Allergy Specialist Mclean, VA
If you have the symptoms of an allergy, you might know that it’s time to get medical attention from a Mclean, VA allergy specialist at Black & Kletz Allergy so you can find the relief you are looking for. Usually, the first doctor you’ll see for your allergies is your primary care physician. However, these medical doctors’ knowledge about allergies is limited. They might prescribe you medication and send you home.
When your watery eyes, running nose, or hives continue, it may be time to see an allergy specialist Mclean, VA has to offer. If you are experiencing moderate to serious symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, or lightheadedness, or you suspect a food allergy, you should see an allergist immediately, or go to the emergency room.
Your Insurance Company
Depending on your insurance company, you may need to ask your primary care physician to refer you to a Mclean, VA allergy specialist before your insurance covers the treatment. This will be largely dependent on your insurance. If you don’t know what the requirements are, you should call the company or ask your allergist to help you.
Questions Your Allergist Might Ask You
When you schedule an appointment to see an allergist, you can expect the first appointment to last between 1 and 2 hours. You should arrive at least 15 minutes early to complete any intake paperwork. If you are bringing a child to be tested, you should also bring a toy that they can play with.
Your board-certified Mclean, VA allergy specialist has the training and experience to examine the whole picture:
- Your family history of allergies and medical conditions.
- Your history of symptoms.
- Your environment.
- Your overall health.
These things can be combined with allergy tests to come to an accurate diagnosis and customized treatment plan. Before the tests, you allergist might ask you questions similar to the following:
- When did you first notice your allergy symptoms?
- How long did they persist?
- Was there anything that made them better or worse?
- Is there a specific time of the year that you experience the symptoms?
- Do you remember what you were doing when you first noticed the symptoms?
- What did you do to treat them?
- Was your method of treatment successful?
- Have you had any episodes of difficulty breathing?
- Do you have itchy skin?
- Do you have any skin rashes?
- Have you noticed an itchy mouth, stomach cramping, runny nose, or throat swelling after eating certain foods?
- Does anyone in your close family have allergies, asthma, thyroid disorders, or eczema that lasts for a long period of time?
If after the allergist asks you these questions they believe that you could suffer from allergies, he or she may order an allergy test. Most likely this will be done on the same day, but could be done at a follow-up visit. Based upon the exam, the doctor will choose the allergens to test for.
In general, an allergist won’t test for every allergy. Rather they will only test for allergies they believe could be causing your symptoms. The most common test is the skin prick test. This will involve the allergist, or an assistant, conducting the following:
- Cleaning the area of the test (usually on the upper part of your arm).
- Marking the area.
- Applying liquid allergens to the marked areas.
- Scratching or pricking each area.
If you have a sensitivity or allergy, a small bump will appear. The test is easy, painless, and takes about 20-30 minutes. In certain cases, the allergist will order a blood test. Usually this test is only done when you are on certain medications or have sensitive skin. Blood tests typically have to be sent to a laboratory and processed. The results may take a few days or more.
After you have been diagnosed, the allergist will help you to set up a practical treatment plan which will likely include:
- Allergen avoidance
- Non-medical therapies (i.e. nasal washes, HEPA vacuum filter usage)
Allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, may be recommended. However, this is usually considered later after you respond to the allergist’s initial treatment recommendations. If you have a life-threatening allergy, such as to insect venom, allergy shots may be immediately suggested.
If you are ready to schedule your own appointment with an allergy specialist Mclean, Virginia recommends from Black & Kletz Allergy, call our office today.