Primary care physician David Williams, MD, Baptist Health Corbin, discusses the importance of testing for allergies and the benefits of finding appropriate preventive treatments before allergy season begins.
People can experience allergies year-round, but it’s more common in the spring and the late summer or early fall, when things are either blooming or things are dying. So, it’s really a good time to be tested. If you know you’re predisposed to it, it would be a good time to be tested prior to the anticipated exposure to help initiate some sort of preventive treatment that could be beneficial for you. So, there’s testing that can be done, just by a venous blood stick, just a lab draw, and we can run multiple tests on a single lab specimen. It takes away the need for multiple sticks that a young person dreads a lot of times. Most of the treatments now — the benefits from treatments — can be seen fairly quickly, with the medications that we have. One of the true benefits of having allergy testing is that it can help differentiate between true allergies versus sensitivity versus a potential infection. One of the goals that we can have in doing allergy testing is to cut down on the unnecessary utilization of antibiotics. That’s a major ordeal that we’re experiencing not just in this area, but in the whole country. If we can diminish the overprescribing of antibiotics with appropriate ancillary testing such as this, it’ll be a real boon to improving the overall health of the community.