Your First Visit with an Allergist
During Your First Visit
After taking a careful medical history from you and reviewing your completed patient questionnaire, your allergist/immunologist will determined whether or not diagnostic tests are necessary. As many tests as possible will be completed during your first visit.
If you may be allergic, you are reacting to a particular substance in your environment called an allergen. There are many different kinds of allergies and allergens. The most common allergens are:
Products from dust mites (tiny bugs you can't see) that live in your home
Proteins from furry pets, which are found in their skin secretions (dander), saliva and urine (not actually their hair)
Molds in your home or in the air outside
Tree, grass and weed pollen
More serious allergic reactions can be caused by:
Venoms from the stings of bees, wasps, yellow jackets, fire ants and other stinging insects
Natural rubber latex, such as gloves or balloons
Drugs, such as penicillin
All of these allergens are typically made up of proteins. Allergy tests determine which of these proteins you may be reacting to. Your allergist/immunologist will safely and effectively test your skin, or sometimes your blood, using tiny amounts of commonly troublesome substances chosen based on your history and the type of allergy suspected. Refer to the What is it Doc? , for additional information regarding allergies and allergy testing.
Some medications can interfere with skin testing. Antihistamines, in particular, can inhibit some of the skin test reactions. Use of antihistamines should be stopped several days prior to skin testing. Refer to Before Skin Testing, for additional information on medication changes in preparation for your new patient appointment.