Asthma and Allergy Evaluation /TreatmentWappingers Falls, NY
Getting an asthma and allergy evaluation and treatment can greatly improve your quality of life. An allergy occurs when a person's immune system negatively reacts to a foreign substance, like an insect's venom, certain foods, pet dander or pollen. Most of the things that might cause an allergy breakout for you do not lead to the same issues when other people are exposed to them.
Symptoms Commonly Associated with Allergies
The immune system reacts to foreign bodies that it deems dangerous by producing antibodies. The antibodies attack the allergen, and that often leads to inflamed sinuses, skin, digestive system or airways.
How severe an allergic reaction varies for each individual. Some people only experience minor inflammation, while others might experience anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that occurs when the release of excess chemicals in the body sends the person into shock. Allergic reactions to insect bites, medications and food are the most likely to send a person into this state.
There are no cures for most allergies, but proper asthma and allergy evaluation and treatment can help alleviate most symptoms.
The symptoms the patient experiences will often depend on the allergy. Some affect the digestive system, while others affect the nasal airways or skin. Most of these symptoms can be managed with asthma and allergy evaluation and treatment. Here are several conditions and their symptoms that people need to watch out for.
1. Hay Fever
Also known as allergic rhinitis, hay fever often leads to:
- Watery eyes
- Itchy skin, nose, mouth or eyes
- A runny nose
2. Food Allergies
Symptoms commonly associated with food allergies include a swollen throat, face, lips or tongue. Other symptoms can include anaphylaxis, hives and a tingling mouth. The level of symptoms will depend on the severity of the allergy and the amount of food consumed.
3. Insect Stings
An allergy caused by an insect's sting or bite can lead to extreme swelling at the site of the bite. Other symptoms include hives, itchy skin, coughing, anaphylaxis and shortness of breath. The shortness of breath can also result in wheezing.
4. Drugs Allergies
Allergies caused by a negative reaction to certain medications like penicillin cause itchy skin, hives, a swollen face, rash and anaphylaxis.
Also known as atopic dermatitis, this is a skin condition that often results from allergies. Symptoms can include itchy skin with red spots spread out on the surface. In some cases, the skin will become flaky and peel off.
Common Risk Factors for Allergies
A person is more likely to have allergies when there is a family history of allergies or asthma. Children are more likely to have allergic reactions than adults. Allergies often increase the patient's risk of developing medical issues down the road.
Complications that can develop from allergies include:
As mentioned, this refers to a severe allergic reaction that sends a person into shock. It can be a life-threatening issue if proper medical care is not immediately sought.
People with known allergies are more likely to develop asthma. It is often a reaction to an allergy that leaves the respiratory system inflamed. It is usually triggered by allergens in the person's environment, like pollen or pet dander.
An allergy can also lead to an infection of the lungs, ears and sinusitis. People with allergies that lead to asthma or hay fever are more likely to develop these issues.
Controlling Allergies with Asthma and Allergy Evaluation/Treatment
The first step when it comes to managing your allergies is figuring out what they are in the first place. That is where an allergist comes in. These are specially trained health care providers who can evaluate a person's family and personal history as it pertains to allergies.
It is also necessary to perform diagnostic tests like oral food challenges, blood tests and skin-prick tests to determine the person's allergic triggers. We can also educate patients on the things they need to avoid and come up with a treatment plan if necessary.
Pulmonary lung function tests are often used to diagnose patients with asthma. The tests commonly used by asthma specialists include challenge tests to observe how the patient reacts to certain things, exhaled nitric oxide tests and spirometry tests. Imaging tests like X-rays are also used at times for asthma testing.
Once a person's allergies have been identified, preventing future occurrences becomes much easier.
Treating Asthma and Allergies
There are a variety of treatment options available when it comes to treating asthma. Popular treatments include:
- Rescue inhalers
- Long-acting bronchodilators
- Antibody treatments
- Anti-leukotriene drugs
The treatment for any allergy depends on the substance that causes it. Treatments commonly used for allergies include:
- Steroid nasal sprays
- Mast cell inhibitors
- Allergy shots
- Leukotriene modifiers
- Living with allergies and asthma
People with known allergies can reduce their risk by avoiding known triggers, tracking how their body reacts to certain things and possibly wearing a metal alert bracelet.
Patients should always avoid things that they are allergic to, even when they are already getting treatments. For example, those with allergies to pollen should spend more time indoors on days when the pollen count is high, while people with allergies to dust mites should vacuum and dust more often.
Tracking how your body reacts to certain things makes it easier to identify the things that cause your allergies or make them worse. Patients should track the things they eat and their daily activities. When an allergy flares up, it will be easier to narrow down what caused it.
People who are prone to anaphylaxis should consider wearing a medical alert bracelet. These devices alert emergency services if you have a serious allergic reaction and are unable to communicate.
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