Allergies – Diagnosis

In this article were going to discuss how allergies are commonly diagnosed using a variety of methods.

The first thing that is important as far as getting your allergies diagnosed is to know, or at least suspect if you might have allergies. This isnt always easy because in many cases, depending on the type of allergies you have, they may very well have the same symptoms as the common cold.

Normally, the difference between the two is that with a cold, symptoms include fever, coughing, post nasal drip with a bad smell and or taste, yellow or green mucus from the nose or throat, sore throat, headache, and finally most colds clear up in 7 to 10 days.

Allergy is a medical condition that causes certain people to react badly or feel ill when they eat or come into contact with particular substances. This medical condition occurs as a result of the inability of the body’s immune system to respond to certain substance that may not be harmful to the body.

Under normal condition the body immune system function is to help the body fight foreign substances known as antigens. This is done through the release of antibodies and other body chemicals to fight against these antigens.

However, a situation where this foreign substance is neither harmful nor could it cause pain to the body and the immune system still function by producing the antibodies, an allergic condition is said to have occurred. In other words, such a person is allergic to the particular substance that makes his/her body to react or respond in that manner. In this case an Allergy test is necessary in order to determine the true medical condition of the person.

Therefore it is advisable for the person to see a medical doctor who is in a better position to diagnose the allergy and carry out the analysis involve and recommend the prescribe medication.

With allergies, symptoms include sneezing, itchy eyes, ears, nose and throat, nasal congestion, runny nose, and clear mucus from the nose and throat. Then there are other conditions that can be present such as asthma, eczema and food allergies.

For some people, the symptoms are seasonal, meaning that they may be perfectly okay in the winter and fall but feel like garbage come spring and summer depending on what they’re allergic to. Then there are some people who are allergic all year round because their allergies are mostly of the indoor variety.

Based on the above symptoms for both colds and allergies you can pretty much get an idea of what you are suffering from, especially if your symptoms seem to be persisting for more than a couple of weeks or have been going off and on for several weeks.

The next question is simply, once we suspect that we do suffer from allergies, how do we determine what kinds of allergies we are suffering from?

The easiest way to get your allergies diagnosed is to go to an allergist and have him give you an allergy test. Actually, to be more accurate, they are a series of tests.

Allergy tests can be given in a variety of ways but the most common and most effective is the progressive series.

In these tests what the doctor does is set up a number of vials. Each vial contains a specific allergen. There are outdoor allergy vials and indoor allergy vials. The outdoor vials are trees, grass, weeds, plants, pollen, and outdoor mold. The indoor vials are indoor mold, dust, pet hair, feathers, and cockroaches.

The procedure is simple. The doctor, or assistant takes each vial and injects a small amount of serum from each vial into the patient, starting with the smallest amount possible. If there is no reaction from any of the vials then the doctor increases the dosage by a small percentage.

Once a reaction occurs, that vial is marked at the dosage that caused the reaction. This process is continued until the max dosage is given for each vial or a reaction occurs for each vial, whichever comes first. After it is determined what allergens, if any, the patient is allergic to, the doctor then makes a serum based on the test results should the patient decide to proceed with allergy shots to treat the allergies. Otherwise, the doctor will prescribe a medication to take based on the allergies the patient has.