What are Allergies?

Allergies are when your immune system reacts negatively to a foreign substance such as pollen, pet dander, bee venom, or certain foods. When you have allergies, your immune system creates antibodies which identify the allergen as harmful, even if it isn’t. The immune system will then react when you come into contact with the allergen, and inflame the skin, digestive system, airways, or sinuses. For those with severe allergies, anaphylaxis can occur, which Is a potentially life-threatening emergency.

Respiratory Allergies

Respiratory allergies can encompass seasonal and pet-related allergies.

Symptoms of respiratory allergies may include:

  • Sneezing
  • Itching of the nose or eyes
  • Rash
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Water, red, or swollen eyes

If you are experiencing respiratory allergies, there are an array of treatment options available, including OTC antihistamines and nasal corticosteroids.

Food Allergies

Food allergies occur when your immune system identifies a food that doesn’t usually cause a reaction in most people as harmful. Many patients suffer from some form of food allergy. While food allergies may not seem like a big deal to some, they can progress into serious side effects such as anaphylaxis, which is life-threatening. If you or a loved one is experiencing anaphylaxis or is having trouble breathing, contact 911 immediately.

Symptoms of a food allergy may include:

  • Tingling of the mouth
  • Swelling of face, throat, tongue, or lips
  • Hives
  • Anaphylaxis

If you are aware of your food allergy, you should consciously avoid that food. Also, carrying a portable dose of epinephrine prescribed by your doctor may be useful in case of a serious reaction.

If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms related to a food allergy, call 911 for transport to the nearest emergency room. We will work with you to identify the cause of your symptoms and create an individualized treatment plan for you.

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