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Old 01-15-2005, 12:13 PM   #1
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Questions about Allergist

So growing up I have had asthma caused by allergies. No one has EVER told me that I should see an allergist (I have EXTREME allergies, and I am 21) Through my many years with this I have figured out everything I am allergic to and trust me it is a long list. Can anyone tell me what happens when you meet with an allergist the first time. Do they tell you exactly what you are allergic to? What are the tests like???

[rant] I am upset that my previous doctor (I have a new one that doesnt know about my severe allergies) did not recommend I see an allergist when she knew I had these awful allergies. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!
Thanks!

 
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Old 01-15-2005, 12:32 PM   #2
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Re: Questions about Allergist

I went to the allergist last week for the first time. Make sure you're off your allergy meds for a long enough time before they do testing...I was only off mine for about 5 days, and I think they got some false negatives, because now that I've been off it longer, I feel yucky again. I guess I'll have to explain that to them when I go back...ugh.

But anyway...they'll ask you some questions, then they will do some skin testing...they poke you with a needle that has allergens on it, and then you wait for like 15 minutes to see what spots you react to. If you have no reactions to anything, they will do another test and inject it under your skin...

Good luck! :-)

 
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Old 01-15-2005, 05:44 PM   #3
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Re: Questions about Allergist

It depends on the allergist. Some of them will just do a consultation on the first visit, then do the testing on the next visit. They should tell you when you make the appointment. All of the allergists I've seen had me in to talk with them first, before scheduling testing. So they ask you about your symptoms and what triggers them and that sort of stuff. And they'll do the normal doctor stuff like listen to your chest and look in your ears and mouth, and they will probably look in your nose too (they really should, although some don't).

Since you have asthma, you will probably have to do some sort of a lung function test, which is just breathing into the machine and following the nurse's instructions. Then they will most likely do allergy testing.

If your allergies are really bad, you should consider allergy shots. It is a big committment, since you have to get them every week or two for years, but it has helped me tremendously. Not only does it help my allergy symptoms, but it has also helped my asthma.

 
Old 01-16-2005, 06:14 AM   #4
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Re: Questions about Allergist

when you say extreme allergies... how extreme? Do you have to carry an epi-pen? Do you have to take your nebuliser every where, in case you have a sudden attack? Or do you just have a lot of allergies which make you wheezy and you have to go to ER, or do you get better when you use your rescue meds?
I am asking for a reason, not just being picky!
When you get your appointment through for the allergist it should say on there how long to stop taking your allergy meds for, if they require you to do lung functions then you will have to not use any long acting bronchodialators like servent or any rescue meds, like ventolin for a certain number of hours before hand, again it should say on the letter, if it doesn't then phone the allergist and find out. IMPORTANT: don't just stop taking your allergy meds without a dr's say so, if you are unsure what to do, check with a dr first, esp if you have really bad allergies. Also your dr may see you first to talk things through and then arrange tests for a later date.
Hope you get things sorted soon.
blue
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Old 01-16-2005, 11:40 AM   #5
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Re: Questions about Allergist

Thanks to everyone for the help!

Bluebanana...here is the thing. My previous doctor in my opinion was not a great doctor. She never would listen to me, she was always too busy, and she would just give me prescriptions to get me out of there. I was diagnosed with asthma as a young child and I had of course an inhaler. Growing up my mom thought it was all in my head so she wouldn't really let me take additional medicines and when I developed allergies she told me I could get through them myself. As I get older I become more and more allergic. When I say severe I mean severe. It's hard to explain it. From what I can tell I am allergic to many many things, and I have even formed skin allergies to different textures and I get hives. (although I don't know much about skin allergies since it is new to me) Currently I am taking allegra which doesn't help me much, I've taken Clariton and things like that but still my allergies prevail. I've gotten used to the everyday allergies which are pretty bad with constant sneezing and sometimes wheezing. I am no longer on an inhaler..I use advair however. It does help since I know the times during the day my asthma will be the worst. Reading some of the earlier posts my boyfriend was wondering about severe reactions to the type of testing that they do because he knows first hand how bad my allergies can get. I am literally allergic to everything, except for food allergies...haven't developed those *knocks on wood* I hope this helped you with the questions you had asked...its hard to say how severe because its honestly just constant sneezing and hives and red eyes and the whole shabang. Anymore help would be great

Thanks!!!

 
Old 01-16-2005, 02:52 PM   #6
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Re: Questions about Allergist

ah ha! That helps. u see I have severe allergies to a lot of things and my asthma reacts so quickly and so badly that i have to carry epi pens.
It must be bit horrid to have had a useless dr, I hope the allergist will sort you out. I live in the UK so it may be a little different over here, but I would imagine that thay will do skin testing first and possibly a histamine or methacholine challenge to confirm you actually have asthma.
With the skin testing they mark a chart on your arm with pen and put drops of different possible allergens into the different sections of the chart. Then they make a tiny scratch in each drop and leave it for a while to see if you react and how badly. They may also do a lung function test to see how your lungs are. They take you off any antihistamines you may be taking so that it doesn't affect the results, same with the bronchodialators.
I shouldn't worry too much about reacting badly to the skin tests. It is very rare and you would have to have really severe allergies to have a problem with them, don't forget these people are the allergy specialists, so if you do react badly then you are in the right place!
It sounds to me like you have perenial rhinitis, which is a bit like hayfever all year round.
The other thing the Drs may do is take blood samples to chech your IgE levels. This shows them what you are likely to react to and how severely. They should also listen to what you tell them, I react really badly, but my IgE levels are fairly low, so don't worry if your results come back negative.
If your IgE is high then you could try something called xolair which works on IgE levels in some way, there are stronger antihistamines which you can take, or can be used in combination. Have you tried flushing your nose with saline, that sometimes helps. It sounds like you main problem is the skin allergies though. It sounds as though you have urticaria which is the development of hives and can be as a result of just scratching yourself which would explain why you are sensitive to diferent textures.

(Moderator: I don't think this has any message boards, if it does...sorry)!
try the asthma and allergy foundation of america website, and click on allergies, it has loads of useful info
Hope this helps a little, let us know how you get on with the allergist
love
Blue
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Last edited by bluebanana; 01-16-2005 at 02:57 PM.

 
Old 01-16-2005, 05:15 PM   #7
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Re: Questions about Allergist

Thank you so much!!!! You have really helped a lot. I will definitely check out that website and check on an allergist, although I am a bit scared I think it is well worth it.

Thanks again,
Erin

 
Old 01-22-2005, 01:30 AM   #8
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Re: Questions about Allergist

I, too suffer from very severe allergies. I am on huge doses of antihistamines to be able to just get through the day at home. I am limited in what I can do outside of the home due to the severity of the reactions. We had to greatly modify our home after finding out the extent of the allergies.
I always had seasonal allergies as a child and usually suffered from allergy induced bronchitis once a year. My primary care physician never suggested seeing an allergist and I just took over the counter allergy medication when the symptoms were bad.
I now know the importance of seeing an allergist- no matter what extent of allergy that a person suffers from.
Just a little over 2 years ago- I became disabled. I started suffering life threatening allergic symptoms- which took 8 months to figure out. My body became so weak and everything went downhill. I developed vocal cord dysfunction, severe sinus problems and Meniere's disease (which I definitely think the allergies were a factor in).
I can not tolerate being off of my allergy medicine for any amount of time. I ended up in the hospital the first time they took me off of the antihistamines to try to allergy test me. Finally- after being sent to a research hospital- and making it through the testing there, they discovered the extent of my allergy to dust mites- among other things.
Do not go off of your medications until the allergist tells you too. They should not do any allergy testing on the first appointment. That should just be a consultation and at that point- the allergist should schedule the allergy testing. Each allergist has their own specific tests that they order and might order additional ones after listening to your symptoms and problems.

 
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