Skip to content

Allergies Health Center

Select An Article

How Will My Doctor Diagnose My Allergies?

Font Size

The first thing your doctor will do is talk to you. He will examine you and ask questions about your symptoms and your family’s history of allergies, such as:

  • What kinds of symptoms do you have?
  • How long have you had them?
  • When symptoms happen, how long do they last?
  • Do your symptoms come and go throughout the year, or do they last year-round?
  • Do your symptoms happen when you are outdoors, or indoors -- like when you clean your house?
  • Do they get worse when you are around pets? Do you have any pets?
  • Do you smoke? Does anyone in your family smoke?
  • Do your symptoms keep you from doing things, or from sleeping at night?
  • What makes your symptoms better? What types of treatments have you tried? What allergy drugs are you taking now? Do they help?
  • What other medications are you taking, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements?
  • What kind of heating system do you have? Do you have central air conditioning?
  • Do you have any other health conditions, such as asthma or high blood pressure?
  • Do you have problems with your sense of smell or taste?
  • Do you get better on the weekend and worse when you go back to work?

Your doctor may suggest that you see a board-certified allergist who specializes in diagnosing and treating allergies, or he may recommend medication. If an allergist is recommended, he may do allergy testing to find out exactly what you’re allergic to, so together you can create the right treatment plan.

Recommended Related to Allergies

Fall Allergies and Sinusitis

Autumn has arrived, and you don’t feel so good. You can’t stop sneezing and sniffling. The return of cool weather leaves you feeling not invigorated but miserable. What’s going on? You may be suffering from pollen allergy, a.k.a. allergic rhinitis or hay fever. Thirty million Americans do, and symptoms typically flare in fall. Like all allergies, hay fever stems from a glitch in the immune system. Instead of attacking harmful foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses, it tries to neutralize...

Read the Fall Allergies and Sinusitis article > >

Questions for Your Doctor

  • What’s causing my allergies?
  • What allergy symptoms should I be concerned about? When should I call the doctor?
  • What allergy medications or other treatments are available? What are the benefits and side effects of each treatment?
  • Will I need allergy shots?
  • Should I take medicine all the time or only when my allergy symptoms get worse?
  • Should I stop exercising outside?
  • What types of plants are better to put in my yard if I have allergies?
  • What can I do around my house to reduce allergies?
  • What can I do to decrease allergy symptoms when I have to go outside?
  • How can I tell the difference between allergies and a cold or the flu?
  • Will changing my diet help?
  • How often should I come in for follow-up appointments?

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on December 05, 2014
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

man blowing nose
Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
Allergy capsule
Breathe easier with these products.
 
cat on couch
Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
Which ones affect you?
 

blowing nose
Article
woman with sore throat
Article
 
lone star tick
Slideshow
Woman blowing nose
Slideshow
 

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

cat lying on shelf
Article
Allergy prick test
VIDEO
 
Man sneezing into tissue
Assessment
Woman holding feather duster up to face, twitching
Quiz