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The Importance of Allergy Testing

Allergies can crop up at any point in your life. As your body ages and changes, it reacts differently to its environment. 

Likewise, your environment changes as well. This means that children with allergies may grow out of them, and adults who have been fine their whole life may suddenly suffer from adverse reactions.

The most common problem associated with dealing with allergies is having trouble identifying them. The symptoms often match other conditions and may even be mistaken for benign, everyday bodily functions. 

So, how do you know when you have an allergy, or when your sneeze is just, well, a sneeze?

Dr. James Lee here at Woodstock Family Practice & Urgent Care helps patients throughout Woodstock, Georgia, get a handle on their allergies through targeted testing that gives definitive answers.

Dr. Lee can help you figure out what’s causing your allergies, and learn how to stop or curb the annoying — and sometimes even dangerous — symptoms. Here’s why allergy testing is important.

Get an accurate diagnosis

Whether your allergy symptoms are mild or severe, they’re likely interfering with your life to some degree. Even if you think you can handle it and suffer through the season or avoid certain foods, you still run the risk of making the problem worse or missing the real culprit.

You can spend a lot of time and money experimenting with different over-the-counter allergy medications and treatments as you try to self-diagnose your condition. But partnering with a medical expert like Dr. Lee ensures you a quicker, more accurate result and a more effective treatment plan.

Dr. Lee can test your skin and/or your blood to find out exactly what substances or ingredients you’re allergic to and get you started on an effective treatment that will drastically reduce or eliminate your symptoms, or at least help you avoid your triggers. 

Prevent serious complications

Most people think of allergies as a simple sneezing problem or a mild rash, but an allergic reaction can turn dangerous very quickly. 

Anaphylaxis

Allergens in some people lead to anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening reaction that narrows your airways and blocks your breathing. Bee stings and peanuts are just a couple of the allergens known to set off this serious attack, which needs emergency medical attention. 

Asthma

Allergies can lead to asthma and all of the respiratory challenges that come with it, including coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. 

Polyps

Your seemingly minor nasal allergies can also cause the development of nasal polyps, small growths on the lining of your nasal passages and in your sinuses. 

Migraine headaches

Allergies are known to trigger migraine headaches, so controlling your allergies and their symptoms may alleviate your migraines or at least lessen their frequency or severity. 

Sleep issues

Allergies interfere with your ability to breathe freely, which in turn can interrupt your sleep and may contribute to sleep apnea, a dangerous condition that blocks the flow of oxygen as you sleep.

Infections

As mucus accumulates in your nasal cavity, bacteria take the opportunity to set up shop and cause infections, which can take the form of sinusitis, ear infections, or even lung infections. If left untreated, these can progress and cause hearing impairment or serious respiratory issues. 

What to expect from an allergy test

Several types of allergy tests are available, and each has a different purpose. Dr. Lee talks with you about your symptoms and any patterns you notice when your flare-ups occur to determine which one is best suited for your situation. 

It’s helpful for you to keep a diary that describes what you ate, touched, drank, inhaled, or wore when your symptoms attacked. 

Dr. Lee tests your skin by injecting a small sample of the suspected allergen under your skin, and then he watches for a reaction. Once he identifies exactly what’s causing your reactions, he can get you started on the right treatment plan and help you learn how to manage your symptoms and avoid your triggers.

To learn more about allergy testing or to schedule an appointment, call our friendly staff at 770-927-8273, or book online using our handy scheduling tool. Relief is just a test away.

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