Family practitioners, internists, pediatricians, dermatologists, ENTs, neurologists, pulmonologists, ophthalmologists and nearly all other types of physicians and health care providers come in contact with patients who suffer from allergies virtually every day. That’s because allergies cause symptoms in every organ system. In fact, they cause many more symptoms than the average person realizes, including rashes (dermatitis), sinus infections, migraine headaches, dizziness, conjunctivitis, respiratory problems, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and the list goes on. So here are our top seven reasons your healthcare provider should offer allergy testing — and treatment — in his or her office.
1) Since nearly every type of doctor comes in contact with patients suffering from allergies, it’s important that they are trained and have the tools to properly diagnose those patients’ allergies, suggest appropriate treatment, and know when to refer to an allergy specialist.
2) Allergies affect A LOT of people. The World Allergy Organization estimates that “30-40% of the world’s population is now affected by one or more allergic conditions.” And those numbers are growing; allergies have reached epidemic status.
3) There aren’t enough allergists to go around. Allergists make up a very small percentage of doctors. Even if there were enough, people often don’t know that their illness/ailment/discomfort is caused by allergies. Their primary care doctors should be able to make that diagnosis and offer first line definitive treatment as they do with most other chronic conditions (like hypertension and diabetes).
4) It’s impossible to be sure exactly what’s causing the allergic symptoms without a proper test. Pollens ride on the wind and cause discomfort for people up to hundreds of miles away from their source. Pet hair gets stuck in furniture and carpeting, causing allergic reactions even if the animal has been away for months. Dust mites float through the air and hide in bedsheets. Cockroaches leave hidden “presents” that trigger allergies. Which of these items cause your symptoms? The only way to find out is to test. AllerVision provides doctors with a program that allows them to test for reactions to a wide range of regional allergens and a variety of foods.
5) The allergy skin test is painless, easy to administer in the doctor’s office, and produces results in just 15 minutes. This convenient test, which is the diagnostic gold standard, helps doctors quickly determine the problem and the select the right course of treatment immediately.
6) Allergies can lead to asthma attacks. Asthma is a serious chronic airway disease that causes coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. It often interferes with quality of life, preventing sufferers from participating in sports and outdoor activities. Severe asthma attacks in a patient without adequate disease control can be fatal.
7) Allergies can cause anaphylaxis, an extreme, life-threatening reaction. Anaphylaxis is usually associated with insect stings and food allergies but other allergens can cause it as well. Simply put, knowing what you’re allergic to can save your life.
Healthcare providers who don’t offer allergy testing should consider taking the time to learn and add the service to their practice. For more information, click here.
If you think that you may suffer from allergies, get an allergy test and evaluation. (Hint: if you’re feeling bad and don’t know why, it could be allergies.) AllerVision can help you find a local doctor who performs the test, or we can contact your provider to help him or her launch an allergy testing and treatment program. Click here to learn more.