Common Allergies: Testing and Treatment
If you suffer from allergies, then you know just how painful the symptoms can be. Millions of people each year give up doing the things they love to avoid their allergies but there are long-term allergy treatments out there.
What are the most common allergens?
While everyone’s allergy profiles are different, some common allergens impact millions of people. Those include:
- Food - is one of the most common allergens out there. Common foods that people are allergic to include shellfish, fish, wheat, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, milk, and eggs.
- Insects - issues caused by insects can be from them biting, stinging, or just being in your home. Common insects include cockroaches and dust mites.
- Contact - coming into contact with certain things can cause allergic reactions. Common contact allergens include latex, cosmetics, plants, soap, and jewelry.
- Inhalants - inhaling common things like pollen, dust, pet dander, fungus, or mold can cause an allergic reaction.
- Medications - reactions to medications are mostly non-allergic but allergic reactions with medications do occur occasionally.
Severe allergic reactions
Anaphylaxis - when an allergic reaction onset happens quickly and causes severe life-threatening symptoms it is called anaphylaxis. During anaphylaxis, your body floods itself with chemicals that can send your body into anaphylactic shock. The severe symptoms that accompany anaphylaxis include an itchy rash, swelling in the throat, shortness of breath, low blood pressure, swollen tongue, lightheadedness, and vomiting.
If you know that you have a severe reaction to an allergen it is smart to keep an EpiPen with you at all times. After using the EpiPen to get your symptoms under control it is still a good idea to seek further medical attention.
Common allergy symptoms
Some common symptoms of allergies include:
- Reddened skin
- Mucous membrane irritation
- Watery eyes
- Increased heart rate
The symptoms that affect the nasal mucous membranes are grouped under the term Rhinitis. These symptoms include mucous membrane irritation, sneezing, watery eyes, and congestion. Rhinitis is normally caused by the body’s overreaction to particles like:
- Plant pollen
- Animal Hair
- Dust Mites
- And more
Rhinitis can be allergic or non-allergic and can be better or worse depending on the time of year and your specific allergen.
Having your allergies tested at East Texas Sinus and Dizziness Center
Allergy testing is the process of diagnosing your unique allergens and the severity of your reactions so that they can be treated effectively.
Our needle-free skin test can test allergens without the use of pricks or scratches. The most common allergens that are tested for are pet dander, pollen, mold, and food. During your test, a small drop of different types of allergens is placed on the skin. As your skin reacts to the drops, Dr. Morton can determine how severe your allergy is to that particular substance.
Another type of allergy test is the blood test which is less common. It may be done if you are taking certain medications or if your specific allergen causes a severe reaction.
Your allergy testing should be done in an ENT office
Allergy testing facilities are popping up across the country as the popularity of allergy testing increases, and while these places are good at testing for allergens, they may not give you the whole picture. When you have your allergy test done at an ENT’s office like East Texas Sinus and Dizziness you can get a comprehensive allergy test that can help you not miss the true cause of your symptoms.
A comprehensive allergy exam starts by getting a list of the symptoms you are having and a family history of allergies. Then we can perform a physical examination to make sure that the root cause of your symptoms isn’t something like a nasal obstruction. Finally, we can perform the allergy test and determine the best treatment based on the severity of your allergies and your lifestyle.
Your allergy treatment should fit your lifestyle and personal goals
At East Texas Sinus and Dizziness Center, we can customize your treatment plan to fit your overall needs. Your treatment plan may include any combination of the following:
- Avoidance - Staying away from your allergens is a good way to avoid allergic reactions
- Medications - Some medications like decongestants or antihistamines can help control your allergies in the short term but wouldn’t you like a long-term solution?
- Immunotherapy - Is a proven long-term allergy treatment method. Immunotherapy is using small amounts of your allergens to slowly retrain your body not to react to them. There are two types of immunotherapy: Allergy Shots and Allergy Drops
Allergy shots are injections that contain a little bit of your allergen. You go to the doctor once or twice a week for 3 - 5 years to slowly retrain your body. This method of immunotherapy doesn’t work with most people’s schedules and that is why we offer a different solution.
Allergy drops are the time and cost-effective immunotherapy that works with most people’s busy schedules. Also known as Sublingual Immunotherapy(SLIT), allergy drops are administered by you at your convenience.
Once a day, you place a small drop of an allergen solution tailored to you under your tongue. Over time, your body will be retrained not to react as badly or at all to your allergens. You may start to see results in as little as a few months.
Effective allergy testing and treatment is available at East Texas Sinus and Dizziness Center
It’s time to start your treatment plan and begin your journey to take your freedom back.