Are Allergies a Problem in Your Home?
August 20, 2014
Allergies are hypersensitive reactions that affect a person’s immune system. They can range from minor and bothersome to life-threatening. If you or a loved one has an allergy, there are some topics you should discuss with your doctor.
What Is An Allergen?
An allergen is a substance a person is allergic to, and there is virtually no limit to the possibilities. A person may be allergic to only one substance, or a number of different substances. Some of the most common allergens are pollen, specific foods, specific medications, pet dander, stings from bees or wasps, and substances in the environment.
Why You Should Discuss Your Allergens With Your Physician
Only your doctor can recommend appropriate treatment for your allergy. However, your doctor also needs to know if you have an allergy that can cause medical complications. An allergy to certain antibiotics is one example. If you ever need routine or emergency medical treatment, everything you are allergic to should be in your medical record.
What Kinds Of Treatments Are Available?
Many people believe the only way to cope with an allergy is to avoid the particular substance they are allergic to. While this may seem like the sensible course of action, it is not always the best approach. Depending on the substance, your doctor may be able to prescribe medication. Medication is especially useful when allergens cannot easily be avoided.
Symptoms Of An Allergy
Depending on the particular substance, you may experience any number of symptoms. Red or watery eyes, itching, sneezing, breathing difficulties, rashes, and gastrointestinal problems are some of the most common symptoms. A severe allergy may result in the inability to breathe, coma, or death.
How To Have An Accurate Diagnosis
Even if you believe you are allergic to something, a conclusive diagnosis requires one or more tests performed by a physician. The most common tests for this purpose are skin prick tests, patch tests, challenge tests, elimination tests, and blood tests.
If your doctor advises a test, you should have it performed immediately. Most tests will take only a few minutes of your time in the doctor’s office. Testing is the only way to obtain an accurate diagnosis, and to learn how to cope with your problem.
An Important Note About Allergies
It is possible to become allergic to something that you were not allergic to in the past. This is why you should consult with a doctor if you begin to experience any unusual symptoms. Only a qualified physician can determine if an allergen is the cause.
Your health is important, and so is your overall quality of life. You do not need to go through life trying to avoid dust, cats, bees, pollen, or other substances. In most cases, all it takes is a test to determine an allergen, and medication to prevent harmful reactions. Better health and confidence can be yours. Begin by discussing your lifestyle with your physician, and let him know if you are experiencing symptoms. Allergy relief can be as close as your next appointment with your doctor.