You may look forward to the warmer weather when spring rolls around, but the itchy eyes and runny nose may have you wishing it was still winter time.
Seasonal allergies can be hard to avoid, and the symptoms can make life miserable. But there’s no need to suffer. Getting care from medical professionals can help you get long-lasting relief.
At MS Family Medicine Health Care PC, with New York City offices in Rosedale and Garden City, our primary care specialists, led by medical director Michele Reed, DO, FAAFP, provide comprehensive care for many health issues, including allergies.
Here, we want to talk about allergies and how professionals like us can help allergy-sufferers like you get relief.
The main function of your immune system is to fight off germs so you don’t get sick. However, with allergies, the immune system overreacts to normally harmless substances, treating them as though they were dangerous.
When one of these substances — called allergens — enters the body, the immune system releases chemicals, such as histamine, thus causing an allergic reaction.
You can develop an allergy to almost anything. However, most people who have allergies are allergic to one or more of the following:
Allergy symptoms vary and may depend on the type of allergies you have.
For example, when it comes to hay fever, breathing in pollen irritates the nose. This irritation then triggers sneezing, which fires up the immune system to attack the foreign invader. This then causes an allergic reaction, resulting in symptoms such as a runny nose, watery eyes, and congestion.
People with severe allergies may develop anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that causes swelling in the throat, affecting breathing.
Allergies are a long-term health condition. Even if you only have problems with allergies during certain times of the year, getting professional help for your allergies may help you get long-term relief from symptoms.
After reviewing your symptoms, we do additional diagnostic allergy testing to determine what’s causing your allergic reaction. It’s not uncommon for people to have allergic reactions to more than one substance. Knowing what’s causing your allergies is vital to getting the right treatment.
Depending on the case, treatment for allergies may include avoidance strategies, medication, immunotherapy, or a combination of these methods.
The best way to stop your allergies from acting up is to avoid the allergen. However, we know it’s not always possible to avoid the substances that cause a reaction. But we provide education on how to minimize exposure, such as keeping your windows closed during allergy season and cleaning the air filters in your house.
We may recommend medication to help manage allergy symptoms. Medications can include antihistamines to decrease the allergic reaction and decongestants to improve breathing. We may also recommend nasal sprays and eye drops.
For patients who have severe allergic reactions, we can prescribe an epinephrine pen, which is a shot you carry at all times. The injection reduces the severity of the allergic reaction, giving you time to get to the emergency room for care.
Immunotherapy is a treatment that desensitizes your immune system to the allergen. It involves giving you small amounts of the allergen over a period of time, training your immune system to stop overreacting.
Are your allergies acting up? We can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with MS Family Medicine Health Care PC today.