Think you are dealing with allergy symptoms? Get them under control.
From allergies to foods, to medications, to pet dander, allergy issues are more common than you might think. Not sure if what you are experiencing could be allergies or something else? Wondering whether it’s time to visit our Lafayette, LA, otolaryngologists Dr. John Alldredge, Dr. C. Barrett Alldredge, and Dr. Denbo Montgomery to find out whether you might require allergy medication?
The symptoms you experience will have to do with the specific allergen. Allergies can cause everything from respiratory and dermatological problems to digestive issues. Symptoms may be mild and fleeting or you may deal with severe and persistent issues. If the allergy is severe enough it can cause anaphylaxis, which is a serious and life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.
- Food allergies: Symptoms usually appear within a few minutes of eating the offending food; however, symptoms can take up to a few hours to show up. You may notice nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea, or vomiting. In some instances, a food allergy can cause the lips or tongue to swell. You may also have a tingling in your mouth.
- Hay fever: Also referred to as allergic rhinitis, this type of allergy presents with the classic allergy symptoms we often think about when we think about allergies such as a runny nose, itchy red eyes and sneezing.
- Insect sting: If a bee or insect stings you and you are allergic you may notice swelling around the sting. The skin may itch or you may break out in hives (itchy raised, red welts). You may also experience wheezing or shortness of breath.
- Drug allergies: If you are allergic to a specific medication you may experience everything from hives and a rash to shortness of breath and facial swelling.
- Atopic dermatitis: Also known as eczema, this skin condition can lead to itchy, red, and peeling skin.
As you might imagine, the type of medications or other treatment options our Lafayette, LA, ENT doctors recommend will have to do with the specific allergy you have. The best way to prevent symptoms is to avoid the allergy altogether, which can be easier for some allergies than others.
Of course, when it comes to allergy treatment the goal is to reduce the frequency, severity, and duration of your symptoms. This can be accomplished through several treatment options:
- Medication: everything from over-the-counter to prescription medications may be recommended. Medications may come in the form of a pill, nasal spray or eye drops.
- Immunotherapy: severe allergies may only respond to immunotherapy, or allergy shots, which expose you to the allergy in a controlled environment to reduce your body’s intolerance over time. Immunotherapy is a longer treatment process, taking a few years to complete.
- Emergency epinephrine (better known as an EpiPen): severe allergies may require you to carry around an epinephrine shot to administer to yourself if you have a severe allergic reaction.
- Lifestyle modifications: this includes using a HEPA air filter, cleaning more often and wearing a facemask while gardening or mowing the lawn.
- Alternative therapies: this can include options such as acupuncture.
If you are someone in Lafayette, LA, who is living with allergies and you can’t seem to get them under control then call our Lafayette Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists. Let us help you get control over your allergies and breathe easier.