Allergies are something we all deal with at one point or another in our lives. Occasional or mild allergies may not cause serious problems, and over-the-counter medications might be enough to relieve your symptoms. But, if your allergies seem to be getting worse, or if you find yourself missing out on activities because of them, it may be time to see an allergy doctor.
Your body and allergies
Allergic reactions are the result of your body’s defense against perceived threats. Side effects of your body’s response to allergens include the sneezing, itching, wheezing, and nasal congestion we commonly call allergies. Sometimes, your body’s response is so extreme that it can cause anaphylaxis (extreme and dangerous symptoms including constriction of your airways and a low pulse).
If you notice these things about your allergies it may be time to see an allergy doctor.
- You suffer from allergy symptoms often, multiple times a year
- You get sinus infections that seem to last a long time
- You have chronic nasal congestion or breathing problems
- Over-the-counter medications aren’t controlling your symptoms adequately
- You are wheezing or have shortness of breath, particularly at night
- You cough a lot, especially at night
- You’ve been told by a doctor that you have asthma
How an allergist can help
Over time, you may have gotten accustomed to compensating for your allergies. You may be breathing through your mouth when your nose is stuffy, taking over-the-counter-meds often, even keeping a tissue with you at all times. But, to really improve the quality of your life, you need a plan. Together with your allergist you will identify the causes behind your allergies, and treat them specifically.
An allergist is a medical doctor and a medical specialist in allergic disorders. Allergists have gone through advanced training and have expert knowledge in the fields of allergy and immunology.
The treatment process
- Treating allergies takes thought, time, and patience. When you first go in for an allergy appointment, your doctor may perform allergy testing. It’s important to understand what triggers your allergic responses.
- Once you know what triggers your allergic responses, your doctor will help you learn how to avoid or limit your exposure to these allergens.
- There are also prescription medications that help lower your immune response to allergens. Other medications help treat your symptoms.
- A series of allergy shots (immunotherapy) consisting of incremental doses of an allergen works to reduce your immune response to that allergen. Treatment can be effective, but it requires repeated visits to your doctor.
- Emergency treatment. For anyone who suffers from extreme allergic reactions, carrying emergency epinephrine (often in the form of a single-dose injectable epi-pen) is very important. Your allergist will determine if you need to carry this medication.
If you suffer from allergies, you need to see a doctor with the experience and skill to formulate an effective treatment plan. Arrange to see one of the allergy experts at Allergy Tampa by calling (813) 971-9743, or use our online appointment request form.