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An allergy specialist is a physician specifically trained to deal with any type of allergic disease or condition. This includes a wide variety of conditions like asthma, anaphylaxis, any allergy to foreign objects such as dust, food, cosmetics, venom, etc. Medically, it is important to know which drug you are allergic to (if any) which will be tested by this specialist and the suitable and non-suitable medications will be suggested accordingly.
Allergy can be seen as mild rashes or redness to severe swelling and difficulty in breathing or congestion, which can begin within a few minutes to a few days or long periods like months. Hence, in any such condition, you will be referred to the allergist and they will perform certain tests on you either using blood or skin or by eliminating certain food.
Since most of the allergies can be visualized over the skin, it is easy to consult the specialist online using images and detailed history following which the doctor can advise you the tests, diagnosis, and treatment plan.
An allergy/immunology specialist, otherwise called allergist/immunologist, is a doctor who is trained to diagnose, manage, and treat allergies, immunologic disorders, and asthma.
For skin allergies, such as atopic or contact dermatitis, hives, and eczema, you can consult an allergy specialist or a dermatologist. The doctor will try to find the allergen that is causing an allergic reaction and will prescribe medicines.
The doctor will help identify and avoid allergy triggers. He or she might prescribe medications and immunotherapy to ease symptoms and reduce the immune system reaction. For severe allergic reaction, a shot of Epinephrine is administered.
If you are suffering from the following symptoms, the best thing to do is to consult an allergy specialist:
- Cold for more than two weeks.
- Persistent cough.
- Lips and face swelling after eating something or taking medications.
- Insect bite.
- Signs of asthma - wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
- More than three ENT (ear, nose, or throat) infection a year.
- Skin rashes.
Allergies cannot be cured, but the signs and symptoms can be managed using medications. The most important thing to do is identifying the allergy trigger, and avoiding it.
The tests that are done to diagnose allergies are:
- Skin test - You will be injected with small amounts of proteins found in allergy triggers. If you are allergic to that substance, you will develop a skin rash at the site of injection.
- Blood test - Radioallergosorbent test (RAST) or ImmunoCAP testing are done to detect the presence of immunoglobulin E antibodies (allergy-causing antibodies) in the blood.
As the amounts of allergen proteins injected are very less, it is highly unlikely to be absorbed by the body and result in allergic reactions.
Blood tests are used to detect antibodies that the body produces in response to the allergens. These tests detect the presence of IgE antibodies in the blood, which helps the doctor in diagnosing the condition as an allergy.
Asthma, atopic dermatitis, drug allergy, food allergy, rhinitis, and skin allergy are the most common allergies.
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