When someone has an allergic reaction to a substance, their body mistakenly interprets the substance to be a harmful invader – such as a bacterium or a virus. Many people have allergies to pollen, peanuts, or dust.
An allergy is an unpleasant experience capable of hindering your quality of life, and some people’s allergies can cause a lethal reaction if they come into contact with the allergen. There are many different types of allergies, and there are even more factors that can trigger these allergies.
Types of Common Allergies
Let’s talk about some of the main types of allergies and what you can do to keep them under control:
Another common type of allergy is caused by environmental factors. These allergens include pollen, plants, dust mites, and mold spores, among others.
Here in North Texas, many of us suffer from seasonal allergies due to mountain cedar. This “cedar fever” is actually not caused by a cedar at all, but rather by the Ashe juniper tree. Every December through February, the winds carry the huge plumes of pollen many miles away from the originating tree – about 100 miles or more! Symptoms include sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, headache, fatigue, and sore throat. Your doctor may prescribe a steroid if you are having a severe reaction.
Since environmental allergens can be seasonal, such as hay fever, people who are allergic to these substances may only experience reactions during allergy season. Doctors also refer to this as “seasonal allergic rhinitis.” Meanwhile, fungi like mold and mildew are present both inside and outside the household, so those who have these allergies can suffer year-round unless they seek treatment to lessen the symptoms.
Both adults and children can be allergic to different kinds of food. Some of the most common food allergens are eggs, chicken, shellfish, nuts, chocolate, milk, and food additives.
A food allergy is different from food intolerance, which is an adverse reaction to a particular food not involving the immune system. One example is lactose intolerance, which involves the digestive system.
Pet dander and proteins from your pet’s saliva can also trigger allergic reactions. People may be allergic to cats, dogs, or both; those with dog allergies may be more allergic to particular breeds. Some dog breeds do not shed the type of fur that can cause allergies from dander, and these “hypo-allergenic” dogs tend to be related to the poodle.
There are also existing conditions where people are allergic to insects. The most common allergens are from the sting of bees, hornets, and wasps, or the bite of fire ants – which also causes a stinging feeling. Non-stinging insects like cockroaches, mosquitoes, and fleas can also stir up an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals.
Allergy Diagnosis and Treatment in Weatherford, Texas
Allergic reactions range from sneezing and stuffy nose to potentially dangerous asthma attacks or an anaphylactic attack. The only way to ascertain and properly treat your allergies is through proper diagnosis and treatment. The best way to avoid allergies from acting up is to avoid triggers as much as possible.
Our medical providers here at the Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas can give you a full evaluation and, if necessary, prescribe the allergy treatment you need. In addition to antihistamines, decongestants, and corticosteroids, we also offer immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a process wherein a doctor injects an allergy specimen into your skin, thereby forcing your immune system to develop a tolerance to the allergen.
Find out what you are allergic to, and start managing your allergies in order to prevent allergic reactions. Call us today at (817) 594-9993 or request an appointment via our online form now. We look forward to helping you keep your allergies under control so you can enjoy life!