One in five Americans experiences an allergic reaction during each year. For some people, runny noses and itchy eyes plague them anytime a plant is blooming nearby. Others are put at risk for suffocation or shock due to contact with particles of peanuts that are too small to see. All allergies involve the same basic mechanics in the body, but they can have remarkably different triggers and symptoms. We have solutions for New Haven, Indiana, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Monroeville, Indiana, Hoagland, Indiana, Woodburn, Indiana and surrounding areas who want solutions.
What are Allergies?
The umbrella term of allergies encompasses a wide range of reactions, but all of them involve some kind of irritant that the body rejects. When particles enter the body through the nose or touch the skin, the immune system reacts inappropriately and starts attacking the area. This is why symptoms tend to be clustered around a certain region of the body. A harmless substance is seen as a threat to the body. So, the immune system triggers serious reactions that are far more dangerous or irritating than the original allergen.
The symptoms of an allergic reaction can be very mild or life threatening. Many patients find that their symptoms seem to change each time they have a reaction. An outburst could include symptoms such as:
- Swelling or inflammation of the sinuses
- Sneezing, coughing, wheezing
- Skin rashes or itchy welts and hives
- Redness and irritation of the eyes
- Swelling of the lips, hands, or face in extreme cases
- Restriction of the airways
- Anaphylactic shock in case of extreme allergies
Cause of Allergies
Allergies are technically caused by the body’s inappropriate reaction to irritants, and not really the allergens themselves. This is why four of five Americans don’t experience these reactions. However, there are many common triggers found in patients who have pain and itching interrupting their lives. These triggers include:
- Pollen from trees, flowers, or grass
- Mold and mildew spores
- Food items like dairy products, tree nuts, peanuts, specific fruits, or shellfish
- Food additives and ingredients like gluten and sulfites
- Sun exposure
- Medications like aspirin
- Ingredients in household cleaners or makeup
- Penicillin and other antibiotics
It is still unclear what causes some people to develop allergies and others to remain free of these problems. Testing has uncovered some tantalizing connections, but there is little proof yet of risk factors that increase the chance of having allergies. Some potential risks may be:
- Other allergies – People with food allergies seem more likely to react to pollen as well
- Genetics – Families tend to feature numerous members with allergies or none at all
- Exposure – Exposing a child to second-hand smoke may increase their chances to develop allergies of all kinds
- Lack of exposure – Conversely, exposure to dirt and common allergens may help form resistances
- Bottle feeding – Breastfed infants tend to have lower chances for reactions
Allergy Treatment Options
Treating allergies can mean controlling the symptoms, but for many people with severe peanut allergies, it simply means constant vigilance and avoidance. As medical treatments evolve, there may be a solution for life-threatening allergies that eliminates the risk of shock. We focus on options for patients who find their allergies irritating or keep them from focusing on work. Our treatments include:
- In-depth testing through the ALCAT and other allergy or food sensitivity testing to determine the exact environmental or food triggers affecting you.
- Lifestyle changes that are in many cases very simple that can, however, help you avoid or minimize contact with triggers that might have been overlooked before.
- Recommendations for immunotherapy, which can lower sensitivity
- Lymph node and sinus drainage massage to release irritation carried over from a previous attack
Stop Allergies in their Tracks
If you are tired of a stuffy nose and low-grade headaches, whether you are from New Haven, Fort Wayne, Monroeville, Woodburn, Hoagland, or surrounding areas, head to our New Haven office for immediate help. We may not be able to eliminate your allergies completely, but we can give you the tools you need to deal with them without medications that make you sleep the day away. You have more choices available than just being itchy or drowsy when you get the help of the Spinal Healthcare & Physical Medicine team.