Ten Things Everyone Should Know

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Ten Things That EVERYONE Should Know About Allergies
… That They Probably Don’t.

1.  Allergy is a disease.

Disease is commonly defined as the dysfunction or malfunction of a part, organ, or system of the body, where the deviation from a normal healthy state may be caused by one of a number of factors that negatively affect the body, and result in consistent, characteristic symptoms. Simply put, the body reacts by changing for the worse when contacted by, invaded by, or exposed to certain things.

2.  Allergy testing can be done through blood work.
Since the mid 1970s, science has had a way to test for allergies from a blood sample. While the familiar skin test yields similar accuracy, blood testing for allergies offers a few advantages. For example, stored (frozen) blood can be used for additional testing later without additional trips to the doctor. Because the test is not done on or in your body, but rather in a lab, you’ll probably experience less discomfort. You also don’t have to stop taking any medications for the blood test. For the skin test, you must refrain from taking your allergy medications to ensure accurate results. Blood can also be used to test for things other than allergies, which can help expedite the diagnostic process.
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3.  Treatment exists, and not just in shots.

We’ve all heard about someone “getting their allergy shot.” Well, you can also receive allergy treatment in the form of drops or tablets that go under the tongue. The formal name for the injections is Subcutaneous Immunotherapy (SCIT), and for the drops and tablets it’s Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT).

4.  Allergies are often misdiagnosed and mistreated.

There unfortunately is a small faction of medical professionals out there who have been conditioned to NOT “dig deeper,” and look at the real causes of patients’ problems / illnesses. They may be quick to diagnose without proper testing, and then quick to prescribe medications that won’t address the real problem.

NOTE: Patients can order their own tests to help avoid this problem. As a matter of fact, the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) even mandates that individuals have access to direct testing nationwide.

5.  Most insurance companies cover allergy testing and treatment.

While some companies and policies will have limitations, most insurance companies see allergy diagnosis and treatment as “medically necessary,” especially when missed work / school is considered. At Commonwealth Medical Laboratories, we have resources in place that allow us to quickly let you know if insurance will cover your test(s).

6.  About 1 in every 4 people in the United States is affected by allergies.
When you consider the high number of common allergens – in categories like Seasonal, Pet, Chemical, Food, and more – it’s not surprising that more than 40 million Americans suffer from allergic disease. Combine allergies with asthma like much of the medical community does, and you’ve got more than 60 million people who are affected nationwide.
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7.  Moderate to severe allergies that go untreated lead to a poor quality of life.

Those who allow their moderate or severe allergies to go untreated can experience great discomfort and long-term degradation of health. They will probably spend a small fortune trying to treat their symptoms (rather than the cause), only to end up taking medications / pharmaceuticals that don’t address the real problem, and even end up negatively affecting their health in other ways.  And let’s not forgot that missed work = lost pay, and avoidance of certain places and things = missed “life.”

8.  Developed areas typically experience greater allergy occurrences.

You might be inclined to associate hay fever with farming, but it’s actually the developed urban areas that have seen significant growth in allergic disease in recent decades. Undeveloped rural areas continue to enjoy much lower numbers of allergy cases.

9.  Those who properly treat their allergies early are far less likely to develop asthma.

When allergies are correctly identified and treated in younger patients, it greatly reduces their risk of developing asthma. When allergic disease is not treated, there is evidence that suggests a stronger likelihood of developing asthma. Asthma is one of the steps in the Allergic March; a documented progression of clinical symptoms and conditions that has been observed throughout the medical community.

10.  Blood testing for allergies is an FDA-Approved method that has been a trusted, standard practice for more than 40 years.

Blood tests for allergies are often called the best kept secret in medicine, because a large part of the population doesn’t even know that it’s available. Clinical research, medical journal reviews, FDA approval, and years of active and reliable use have all demonstrated their validity.