If you’re like many people, you probably woke up today feeling a bit under the weather. It doesn’t quite feel like a cold, but everything seems off. Your eyes itch, your throat is scratchy, your nose is running, and you might feel like just going back to bed. Sounds like April has arrived, the world is in full bloom, and your allergies have hit you something fierce. Don’t you love springtime?
If the beautiful weather has you feeling like you’ve got the sniffles all day, you can be rest assured that you’re not alone. In fact, you have quite a bit of company. While it’s understandably hard to pin down exact numbers, estimates have 30% of adults and 40% of children suffering from allergies. About 50 million people in the United States alone have allergies related to nasal symptoms. You might have gone years already either just dealing with it or relying on over the counter allergy medications to try and provide some relief. But if you haven’t spoken to a doctor about your allergies, you could be doing yourself a disservice. Only a medical professional can accurately diagnose what exactly you’re allergic to and then how to best treat your symptoms. If you don’t know what your specific allergy is, this year is as good a time as any to find out. Why continue to suffer?
How your doctor can help
The big first step to treating your allergies is identifying what is triggering your symptoms. This is why you need to undergo allergy testing. Allergy testing is simple and relatively pain free. It is a skin test which involves tiny pricks being made to introduce a variety of allergens to your system. Because what allergies really are is an immune system response to a substance that actually isn’t a threat to you, you’ll notice inflammation at the injection site if one of the substances is actually one of your triggering allergens. Whether you’re presenting typical nasal passage related allergies, rashes, or stomach symptoms, it’s important to get this allergy test done so you can begin the treatment course to relieve your symptoms. But, what will treatment look like? There are a few ways to go about finding relief from your allergies. One of these methods can only be performed by a doctor and is the most effective way to treat allergies. It’s called immunology.
Immunology is the discipline of treating conditions related to one’s immune system. Because allergies relate to your individual immune system, by identifying what triggers these “inappropriate” responses to things like dust or insect stings which don’t have any real effect on people without allergies, you’ll be able to find relief. Furthermore, immunology can reveal triggers you didn’t even know you had. For example, you may be aware of one specific food that triggers your allergies, but may not be aware of the fact that there are other foods considered part of that “family” that also can trigger an allergy response. It’s from immunology that we get the related treatment immunotherapy. With immunotherapy, you are essentially exposed to small doses of an allergen over time to build up a resistance. Think of it as a vaccine course for allergies. But immunotherapy isn’t something that is always turned to for treating allergies. A more typical allergy treatment plan might look a bit different.
Avoidance and medication
Avoidance when possible is a key part to getting rid of allergy symptoms. Of course, this depends on what is actually triggering your allergies. Depending on what is found to be triggering your allergies you may be encouraged to take action like use certain hypoallergenic products, clean more often to combat dust, use air purifiers, keep your windows closed to keep pollen out, and other methods of reducing your exposure. Of course, if something outdoors is what is making you allergic, not ever going outside isn’t an option. Prescribed medications can help alleviate symptoms when avoidance isn’t possible. Decongestants can provide fast, necessary relief from sinus pressure and runny noses. Antihistamines are another popular choice for relief of allergy symptoms. In certain cases, you may be prescribed corticosteroids to deal with inflammation. These corticosteroids can come in the form of a nasal spray, inhaler, oral medication, or cream.
It’s time to get control of your allergies. No one wants to live with the constant sniffling, sore throat, or watery eyes that this time of year brings each and every year. With immunology and allergy testing, you’ll finally be able to get the answers you’re after. Contact us today. The team at Elevate Health Group is here to provide you with the allergy treatment you need to feel your best. Schedule an appointment for a consultation today. In as little as 20 minutes you could have the answers to your allergy concerns.