Are you allergic to something or is it just seasonal allergies? Ask yourself and find out “do I have allergies” in this guide.

Did you know that more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year?

This can lead you to wonder: Do I have allergies?

Most people don’t realize just how much better they can feel if they are properly tested and treated for allergies.

Below are a couple of questions to ask yourself if you think you’re experiencing allergy-related symptoms and wondering how to go about getting tested and treated by a physician.

Do I Have Allergies? Or Is It Just A Cold?

Coughing? Sneezing? Runny nose? It’s important to be clear about what exact symptoms you’re experiencing, so you can answer the question “what am I allergic to?”

If possible, figure out how long you’ve experienced symptoms and in which environments they are worse. This will help a physician determine whether the symptoms are the result of allergies and how best to diagnose symptoms.

If it’s a possible food allergy, your physician will want information on what you eat, so it’s best to outline your typical diet as well.

Why Is Medical History Important?

In order to identify any possible allergens, it’s important to know and be able to relay your medical history to a physician. Allergy tests are most useful when used in conjunction with a patient’s medical history. The tests are used to further support any possible allergies identified through a patient’s history, or it can suggest a different possible allergy.

It’s also important to know your medical history, as it’s possible to inherit allergies from your parents. This genetic tendency is known as atopy. Because of this, your doctor will likely ask if anyone in your family is experiencing similar symptoms.

Which Allergy Test Is Best?

There are many ways to test for allergies. Some are a bit more time-consuming than others, but you will get valuable information from all of them.

The most common kind of allergy test is a skin test. During a skin test, the doctor will place a dab of a possible allergen on your skin and prick the skin. If the skin swells in response, it’s likely you have an allergy to the tested substance. Skin tests are useful because you can test multiple possible allergens at once.

Blood tests are the most thorough allergen test. It is pretty simple: blood is drawn then tested at a lab for any possible allergies. The one con to this test is that it will take a few days to yield results.

These aren’t the only kinds of allergy tests though. This allergy clinic outlines a few other types of tests, such as intradermal tests and challenge tests, and provides additional information on how to proceed if you’re interested in getting tested.

Now What?

If you think it’s probable that you have allergies, don’t wait to set up an allergy test. Allergy tests aren’t long, drawn-out processes, so you don’t have to worry about it taking up too much of your time, and you can stop asking yourself “do I have allergies?”

Most people don’t realize how much relief and comfort they will feel when they’ve established an allergy treatment plan with their doctor. So don’t settle for feeling subpar—get tested for allergies today!