Your body is designed to defend itself against potentially harmful pathogens by releasing chemicals that attack and destroy the invader. If you suffer from allergies, your immune system mistakes one or more harmless substances like mold or dust, for harmful invaders and initiates attack. This attack causes unpleasant and sometimes even life-threatening symptoms. If you’re experiencing allergy symptoms, The doctor can evaluate you for allergies and recommend treatment to alleviate your symptoms.
Common symptoms of allergies include skin rash, sneezing, headache, swelling, runny nose, diarrhea, nausea, and watery, itchy eyes. A severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis, can cause swelling of the throat and close the airway. When allergens are inhaled (such as pollen or pet dander), symptoms are most likely to affect the nose, eyes, and lungs. When allergens are ingested (such as food or drugs), the throat and GI tract are most likely to be symptomatic.
The doctor uses a variety of methods to determine the substance causing your reaction. The best test for you depends on the unique circumstances for your situation. In some cases, The doctor can identify your allergy by reviewing your personal and medical history and eliminating the most common culprits. In other cases, skin testing or blood tests can identify allergens.
Skin tests are considered preferable because they’re inexpensive, provide immediate results, and are often more sensitive to more subtle allergies. However, some patients might not be good candidates for skin testing due to life-threatening allergies or skin diseases. These candidates may benefit from blood testing.
The first course of treatment for allergies is avoidance whenever possible. This may include avoiding time outdoors during high pollen seasons or keeping pets out of your bedroom. Because avoidance isn’t always an option (such as in the case of environmental allergies), other treatments might be required.
Medications are often used in conjunction avoidance. The following medications might help:
At Mansfield Urgent Care & Family Medicine, we accept most major insurance plans. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.
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