Tip 1: Talk to your healthcare provider about your allergies.
Start by sharing a detailed history of your symptoms, including when the symptoms arise (time of day and time of year), whether you take medications for your symptoms, and whether those medications help.
If it’s not 100 percent clear what provokes your symptoms, then you should feel empowered to ask for allergy testing. Some healthcare providers may not suggest allergy testing themselves because they believe their patients have an intuitive understanding of their symptoms. However, up to 80 percent of people with allergies are sensitized to multiple things, making it complicated to track symptoms back to the specific sources.1 Allergy testing helps clarify the symptom-and-source relationship, so you can respond to the right allergens and get more relief.
If you already have an idea of which allergens irritate your system, then you can work with your healthcare provider to create a maximally effective treatment plan. You might start by asking the following questions:
- What are the treatment options?
- Should I be taking an antihistamine?
- If I should be taking an antihistamine, should I take it on a daily basis?
- Aside from the antihistamine, are there any other medications I should take?
- If medications don’t help, what’s the next step?
- Am I a candidate for allergy shots?
Your treatment plan will likely involve both medications and lifestyle choices, which get the best results when applied together.