Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is the most common form of allergy and can lead to other problems such as asthma, sinusitis, ear infections, recurrent sore throats, altered sleep, fatigue, irritability, and poor school or work performance. Allergic rhinitis may be seasonal in some people while it occurs year round for others. Beyond being bothersome, allergies can truly effect one’s day-to-day life and result in an overall poor quality of life.
Affecting over 50 million people in the United States, allergies have a strong genetic component. If you are an allergy sufferer, it is likely that others in your family suffer too. Allergists often treat the whole family, as research shows that if one parent has allergies, a child has a 40% chance of having allergies, if both parents have allergies, a child has a 7 to 8 in 10 chance of developing allergies. If allergies go untreated, children are more likely to develop asthma. It is estimated that over 80% of children with asthma have underlying allergies.
The first step in achieving effective allergy relief is determining which elements are causing your allergies. When you visit Charleston Allergy & Asthma, your allergist will perform a thorough patient history and physical exam. Based on your history, the allergy specialist will administer a skin test/allergy test to determine specifically what you are allergic to. Allergy testing is safe and effective for adults and children of all ages.
Finding out what you are or are not allergic to is an important first step in obtaining relief from your allergy symptoms. A board certified allergist has extensive training in interpreting allergy tests. Skin tests are quick, in office procedures that can be performed on adults and children of any age. They are the most reliable tests, as it provides accurate and fast results. A small amount of allergen, selected by the allergist based on your history, is introduced on the surface of the skin through an indention or “prick.” Results are available within minutes allowing your allergist to develop an individualized treatment plan.
Based on your allergist’s knowledge on how to interpret the test and overall assessment, a treatment plan will be presented to you. Treatment options may include avoidance measures, medications, and allergy immunotherapy (shots or oral tablets). The most effective therapy, allergy immunotherapy is the one treatment option which can permanently decrease a person’s allergies.
A board certified allergist has specialized training and expertise in diagnosing and treating allergies and asthma. Our allergists will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that works best for you. Fortunately, the vast majority of allergy sufferers can find excellent relief with the right treatment plan.
Don’t wait any longer to start improving your quality of life. If you think you or someone in your family suffers from allergies, schedule an appointment right away.