An allergy begins when your immune system overreacts to a harmless substance. Then that substance (your allergen) gets tagged as something that’s harmful to your body. Every time you come into contact with that allergen, it causes an immune response that triggers your symptoms.
The substances released during the immune response may also cause lung inflammation. That leads to allergy-induced asthma.
Some of the most common allergies include:
You can also have environmental allergies to things like cigarette smoke.
As a group, allergies cause symptoms such as:
Food, latex, insect, and drug allergies can cause anaphylaxis. That is a severe allergic reaction that happens quickly and causes serious symptoms, including swelling in the tongue and throat, difficulty breathing, dizziness, and fainting.
After carefully evaluating the type of symptoms you have and when they occur, your provider at First Care Bossier and Stonewell does one of the following allergy tests:
The skin prick test is the first one used for nearly all types of allergies. The test produces results in about 15 minutes, allowing your provider to immediately create a treatment plan.
Children and teens with peanut allergies may be good candidates for oral immunotherapy. This treatment involves taking a controlled amount of peanut protein every day to reduce the severity of their allergic reaction. For other food allergies, the only treatment is to eliminate the food from your diet.
Treatment for all other types of allergies begins with avoiding your allergens and using over-the-counter medications to reduce your symptoms. If these steps don’t help or your symptoms are severe, your provider recommends allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy.
Allergy shots desensitize your immune system by injecting regular doses of your allergen. Over time, your immune system gets used to the allergen and stops causing symptoms.
Sublingual immunotherapy is similar to allergy shots, but you get doses of your allergen in the form of a dissolvable tablet that goes under your tongue. You take the first dose in the office, then continue with regular doses at home.
If you need relief from allergies, call First Care Bossier, or book an appointment online today.