Allergies can’t be cured. That’s the bad news. The good news? There are a number of effective treatments that not only alleviate symptoms, but in some cases can actually help you build up your immunity to allergens that cause you discomfort. That’s where we come in. Read on to learn more about allergies and how, together, we can help you take charge of your life.

 

allergy 101

While it was the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius who observed that “what is food for some may be fierce poisons for others,” it took a couple of millennia before scientists began to fully understand the nature of allergies. Here’s what we’ve learned over the years.

Symptoms
Runny nose, sneezing, congestion, watery eyes? Hives, dizziness, swelling, trouble breathing? You may have an allergic reaction to something. Because allergies can result in loss of productivity, missed work or school, and an overall poor quality of life, it’s a good idea to seek the help of an allergist for treatment.

Testing
Through skin testing, allergists can determine exactly what you’re allergic to, like pollen, pet dander, or shellfish. During the test, the surface of your skin is lightly scratched with a tiny amount of allergen. If you’re allergic, a small mosquito bite-like bump will appear.

What You Can Do
Avoidance is difficult, but there are things you can do to minimize exposure, like keeping windows closed if you’re allergic to pollen or grass, or purchasing an allergy-proof mattress or pillow cover if you’re allergic to dust.

Treatment Options
There’s no cure for allergies – but there are effective treatments to minimize symptoms. A wide range of medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, and steroid nasal sprays help alleviate symptoms. Immunotherapy exposes you to small, injected amounts of a particular allergen, helping decrease your sensitivity and build up your immunity.

Take Control
If left untreated, allergies can be the underlying cause of frequent sinus, ear, and upper and lower respiratory tract infections. They can exacerbate or cause asthma. And in the case of food allergies, they can even be life-threatening. So it’s a good idea to take control of your allergies now!