When a patient is deciding on an allergy treatment, where is the best place to go? Who is the best doctor to seek? What types of test should be done and what kind of results looked for? What types of medicines or treatments should be done? Basically, anyone suffering from allergies should come up with a type of allergy health plan, and this should cover practitioners, treatments, avoidance measures and emergency plans.
Deciding on Practitioners
A few options exist on where to go. Many people with allergies first go to a traditional allergist. They may undergo skin testing or blood testing to find out exactly what is causing the problem. Once results are discovered, they may undergo allergy shots (if this is an option; with food allergies it is not), or learn about avoidance skills and use of medication. They will probably be prescribed an Epipen (an auto injector that administers epinephrine) and/or an antihistamine. Sometimes the medication will need to be taken on a regular basis, sometimes as needed.
Another option is seeking holistic treatment for allergies. This entails NAET, a non invasive practice to rid the body of the allergy, or acupuncture, the Eastern form of medicine using specialized needles in certain parts of the body. Either of these options is just as viable (if not more) as seeking treatment from a traditional allergist. A patient may find this treatment more soothing and very effective, but harder to understand, especially if he is looking for critical facts and diagnoses. Test results are not as definitive as those of with a blood or skin test, but even those tests are not always 100% reliable.
Medicines and Emergency Plans
Whichever of these routes one takes, it’s important to have an allergy plan in case there is a reaction. It’s also important to have plans of what needs to be avoided. This could pertain to certain seasonal situations (hay fever in the spring), environmental conditions (such as visiting friends with a dog) or certain foods (tree nuts or soy for instance). The reaction can consist of anything from a sneezing fit to a rash and hives to anaphylactic shock. Medications and Epipens should be kept on hand at all times if the patient is using them. Expiration dates need to be kept up to date as well.
Allergies can be frightening, but they can be quite manageable. Options exist; practitioner options, medicine options, treatment options. It’s a good idea to explore them all before settling on one.