Allergies are one of the most common chronic condition, and it is estimated that over 50 million Americans suffer some type of allergy every year. Allergies refer to the body’s immune system overreacting to a non-threatening substance due to hypersensitivity.
Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is a very common type of allergy condition in which patients experience stuffiness, itchiness, and running of the nose, sneezing, and watery eyes as a result of exposure to allergens in the air. Examples of air allergens include pollen, pet hair, dust, and mold. Other types of allergies that are not within allergy rhinitis can cause you to get hives and skin rashes and can even narrow your airway – which can be life threatening.
People can be allergies to foods, animals, animal dander/hair, certain types of fibers used to make clothing, dust, mold, and drugs. Some allergies are more common during specific seasons when the allergens are more prominent (such as Spring when pollen is around) while others occur year-round. Perennial allergic rhinitis is triggered by a sensitivity to house dust mites, dander from animals, spores or mold because these irritants are around all year round.
How Can I Get Diagnosed With Allergies?
A certified physician can test and diagnose you with allergies through simple tests that can be performed by your physician during a simple office visit.
One of these tests is the skin prick test which involves pricking your skin with very small amounts of a variety of common allergens to see if you have any bodily reaction. These allergens will include everything from dust to shellfish. After waiting 15-20 minutes, the physician will examine the skin to see which allergens (if any) your body reacted to by checking for swelling or redness.
Another way to test for allergies is through a blood test. The blood test measures the amount of immunoglobulin E (IgE) present in the blood. When your body has had an allergic reaction very recently to a substance, the amount of IgE in the blood rises. Your physician will examine the level of IgE in your blood to determine if it is higher than normal. If this is the case, it is a signal that the body is busy reacting to allergens it sees as a threat.
Allergies typically don’t get “cured” but can be managed effectively by most people. Allergies are typically managed using antihistamines, decongestants, and corticosteroid drugs. These drugs help limit the immune system’s reaction to allergens and control symptoms. Depending on the type of allergy you have, the severity of the condition, your medical history, and the lifestyle you live, your physician will make recommendations on which treatment measures are best suited for you.
Allergy Testing and Treatment in Weatherford, TX
If you live in Weatherford, TX and would like to get tested for allergies, see the experts at Lung and Sleep Specialists of North Texas by calling (817) 594-9993. They have substantial experience with allergy and immunology and would love to help you get better. To make an appointment, call (817) 594-9993 or request an appointment online.