What Are Allergy Symptoms?
Allergy symptoms flare-up when your immune system mistakes a harmless substance as something that is potentially dangerous or harmful to the body, causing the immune system to react. This substance is an allergen and unfortunately as many as 50 million Americans are dealing with some type of allergy each year. Allergy symptoms can vary depending on the type and severity of your allergy.
Common allergy symptoms include:
Runny or stuffy nose
Itchy, watery eyes
Coughing or wheezing
Nausea and vomiting (common for food allergies)
Common types of allergies include:
Dust and dust mites
Certain foods (e.g. milk; nuts; soy; seafood)
Insect bites and stings
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above then it’s possible that you are dealing with allergies. Of course, the only way to really be able to tell if allergies are to blame is to come in for the appropriate allergy tests. During your consultation, we will ask you questions regarding the symptoms you are experiencing to get an idea of what type of allergy might be causing your reaction. From there we will determine the best tests to perform to diagnose your allergy.
Once we have determined what’s causing your allergy we can start to formulate a treatment plan that will help alleviate your symptoms. While those with mild or seasonal allergies may find relief from simple over-the-counter medications, we know that many patients are dealing with allergy symptoms that require stronger medications and treatments. The type of allergy will determine the right treatment options for you. For example, those with pollen or dust allergies may be given an oral antihistamine, steroid nasal spray or eye drops.
Conversely, those dealing with food allergies may be told to avoid certain foods whenever possible. If your food allergy is severe enough to cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, then your allergist will prescribe a shot of epinephrine (often referred to as an EpiPen®), which you will carry with you and administer only when you feel symptoms of anaphylaxis.
Another treatment option for allergies is immunotherapy (aka: allergy shots). These shots will slowly introduce the allergen to your body, giving it the opportunity to develop the appropriate antibodies to help your body develop immunity to it over time. During this treatment, patients will come in once or twice a week over the course of a couple of years. The benefit is that allergy shots often provide long-term relief.