Allergies are a condition in which the body’s immune system reacts (or overreacts) to a foreign substance that it identifies as “harmful.” The foreign substances that cause allergies are called allergens, and they bind to the cell receptors that elicit the immune response. Some of the most common allergens are pollen, dust mites, molds, pet dander, bee venom, and food (milk, soy, eggs, peanuts, etc.) – substances that don’t normally cause a reaction in most people.

Allergy Signs & Symptoms

Specific allergy symptoms depend on the type of allergen the patient is exposed to. Below are some types of common allergens and the symptoms they may cause in allergic patients.

Food allergies may cause symptoms such as swollen lips, face, and throat, or a swollen tongue. There may be itchiness or tingling in the mouth. Digestive symptoms may be present, such as vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain or cramps, and rectal bleeding (common in children). Food allergies may also cause hives or breathing difficulty.

Dust and pollen allergies often result in symptoms such as itchy eye sand nose, swollen or watery eyes, an itchy throat, a runny or congested nose, and coughing.

An allergy to insect stings can cause swelling of the affected area, hives, and itchy skin. Other insect allergy symptoms can include coughing, wheezing, dizziness, restlessness, shortness of breath or a sudden drop in blood pressure.

Many allergies are mild, but if the symptoms are more severe, a dangerous allergic reaction called anaphylaxis can occur.

Risk Factors of Allergies

Children are more likely to develop allergies, as are patients with asthma or another allergic condition, or if there is a family history of asthma or allergies.

Types of Allergies

There are many types of allergies. Some can occur all year round, while some occur during certain seasons. Other allergies may be lifelong. Below are some of the most common types of allergies:

  • Drug Allergy – Drug allergies are commonly caused by particular medications. However, any kind of drug may cause an allergy.
  • Food Allergy – Food allergy reactions commonly occur in babies and children, but can appear at any age.
  • Insect Allergy – Ants, bees, hornets, and yellow jackets are some of the most common insects that can trigger an allergic reaction. Non-stinging insects such as cockroaches and dust mites can also cause allergic reactions.
  • Pet Allergy – Allergies to pet fur or dander are fairly common.
  • Pollen Allergy – Pollen is one of the most common causes of seasonal allergies. They’re also referred to as “hay fever” or “seasonal allergic rhinitis.”

How Are Allergies Diagnosed?

Three main types of tests are used to diagnose allergies.

  • Skin Tests – Skin tests introduce a specific allergen to the topmost layer of the skin to observe potential reactions, such as swelling, redness, and itchiness.
  • Blood Tests – If there’s a potentially severe reaction to a skin test, a blood test may be conducted. The patient’s blood is drawn and tested to determine the number of allergen-fighting antibodies present.
  • Elimination Diet – This is the process of consciously eliminating specific foods from the patient’s diet and later introducing them to determine the source of allergic reactions.

Allergy Treatments at Southern Indiana ENT Sinus &Allergy

Southern Indiana ENT offers on-site allergy testing to take the guesswork out from the cause of your allergies. Our talented allergy specialists are more than happy to work with you to develop treatment plans.

For no-fuss allergy management, Southern Indiana ENT offers oral allergy drops that treat allergy symptoms rather than covering them. Patients of all ages can find long-term allergy relief without shots.

Preventative Steps to Avoid Allergies

Preventing allergic reactions depend on the type of allergy condition you have. If you can, avoid known triggers. For example, if you’re allergic to pollen, try to stay inside the house when pollen is high. You can also track your activities and the food you eat. This will help you determine your triggers.

Why Choose Southern Indiana ENT Sinus & Allergy?

At Southern Indiana ENT Sinus & Allergy, we treat the cause of your allergies, not the symptoms. Our expert team of allergy specialists will design a personalized treatment plan that works for you. Our sublingual immunotherapy for allergies(allergy drops) can provide long-term relief without allergy shots.

If you’re ready to live your life without allergies, contact us today to learn more and make an appointment.

Convenient Pre-Op and Follow-Up Blood Work

Southern Indiana ENT is now a “blood draw station.” You can have your pre-op blood work or your follow-up appointment blood work at Southern Indiana ENT. Best of all – it takes just a few minutes!