If you believe you suffer from allergies, an allergist can review your medical history, establish a list of suspected allergens, and may order a skin test. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, the doctor can recommend options for the treatment of allergies, which may include medicines or shots. Although many medicines are helpful in reducing symptoms, immunotherapy may be the only treatment that can reduce symptoms over a longer period of time.
The first step in handling chronic allergies is a visit to an allergist. The doctor will begin by taking a detailed medical history. From that, he or she can establish a list of suspected allergens. To confirm the diagnosis or to figure out puzzling allergy symptoms, the doctor may order an allergy skin test.
Once an allergy diagnosis is confirmed -- along with the cause and severity -- the doctor will discuss your treatment options. Allergy treatment options may include:
- Allergy shots.
Preventing allergies begins by avoiding the allergen that is causing your symptoms. Depending on the type of allergy you are experiencing, this may be easier said than done. For example, certain food allergies can be prevented by not eating the food. But preventing allergies from pollen or mold may be more challenging, since completely avoiding these substances can be difficult. Total avoidance of allergenic pollen or mold requires moving to a place where the offending substance does not grow and where it is not present in the air. Even this extreme solution may offer only temporary relief because a person who is sensitive to a specific pollen or mold may develop allergies to new allergens after repeated exposure.
(You can read more about allergy prevention tactics based on the type of allergy in the eMedTV article Preventing Allergies.)