For those who have long suffered from seasonal allergies, the choice to visit an allergy doctor can feel excessive. However, an allergic reaction can lead to a variety of health problems and cosmetic challenges.
You may be increasing your risk of respiratory illness, ear infections, and sinus inflammation. You can also end up dealing with itchy eyes and a red nose for days on end.
Why Allergies Occur
An allergic reaction is what happens when your immune system treats a foreign substance as a toxin. A house cat may not be a threat to your well-being, but if you have an allergy to cat dander your body sees the dander as a big threat and functionally overreacts.
Generally, a reaction to pet dander or pollen can lead to
- swollen, itchy eyes
- a runny nose
- throat swelling and phlegm
Coughing and sneezing may result. However, each exposure can cause an increase in the severity of your allergies. Because the risk of an anaphylactic reaction could develop over time, you will want to schedule an appointment with an immunologist to fully define your allergies.
Food allergies are more specific. Examples of a food reaction include
- a skin rash
- airway shutdown
An immunology test to determine the most dangerous allergic risks for you is critically important if you have an allergic reaction to a food. Pollen reactions may be seasonal, but eggs, milk, and nuts are often hidden in prepared foods. If you have a peanut or tree nut allergy, you need to know exactly what products you react to and immediately treat the reaction.
How an Allergist can Help
Your Yardley allergy doctor will help you manage your allergies by
- testing to determine exactly what it is that you’re reacting to
- seasonal adjustments you may need to make
- foods to avoid
- activities that you may need to move indoors or move on your schedule
- providing the patient with allergy shots
If you love to play tennis but have a severe allergy to grass, your immunology team can help you medicate for airborne pollen while learning to play on clay.
For those who love to garden or grow their food, you may need to use more protective gear to make sure that the bees working in your garden don’t go to work on you. You can also get to work on controlling your allergies before you develop a chronic condition such as asthma or chronic sinus inflammation.
Allergy symptoms can cause more than mere discomfort. The ongoing irritation can damage the lining of the nose and throat and lead to more serious conditions such as asthma, sleep apnea, and hearing loss.
It’s understandable that a person would not look forward to regular allergy shots throughout life. But once the patient understands how much these treatments can ease their suffering and prevent long-term damage, they nearly always have a change of heart regarding allergy shots.
Read our informative article about how allergy shots work.
Allergy Types Treated
Working with an immunology professional means that you can develop a thorough understanding of what is triggering the overreaction of your immune system. Because additional exposure can easily lead to increased severity during the next reaction, the sooner you get treatment, the better you will feel.
Respiratory or Airborne Reactions
If you have ever taken an over-the-counter allergy treatment and felt sluggish and sleepy, you will likely be thrilled to find out exactly what is firing up your immune system so you can target your treatment. Triggers including pet dander and pollen are often connected to respiratory allergies.
Nose and Sinus Problems
It only takes one allergic reaction, generally to airborne pollen, dust, or pet dander, to suffer from serious sinus inflammation for an extended period. Over time, constant inflammation of your sinus tissue can lead to scarring and frequent infections. Your symptoms may include a drippy nose, constant congestion, and sinus pressure headaches.
Constant sinus inflammation, a drippy nose, and a scratchy throat make the development of sleep apnea much more likely. Over time, sleep apnea is hard on your heart, can raise your cortisol levels, contribute to obesity and even increase your risk of diabetes. Both sleep apnea and snoring are hard on the quality of your rest; getting it addressed early can leave you much better rested and increase your quality of life.
Hearing and Speaking
Constant post-nasal drip, sinus inflammation, and a scratchy allergy throat can make it harder to hear. Your inner ear can feel plugged. Your throat may swell and alter your speaking voice. For adults, this can lead to asking a lot of questions or just missing out. For a child with severe allergies, impeding their hearing can mean they miss some major learning milestones that could hold them back for years.
If your child does a lot of coughing and sneezing but doesn’t have a fever, get their allergies under control so their ears can function unimpeded.
Your testing by your allergy doctor may include a patch test or a blood test. You will get instructions on the best way to prepare for your patch test to help you stay as comfortable as possible as your body reacts. Your immunologist may need to check your patches after a time.
How Immunology Works
The science of allergy treatment and immunology has changed a great deal over time. Just as the first medications for allergy control were quite cutting edge, the ability to determine exactly what you are reacting to and targeting your treatment and any behavior changes that will help is the target of your immunologist.
There are some allergens that you will always have to avoid. However, many allergies can lead to serious complications. If you can get a handle on them early and reduce the severity of your reaction, you will be safer.
Driving Directions from Nearby Locations
Penn Medicine Becker ENT & Allergy
111 Floral Vale Boulevard, Suite A
Yardley, PA, 19067
From Core Creek County Park to the east
- Take Langhorne Road east to Township Line Road North.
From Makefield Highlands Golf Club to the northeast
- Take 295 south to Stony Hill Road to Township Line Road.
From Cairn University to the south
- Take 295 north to Township Line Road, then straight north. You’ll cross over Langhorne Road before you get to the office.
Schedule an Appointment in Yardley, PA Today
Your initial consultation will likely be with one of our immunology professionals, including:
- Dr. Kathryn Edwards
- Dr. Jamie Zacharias
- Dr. Naba Sharif
They’ll help you determine the source of your allergy and the extent of any damage. If your sinuses are scarred, Drs. Ahmed and Lupa will likely be included on your team.
You could be one allergy doctor appointment away from deeper sleep, clearer hearing, and a nose that doesn’t drip! Your immunologist can help you to understand exactly what is causing your reaction so you can get to work controlling your reaction to that product alone. The office can be reached at (267)399-4004, or book your appointment online.