In the United States, more than 50 million people have an allergic episode every year. Although allergies are often seasonal, they can be triggered by almost anything, depending on your immune system. Common allergens include:
- Pet dander
- Personal-care products
- Cleaning products
- Insect bites
- Certain foods
Allergy testing helps you identify the substances triggering your reactions. However, discovering what you’re allergic to is only the first step.
At Low Testosterone & Weight Loss Center, our expert team of medical professionals performs allergy tests at our office in Allen, Texas. If your tests show severe allergies, we recommend lifestyle changes and treatments to control them.
Avoid your triggers
The first-line treatment for severe allergies is identifying and avoiding your triggers.
Some triggers are easy to avoid, such as certain foods. Others may be more challenging. Allergies to pollen may require lifestyle changes, such as:
- Staying indoors on high-pollen days
- Showering and washing your hair after being outside
- Washing your bedding frequently
- Taking off your shoes and outer layers indoors
- Taking your medicine before you leave the house
- Running the AC with the windows closed
- Vacuuming several times a week
- Changing AC and vacuum filters regularly
If you have allergies to your pets, you may have to change how you interact with them.
Control symptoms with medications
Untreated allergies can lead to painful sinus and ear infections. Used correctly, allergy medications are safe and effective. Depending on your needs, we may recommend:
Nasal or topical corticosteroids
Corticosteroids reduce swelling that often accompanies allergic reactions. When inhaled in the form of nasal sprays, they alleviate stuffy, runny, and itchy noses. Nasal corticosteroids are the most effective way to deal with nasal symptoms.
In topical form, corticosteroids reduce the swelling, redness, and itchiness of skin rashes. If your rash doesn’t resolve after one week of using a topical steroid, let us know. You shouldn’t use them for longer than a week.
Histamines are chemicals produced by your immune system to regulate your sleep-wake cycle. But it also influences inflammation. If you have allergies, your body overproduces histamines, creating allergic reactions.
Antihistamines stop the swelling associated with allergies by blocking histamine. Antihistamines come in oral forms as well as nasal sprays.
Another way to control histamine release is with medications called mast-cell stabilizers. Mast-cell stabilizers prevent your body from overproducing and releasing histamine.
Decongestants alleviate a stuffy nose by shrinking the swollen tissues. However, you can’t use them for more than three days in a row.
Overuse of decongestants can worsen nasal swelling. This “rebound” reaction can occur even after you’ve ceased using the medication. Be sure to use them only for the recommended time.
Stop life-threatening reactions
If you’re in danger of a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, we prescribe an epinephrine pen to carry with you at all times. Anaphylactic reactions are associated with allergies to substances such as:
- Insect stings
- Other foods
- Certain medications
When you experience an allergic reaction that makes it hard to breathe, immediately self-inject with your epinephrine pen. If you don’t use your epi-pen, your airway could close, causing a life-threatening situation. If you don’t have an epi-pen, get to the nearest ER immediately.
Retrain your immune system
You may also benefit from a type of allergy treatment called immunotherapy, also known as “allergy shots.” During immunotherapy, our team injects you with small amounts of your trigger substance until your body learns to tolerate it.
Immunotherapy is not a quick fix. It can take a year or more to retrain your immune system to ignore your triggers.
Discover what’s causing your symptoms with allergy testing and get the treatment you need by calling us today at 214-383-7411. Or, use our online form at your convenience.