Allergy Problems and Treatments

Find Out More About Alleviating Your Allergy Symptoms

Allergies are becoming more and more prevalent in the United States, and billions of dollars are spent each year on over the counter allergy treatments and medications alone. Allergies of course can cause the classic symptoms of hay fever: sneezing, an itchy, runny, stuffy nose and watery or itchy eyes, but allergies can also affect the throat, skin, ears, lungs and gastrointestinal tract as well. Hoarseness, eczema, asthma and GI issues are all included in the list of symptoms for allergies. Some symptoms more common in children with allergies include a stubborn cough that’s triggered when your child runs or laughs, wheezing caused by cold air, humidity, exercise, or eczema appearing in the infant’s first year. Allergies can affect people of all ages, however, and they can also show up later in life even if you didn’t experience them growing up.

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How We Diagnose Your Allergy Symptoms

In order to diagnose your allergy symptoms we will begin with a detailed assessment, focusing on allergy triggers such as pollen, molds, animal dander, and foods. We will discuss your living and work environment to see if there are any triggers there that could be removed or eliminated. We will also ask about your family history because many times allergies are passed down through genetics. Certain symptoms, such as wheezing, hoarseness, eczema, or gastrointestinal issues can be mistaken as a cold or virus when they are actually caused by allergies. Depending on our findings during our initial assessment, we will either recommend a skin allergy test or a blood allergy test. Skin testing is the most common, but a blood test may be ordered of there is a severe skin rash present or if the patient is on a medication that would interfere with the results of the skin test.

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Treatment Options for Allergies

The simplest fix for an allergy, once identified, is avoiding the trigger. Ideally you could just switch out your down comforter or avoid contact with animals, but this is often difficult or impossible to actually achieve in your daily life. Who wants to give up playing soccer because they’re allergic to grass? Who wants to give up their pet because they are allergic to dander? For some allergy sufferers, medications such as steroid nasal sprays or antihistamines are adequate to relieve hay fever and other allergy symptoms; however, there are many people with allergies who want to avoid medications and cure their allergies altogether. For these individuals, we offer immunotherapy. One option we provide is traditional injections. Patients come in on a regular basis to receive trace doses of their allergen so the body builds up its immune system and over time is able to fight off the allergen on its own. For those who prefer to avoid shots, or don’t have the time to come into the office on a regular basis for injections, we offer allergy drops that are placed under the tongue at home or wherever you are. This needle free treatment is called sublingual immunotherapy, and is very popular among our allergy patients.

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