Small child

A visit to an allergist, or what you need to know before you go

A visit to an allergist, or what you need to know before you go

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Frequent visits to the pediatrician due to constant coughing, runny nose or skin problems usually end with a visit to an allergist. It is true that the pediatrician provides first aid, but when the recommended medications do not help, the doctor usually refers to a specialist.

Often, parents panic, thinking that their child will be struggling with their allergies all their lives, since the pediatrician can not help, some referring to any specialist suggests a serious disease and is a cause for concern. Nothing could be more wrong. It is worth knowing that the allergist is supposed to find the causes of allergies and apply the appropriate treatment, of course, if the child needs it.

Once you have received a referral to an allergist from your GP, you should look for the right clinic where you receive the allergist and make an appointment. Often you have to wait several weeks or even months for a visit under the NFZ, so it's better not to postpone it.

How to prepare for a visit to an allergist?

It's best to watch your child carefully a few days before your visit and see what may be causing the allergy, e.g. if the child has a rash after eating the fruit. It's best to write our assumptions and take the card for a visit. When you are going to see a specialist, you should take a referral from a GP, a child's health book (proof of child insurance if you use the National Health Fund visit is not needed) and the results of your child's last examination, if any.

First visit to an allergist - what to expect?

At the first visit, the doctor will probably ask a lot of questions, e.g. if someone in the family has allergies? Does the child get sick often (has a runny nose, cough, rashes)?, How long has the child been suspected of having allergy symptoms?, Has he / she been treated in this direction and how he / she reacted to the medication? are there pets in the house? is the child allergic to insect venom (mosquitoes, flies, wasps etc.).

The doctor should also carefully examine the baby and examine. If the parents have no suspicions about the allergens that harm the child, the doctor suggests to watch the child more closely and look for allergy pathways on their own, observe what the child eats and how he reacts to foods, especially those most allergenic (stone fruit, citrus, celery, milk, eggs, poultry, nuts), how the skin reacts to given cosmetics, water, powder, which is used to wash children's clothes.

If the child is breastfed, the doctor will ask the mother after what dishes she consumes, the child may have in her opinion allergy symptoms.

The doctor will also recommend observing the child's environment, whether the room in which he is staying is dry or even humid air, whether the cot and mattress are not the cause of allergies.

During the first visit, the doctor mainly suggests observing the child and prescribes appropriate medications that will alleviate allergy symptoms.

I will also suggest changing the child's lifestyle e.g. resignation from taking allergenic food products (also this applies to breastfeeding mothers), resignation from pets, using cosmetics and washing powders specially designed for allergy sufferers, as well as taking care of hygiene at home (sometimes you need to give up curtains, rugs, which is a lot of dust), thorough ventilation of the apartment and bedding.

Only on the next visit (unless the child's condition is very serious) you can count on referral of the child for specialist examinations. This is intended, because there are a lot of allergens and it is impossible to find the right one right away, which is why it is so important to find potential factors causing allergies by a parent, and research is only to confirm this.

It is often the case that parents expect that already at the first visit to the allergist, the doctor will perform appropriate tests, find the cause and suggest treatment. Unfortunately, doctors do not rash the smallest children. Children up to the age of 3 usually do not undergo detailed tests, only general tests through a blood test. Doctors are aware that this is very stressful for a child, so they only target it as a last resort.

The first visit behind us what to do next?

As your doctor advised, you need to observe the child and give appropriate medication. But do not forget about next visits. If you only suspect an allergen or your child's condition does not improve, you should go on further visits to the allergist.

Your doctor will probably suggest that you take the appropriate tests depending on your child's age and symptoms (blood test, food tests, inhalation tests). If the tests reveal an allergen, your doctor will recommend appropriate desensitization and avoid contact with the allergen. However, if the tests do not show any allergy to the tested allergens, one should not immediately think that the child does not have this allergy. Simply tests are not able to examine and check everything that surrounds us and what may be the cause of allergies in our child. It is important to follow the doctor's instructions, take medication and lead a proper lifestyle.

When visiting an allergist (as well as another specialist), it is a good idea to make the most of contacting a doctor. It is worth asking about everything that bothers us, e.g. how to help a child during acute bouts of allergies? Are the medicines it is supposed to take safe? The more we know about the disease, the easier it will be for us to live with it.