There are hundreds of ordinary substances that can trigger allergic reactions. Among the most common are plant pollens, molds, household dust (dust mites), cockroaches, pets, industrial chemicals, foods, medicines, feathers and insect stings. These triggers are called “allergens.”
Seeking out one of our Dermatologists for a body and allergic reaction test can make you aware of what your body has allergens to.
An allergic reaction may occur anywhere in the body but typically appears in the nose, eyes, lungs, lining of the stomach, sinuses, throat and skin. These are places where special immune system cells are stationed to fight off invaders that are inhaled, swallowed or come in contact with the skin. Often, the symptoms of asthma or allergies develop gradually over time.
Allergy sufferers may become used to frequent symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion or wheezing. With the help of a dermatologist, these symptoms usually can be prevented or controlled with major improvement in quality of life.
Effectively controlling asthma and allergies requires planning, skill and patience. The allergist, with his or her specialized training can develop a treatment plan for your individual condition. The goal will be to enable you to lead a life that is as normal and symptom-free as possible.
A visit to the allergist might include:
Allergy testing – The allergist will usually perform tests to determine what allergens are involved.
Prevention education – The most effective approach to treating asthma or allergies is to avoid the factors that trigger the condition in the first place. Even when it is not possible to completely avoid allergens, an allergist can help you decrease exposure to allergens.
Medication prescriptions – A number of new and effective medications are available to treat both asthma and allergies.
Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots) – In this treatment, patients are given injections every week or two of some or all of the allergens that cause their allergy problems. Gradually the injections get stronger and stronger. In most cases, the allergy problems get less and less over time.
You should see an allergist if:
- Your allergies are causing symptoms such as chronic sinus infections, nasal congestion or difficulty breathing.
- You experience hay fever or other allergy symptoms several months out of the year.
- Antihistamines and over-the-counter medications do not control your allergy symptoms or create unacceptable side effects, such as drowsiness.
- Your asthma or allergies are interfering with your ability to carry on day-to-day activities.
- Your asthma or allergies decrease the quality of your life
- You are experiencing warning signs of serious asthma such as:
- You sometimes have to struggle to catch your breath.
- You often wheeze or cough, especially at night or after exercise.
- You are frequently short of breath or feel tightness in your chest.
- You have previously been diagnosed with asthma, and you have frequent asthma attacks even though you are taking asthma medication.
Call or click here to schedule a consultation with one of our Physicians. (630)758-0470