Allergies impact millions of Americans with mild to severe – and even life-threatening – symptoms. If you struggle with seasonal allergies, asthma, eczema, or another form of allergic sensitivity, here are some facts about this chronic condition from Dr. Oseni in Weatherford, TX. Knowledge is power, and it can help you get the care you need to feel better.
Fact # 1 Allergies start with your own immune system.
When you have an allergic reaction, your body’s immune system over-responds to something you have touched, inhaled, or ingested. For other people, this substance is ordinary and harmless. For you, it provokes a cascade of symptoms such as sneezing, wheezing, coughing, watery eyes, itchy red skin, or even a dangerous issue called anaphylaxis.
Fact # 2 People all over the world suffer from allergies.
Allergies are a global health issue. Just in the United States, about 50 million people have seasonal or other kinds of allergies. Children represent a large portion of that number. Allergies and asthma result in many sick days, which translates as missed experiences at school, work, and other activities.
Fact #3 Asthma attacks can be caused by allergens.
The chronic lung condition known as asthma can be exacerbated by allergens in your environment. Things such as car exhaust, pet dander, pollen, mold, and even certain foods can trigger the familiar asthmatic symptoms of chest tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Over 24 million people in the United States suffer from asthma, including six million children.
Fact #4 Things you touch or ingest can cause an allergic reaction.
Examples of allergens you touch are laundry soap, certain fabrics, and even your own sweat. More and more health care workers–up to 12 percent in the United States–have allergies to the latex found in exam gloves and other medical supplies and equipment. Stress can increase the symptoms of this type of allergy, also known as atopic dermatitis. Hives and itching are the primary symptoms of atopic dermatitis.
Regarding things you ingest, both foods and medications can cause allergic reactions. Peanut allergies, once uncommon, are prevalent among school-aged children. Many people are allergic to medications, including antibiotics, such as penicillin and erythromycin.
Finally, insect stings or bites can create anaphylactic reactions in both children and adults. These allergies can respond well to emergency doses of epinephrine (epi-pens) carried by allergy sufferers for use when needed.
Fact #5 Stress can worsen your allergies.
While you cannot be allergic to work or home-life stress, high-stress levels can make your allergy and asthma symptoms worse. Relaxation techniques, such as prayer, meditation, and yoga lessen anxiety and calm your body’s response to allergy triggers.
Fact #6 Effective treatment for allergies is available.
You can manage allergy symptoms. However, correct diagnosis and consistent, accurate treatment are key to control. Dr. Oseni tests patients through skin prick tests, which involves placing tiny amounts of common allergens under the skin. The reactions are assessed by the doctor and a treatment plan is formulated. In addition, blood tests can reveal the presence of certain immunoglobulins, which can help pinpoint allergic triggers.
Your treatment plan may include:
- Avoiding known allergic triggers
- Taking allergy shots or oral immunotherapy
- Symptom-relief medications, such as antihistamines, eye or nasal drops, and anti-itch creams
- Using a home air purifier
- Staying indoors during high pollen count days
Allergies Diagnosis and Treatment in North Texas
For more helpful information about allergies and how to live well with them, call Dr. Oseni, your doctor at Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas. Call us at (817) 594-9993, and we’ll set up a consultation. Or, request your appointment online. We look forward to serving you soon.