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A Guide for Your First Allergy Appointment

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Are you tired of seasonal allergy symptoms? Have new sniffles and sneezes been bringing you down? It’s time to schedule an appointment with a board-certified allergist. At Charleston Allergy and Asthma, we know how challenging life can be with untreated allergy symptoms. Our team is ready to guide you toward symptom relief, and that journey begins with your first visit.

Before your visit…

It is essential to come prepared to make the most of your first visit. You are a brand new patient with unique treatment needs, and compiling details of your allergy issues beforehand will help bring your doctor up to speed. Have the following information prepared prior to your visit:

Create an allergy log to help you and your doctor pinpoint symptom patterns and trouble allergens. Doing so is easy! Simply keep a notebook and track information related to potential symptom flareups: time of year/day, potential triggers present when symptoms show, a list of symptoms, etc. Our pollen meter is a helpful tool that can help you gauge if your symptoms appear while pollen counts are high. You can check each day’s specific pollen count on our website.

Most importantly, ensure you have reviewed our first appointment checklist on our website. First-time patients must bring the following items to their visit:

  1. Completed paperwork (printed or scanned and emailed to patientforms@charlestonallergy.com) Note: if you’re unable to complete before your visit, you can complete this while you wait for your appointment to begin.
  2. Up-to-date photo ID and insurance card
  3. List of current medications

When scheduling your appointment, keep in mind that new patient visits can last up to two hours or more depending on the testing your physician recommends. Please visit our online patient center to explore our complete checklist: https://charlestonallergy.com/patient-center/patient-information/

At your visit…

As a new patient, your board-certified allergist will begin by getting to know you. You’ll first be asked about your personal and family medical history. This will help your allergy specialist better understand your health journey and highlight any medication or conditions to be aware of while creating your safe, personalized treatment plan. Good thing you’ve done your homework!

Questions you can expect to hear may include the following:

  • What are your symptoms?
  • When did your symptoms first appear?
  • Have you noticed symptoms flare as the result of a trigger (ie: pets, food, dust, medications)?
  • Have you been treated for allergies in the past?

After conducting a detailed history and physical exam, your allergist may choose to complete an allergy test. Allergy tests are considered relatively painless and can be administered as skin prick tests and/or intradermal skin tests. A positive test will produce a harmless itching sensation on the skin, which can be treated with topical steroid creams and oral antihistamines. Your allergist may also recommend you return for patch testing, which is a multi-visit testing process.

Please note that allergy testing may occur during your initial visit, however, this depends on the type of test that your allergist recommends. Generally, patients will also need to be off of any anti-histamines for at least five to seven days for an allergy skin prick or intradermal test. For patch testing, patients need to be off of systemic prednisone for multiple weeks, but can be on oral anti-histamines. 

After establishing a diagnosis, your allergist will outline potential next steps in your allergy treatment plan. Treatment options may vary depending on the severity of your diagnosis and can include immunotherapy (allergy shots), oral immunotherapy and over-the-counter treatments.

Find allergy relief today! 

Allergy relief is in your future! At Charleston Allergy and Asthma, our board-certified allergy specialists are committed to here to help Lowcountry patients live allergy-free. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and explore our site to learn more about our services.

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