Allergies happen when your immune system works overtime, creating antibodies for substances that aren’t normally harmful. While some allergies are serious and even fatal without treatment, most are seasonal nuisances that produce predictable symptoms.
At Sheridan Ear, Nose & Throat, we specialize in allergy testing and diagnosis. Many of the symptoms of seasonal allergies are respiratory in nature, affecting your nasal passages and sinuses, signs of allergies that fall within the bounds of our practice.
Dr. Scott Bateman and his team are ready to help you pinpoint your problem allergens, as well as develop a management plan that works for you.
Triggers and immune system reactions
It’s obvious, of course, that we want our immune systems to protect us against viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens that can make us sick, and for the most part, our bodies do this quite well.
Sometimes, though, the immune system becomes overly zealous and begins to attack substances that are no big deal, they won’t harm your health. However, you need to cope with the symptoms arising from a body that’s gone into full attack mode.
We call these otherwise-harmless substances allergens, and when you come in contact with them, they cause an overactive immune system response. These allergens are also informally called “triggers.”
Common triggers include:
- Airborne substances: pollen, pet dander, mold, dust mites, and other substances you breathe in
- Foods: milk, peanuts, eggs, and shellfish are examples
- Medications: penicillin-based antibiotics are perhaps the most prominent
- Latex and other substances that produce a reaction with skin contact
- Insect stings: bees, wasps, and other biting insects
While many triggers are common, allergies tend to have unique variations for each patient, including the severity of the immune system reaction and the combinations of allergic sensitivities.
Reasons why you have allergies
In many cases, there’s no clear reason why you develop allergies. It may be something that’s passed on genetically. Allergies aren’t contagious. You won’t become sensitive to a trigger by being around someone having an allergic reaction.
Children tend to have more allergies than adults. This might be related to their developing immune systems. It’s common to outgrow allergies. But if you have one allergic condition, your risk of developing others is higher. Asthmatics often develop allergies with respiratory symptoms.
7 telltale signs that you have an allergy
There are many symptoms of allergic reactions, and you can sometimes deduce that you have an allergy by observing when these symptoms occur. Allergy testing with Dr. Bateman is the best way to confirm your suspicions.
Here are seven general signs that you have an allergy:
- Itchy eyes, nose, and roof of the mouth
- Sneezing and runny nose
- Wheezing or trouble breathing
- Rashes and hives
- Stomach cramps
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Swollen tongue or the feeling that your throat is closing
If you have digestive symptoms after eating certain foods, it might suggest a food allergy. When your nose gets stuffy and your eyes are itchy, check a calendar or consult a pollen count report. Pay close attention to your body after you’ve been stung by an insect.
Knowing your triggers is the first step in learning to cope with them. Contact Sheridan Ear, Nose & Throat to schedule an allergy test. When we know your particular allergens, we can suggest management strategies, including allergy shots.
Reach our office by phone or online to book your visit today.