Allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to a substance (known as an allergen) that it considers harmful, even though it’s not a problem for most people. This overreaction leads to various symptoms.
Common allergens include:
The type of symptoms you experience may depend on the substance you’re allergic to. Common allergy symptoms include:
Some allergy symptoms are similar to those you experience with a cold. But, unlike a cold, your symptoms may not seem to get better with time. If you have allergy symptoms, Dr. Jenks can provide the care you need so you can get relief.
Some allergens, usually food or insects, can cause a serious reaction referred to as anaphylaxis, which may cause shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, and a drop in blood pressure. Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical attention.
Dr. Jenks may be able to diagnose allergies after a comprehensive examination. During your exam, he reviews your symptoms and medical history. He also conducts a physical exam to assess your general health.
To determine the type of allergen causing your symptoms, Dr. Jenks may recommend a skin prick test or a blood test. During a skin prick test, Dr. Jenks places a small drop of the suspected allergen on your skin and monitors it for a reaction. The blood test is similar to the skin test, except the allergen is added to a blood sample and monitored for antibody reaction.
Treatment for your allergies may depend on the severity of your symptoms and the allergens causing your symptoms. Avoiding the allergen when possible is recommended to help manage your condition.
However, if you can’t avoid the allergen, Dr. Jenks offers suggestions on how you can minimize contact with your allergen. For example, if you’re allergic to pollen, he may recommend keeping your windows closed, limiting your outdoor activities, and cleaning your air-conditioning filters regularly.
If you continue to have symptoms despite your efforts to minimize contact with the allergen, he may prescribe a medication to reduce your allergic reaction and lessen your symptoms. He may also provide an epinephrine pen to manage a severe allergic reaction.
Allergies are common and can cause a range of symptoms that affect your daily activities. For allergy management, call HippoMed Wellness Clinics or request an appointment online.