may be considered as part of the treatment plan, to achieve long-range control over symptoms and reduce the number of medications required. Many patients with untreated allergic symptoms are not aware of how much better they can feel once their symptoms are properly diagnosed and managed by an allergist.