No one is certain why food allergies are on the rise. According to the Stanford Alliance for Food Allergy Research, there are nearly 15 million Americans with food allergies ranging from moderate to severe. If you suspect that you have a food allergy, it is important to visit an allergy doctor in West Virginia. An allergist can help diagnose and set up a treatment plan for you. Unfortunately, if allergies are not diagnosed and a plan is not set in place, you can develop asthma from the items that trigger your allergies. This happens when you continue to be exposed to whatever item you are allergic to, as it causes reactions that weaken the lungs. You might be wondering what to expect when you visit an allergist. Here are some ideas of how the first visit might go.
Prior to Appointment
If your primary-care physician is referring you to the allergist, be sure to take any records, x-rays, or lab tests with you. It is even helpful if these items are sent over to the allergist's office before your appointment so they can be scanned into your chart and reviewed by the allergy doctor. With the way insurance is today, you might also benefit from calling your insurance company prior to your appointment to see if your allergy doctor is in-network. A representative from your insurance company should be able to give you a good estimate of what your plan covers for the cost of the allergy appointment and lab tests you might receive.
Check-in at Front Desk
After Check-in at Front Desk
When you are taken to an exam room, a medical assistant or nurse will check your vitals, including pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and will review any other important medical information with you. The allergy doctor will then come into your exam room and talk with you about the new-patient medical history form that you filled out for your allergy appointment. He or she will go over a detailed history regarding your allergy symptoms. Your allergist will want to know when the symptoms began, severity, relation to possible allergen exposure, and whether or not you have had response to possible past treatment.
An allergy doctor will then do a physical exam focusing on the ears, eyes, lungs, nose, throat, and skin. These are the areas of the body that are primarily affected by allergies. Some signs of allergies that your doctor might look for include: nasal allergies, wheezing in the lungs, hives or eczema of the skin, and dermatitis.
After the medical history and physical examination, your allergy doctor will most likely do further testing. These tests will determine if you are allergic to particular things. Skin and blood tests are the most common methods used to determine if an allergy is present. Your allergist might also want to conduct lung function tests or radiological tests such as x-rays or CT scans of the nasal pathway.
After Exam and Tests
After the exam and possible testing is complete, your allergy doctor will provide a comprehensive evaluation of your issues. He or she will then create a detailed, individualized plan of treatment for you.
If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from allergy symptoms, an allergy doctor in West Virginia can help you.
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