AllergyMidwest Allergy Sinus Asthma, SC
Whether they’re just annoying or they’re life-threatening, allergies stop you from enjoying life to the fullest. If you suspect you have allergies, or you want solutions for your allergies, schedule an appointment at Midwest Allergy Sinus Asthma, SC, with locations in Normal and Springfield, Illinois, today. The practice is armed with compassion, talent, expertise, and access to cutting-edge research. To learn more, call or use the online booking tool today.
Allergy Q & A
What is an allergy?
An allergy is a chronic reaction that the immune system causes when it develops hypersensitivity to certain substances, such as tree nuts or grass. When your body misidentifies a foreign substance as harmful, it attacks it with a combination of antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE) and histamines. Histamines cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as swelling and hives.
People of all ages can react to countless allergens. Among the most common allergies are:
- Seasonal allergies
- Perennial allergies (year-round allergies)
- Pet dander and pet allergies
- Food allergies
- Medication allergies
- Latex allergies
- Mold allergies
- Stinging insect allergies
Not all allergies are super common. Some people, for example, have a contrast media allergy.
What are common allergy symptoms?
Some of the most common allergy symptoms include:
- Itchy nose
- Runny nose
- Postnasal drip
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy eyes
- Watery eyes (allergic conjunctivitis)
- Sinus headaches
- Brain fog
- Trouble sleeping
Allergies can also cause vernal conjunctivitis.
How do allergists test for allergies?
At Midwest Allergy Sinus Asthma, the practice can test you for allergies using a few different methods, including skin-prick testing and intradermal skin testing.
During a skin-prick test, your provider starts by dropping small solutions of potential allergens on your back or forearm. They then gently scratch or prick your skin using a needle or small plastic probe.
This prick allows a tiny amount of each allergen to enter your body just below the surface of your skin. Within 30 minutes, if you have an allergy, your skin will react with a wheal. If your skin doesn’t react with a wheal, you’re probably not allergic to a given substance.
Intradermal skin testing
During an intradermal skin test, your provider injects an allergen into your skin. This type of allergy testing is helpful when you’ve tested negative for an environmental or medication allergy, but your doctor suspects those results were inaccurate.
Intradermal tests are more sensitive, so they can pick up on allergies better than the skin-prick test. However, they can also cause false positives.
How can I manage allergies?
At home, you can manage your seasonal, perennial, and environmental allergens using over-the-counter treatments like:
- Nasal sprays
- Sinus rinses
By prescription, you may also use antileukotrienes: drugs that work by blocking both early and delayed nasal allergic responses.
For a more permanent solution, consider treatment with allergy shots or allergy immunotherapy.
Do you suspect you’re suffering from one or more allergies? If so, book an appointment at Midwest Allergy Sinus Asthma today.