Allergies are caused by the immune system behaving as though food or another substance, such as pollen or pet dander, is harmful when it is not. The immune system may react in ways that range from mildly irritating to life-threatening.
Symptoms vary widely and may affect the skin, respiratory system or digestive system. They include sneezing, coughing, itching, a rash, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and swelling of the throat, tongue or lips. People who are allergic to insects may experience swelling at the site of the bite or sting. If you are unsure about whether you have allergies, you may want to discuss symptoms with a physician during your well woman’s exam.
In general, allergies can be managed but not cured. Treatment varies widely depending on the allergen and the symptoms. For example, the best approach for food allergies may be avoiding the item altogether, but people with pollen allergies may not have this option. Allergies may be treated with shots or medication. If you have a severe reaction, you may require emergency care.
The benefits of treatment for allergies can range from a reduction in mildly irritating symptoms to life-saving interventions. Diagnosis of an allergy and being able to treat it or avoid the allergen altogether can provide relief after years of nonspecific symptoms. Treatment can improve breathing, clear up skin conditions and contribute to a better quality of life.
Because the types of allergies and the treatments for them vary widely, potential side effects may vary as well. A doctor will discuss any potential side effects with you and monitor your treatment, making adjustments as necessary.
Allergies can be life-threatening at worst, but even when they are not particularly serious dangers to your health, they can have a significant effect on your quality of life. If you are experiencing any kind of allergy symptoms, make an appointment online at the HerKare facility nearest you to get tested for allergies and start treatment if necessary.
Treatment costs vary according to your health insurance. HerKare is within most insurance providers’ networks.