You went your whole life without allergy symptoms. Now that you've reached middle-age, you're starting to develop sensitivities to things. You might even be noticing that your eyes itch and your nose runs more often than they used to. Unfortunately, those are the tell-tale signs of late-onset allergies.
It's not uncommon to develop allergies later in life. In fact, a lot of people have a problem with allergies once they reach midlife. If you've been struggling with allergies, it's time to get tested. Here are three steps you should take that will help you prepare for your allergy testing.
Start an Allergy Journal
If you haven't started an allergy journal, now's the time to start. Your allergist will want to know what sensitivities you have, and what type of reactions you experience from them. The easiest way to document your allergies is with an allergy journal. To give your allergist the clearest picture, you'll want to write down everything you eat for several weeks before your appointment.
If you don't experience any allergy symptoms, simply write clear next to the foods you've eaten. However, if you develop allergy symptoms such as itching, sneezing, scratchy throat, rash, or any other issue you've never experienced with a food, make a note of the symptoms. That way, your allergist will know where to start with the testing. It's also important that you make a note of any other allergic reactions you encounter, such as with the neighbor's cat, or with a new plant in your yard.
Bring Your List of Medications
If you take medication on a regular basis, you'll need to let your allergist know about them. Some medications can cause adverse reactions during the allergy testing. Others will cause you to receive false results from your testing. Unfortunately, that means your allergist won't be able to provide you with the proper treatment for your allergies. It's important to note that you'll need to provide your allergist with a list of all your prescription and non-prescription medications, since non-prescription medications can affect your testing, as well.
Wear Something Loose and Comfortable
If your allergist is going to be conducting allergy testing during your office visit, it's important that you wear something loose and comfortable. Skin testing is usually done on arms and backs. If you wear clothing that is constrictive, you may be quite uncomfortable for a while. Not only that, but it will be difficult for your allergist to conduct the testing properly. For best results, always wear loose clothing to your allergist appointments.