An Allergist is a specialized physician that can perform various tests to identify your child’s allergies and offer a personalized treatment plan to help your child’s symptoms.
Allergies are some of the most common chronic disorders affecting children. It has been reported 4-6% of children have food allergies, 8-10% have asthma and up to 25% have allergic rhinitis (hay fever). The first step in allergy treatment is to identify the triggers that may be adversely affecting your child.
Dr. Joseph Forester is a board-certified Allergist and Immunologist with Cullman Regional Medical Group. He has multiple publications in the field of allergy & immunology and medical education.
The most common allergy tests used are skin tests and blood tests. Percutaneous allergy skin testing are administered by applying a small amount of an allergen (e.g., foods, pollens, pet dander, dust mites and molds) into the top layer of the skin. If your child is allergic to the allergens being tested there will be a small, raised bump appear at the test site. Skin testing is the fastest and least expensive testing modality used in the allergy clinic. Blood tests are sometimes used when skin testing is not an option or to further investigate allergies after skin testing has been done. These blood tests measure specific antibodies, called Immunoglobulin-E (IgE), to specific allergens (e.g., foods, pollens, pet dander and molds).
Allergy testing can be particularly useful as part of the evaluation and treatment of:
-Rhinitis (cold-like symptoms that last for more than a week or occur around the same time every year)
-Coughing and wheezing
-Adverse reactions to foods or insect stings
-Eczema, Atopic Dermatitis, and Contact Dermatitis
Your child’s Allergist will use the results from the allergy testing along with your child’s medical history, physical examination, and symptoms to prescribe a treatment plan. Personalized treatment plans can consist of avoidance of known allergens, medications, diet modifications and sometimes allergy shots.