What type of doctor should i see for allergies

What type of doctor should i see for allergies

Allergic reactions generally happen quickly within a few minutes of exposure to an allergen.

They can cause:

  1. a red, itchy rash
  2. a runny or blocked nose
  3. red, itchy, watery eyes
  4. sneezing
  5. wheezing and coughing
  6. worsening of asthma or eczema symptoms

Most allergic reactions are mild, but occasionally a severe reaction called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock can happen.

This is a medical emergency and needs urgent treatment.


What causes allergies?

Allergies occur when the body’s immune system reacts to a specific substance as though it’s harmful.

It’s not clear why this happens, but most people affected own a family history of allergies or own closely related conditions, such as asthma or eczema.

The number of people with allergies is increasing every year.

What type of doctor should i see for allergies

The reasons for this are not understood, but 1 of the main theories is it’s the result of living in a cleaner, germ-free environment, which reduces the number of germs our immune system has to deal with.

It’s thought this may cause it to overreact when it comes into contact with harmless substances.


How to manage an allergy

In many cases, the most effective way of managing an allergy is to avoid the allergen that causes the reaction whenever possible.

For example, if you own a food allergy, you should check a food’s ingredients list for allergens before eating it.

There are also several medicines available to help control symptoms of allergic reactions, including:

  1. lotions and creams, such as moisturising creams (emollients) – these can reduce skin redness and itchiness
  2. antihistamines – these can be taken when you notice the symptoms of a reaction, or before being exposed to an allergen, to stop a reaction occurring
  3. decongestants – tablets, capsules, nasal sprays or liquids that can be used as a short-term treatment for a blocked nose
  4. steroid medicines – sprays, drops, creams, inhalers and tablets that can assist reduce redness and swelling caused by an allergic reaction

For some people with extremely severe allergies, a treatment called immunotherapy may be recommended.

This involves being exposed to the allergen in a controlled way over a number of years so your body gets used to it and does not react to it so severely.


Getting assist for allergies

See a GP if you ponder you or your kid might own had an allergic reaction to something.

The symptoms of an allergic reaction can also be caused by other conditions.

A GP can assist determine whether it’s likely you own an allergy.

If they ponder you might own a mild allergy, they can offer advice and treatment to assist manage the condition.

If your allergy is particularly severe or it’s not clear what you’re allergic to, they may refer you to an allergy specialist for testing and advice about treatment.

Find out more about allergy testing


Is it an allergy, sensitivity or intolerance?

Sensitivity

The exaggeration of the normal effects of a substance.

For example, the caffeine in a cup of coffee may cause extreme symptoms, such as palpitations and trembling.

Allergy

A reaction produced by the body’s immune system when exposed to a normally harmless substance.

Intolerance

Where a substance causes unpleasant symptoms, such as diarrhoea, but does not involve the immune system.

People with an intolerance to certain foods can typically eat a little quantity without having any problems.

Sheet final reviewed: 22 November 2018
Next review due: 22 November 2021

You own an allergy when your body overreacts to things that don’t cause problems for most people.

What type of doctor should i see for allergies

These things are called allergens. If you own allergies, your body releases chemicals when you are exposed to an allergen. One type of chemical that your body releases is called histamine. Histamine is your body’s defense against the allergen. The release of histamine causes your symptoms.

Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen. Pollen comes from flowering trees, grass, and weeds. If you are allergic to pollen, you will notice your symptoms are worse on boiling, dry days when wind carries the pollen.

On rainy days, pollen often is washed to the ground, which means you are less likely to breathe it.

  1. Allergies that happen in the summer (late May to mid-July) are often due to grass and weed pollen.
  2. Allergies that happen in the spring (late April and May) are often due to tree pollen.
  3. Allergies that happen in the drop (late August to the first frost) are often due to ragweed.

Allergens that can cause perennial allergic rhinitis include:

  1. Animal dander.Proteins found in the skin, saliva, and urine of furry pets such as cats and dogs are allergens.

    What type of doctor should i see for allergies

    You can be exposed to dander when handling an animal or from home dust that contains dander.

  2. Mold. Mold is common where water tends to collect, such as shower curtains and damp basements. It can also be found in rotting logs, hay, and mulch.

    What type of doctor should i see for allergies

    This allergy is generally worse during humid and rainy weather.

  3. Dust. Numerous allergens, including dust mites, are in dust. Dust mites are tiny living creatures found in bedding, mattresses, carpeting, and upholstered furniture. They live on dead skin cells and other things found in home dust.

Itchy eyes, a congested nose, sneezing, wheezing and hives: these are symptoms of an allergic reaction caused when plants release pollen into the air, generally in the spring or drop. Numerous people use hay fever as a colloquial term for these seasonal allergies and the inflammation of the nose and airways.

But hay fever is a misnomer, said Dr.

Jordan Josephson, an ear, nose and throat doctor and sinus specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

«It is not an allergy to hay,» Josephson, author of the book «Sinus Relief Now» (Perigee Trade, 2006), told Live Science. «Rather, it is an allergy to weeds that pollinate.»

Doctors and researchers prefer the phrase allergic rhinitis to describe the condition. More than 50 million people experience some type of allergy each year, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

What type of doctor should i see for allergies

In 2017, 8.1% of adults and 7.7% of children reported own allergic rhinitis symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Worldwide, between 10 and 30% of people are affected by allergic rhinitis, Josephson said.

In 2019, spring arrived early in some parts of the country and later in others, according to the National Phenology Network (NPN). Spring brings blooming plants and, for some, lots of sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and runny noses.

What type of doctor should i see for allergies

According to NPN data, spring reared its head about two weeks early in areas of California, Nevada and numerous of the Southern and Southeastern states. Much of California, for example, is preparing for a brutal allergy season due to the large quantity of winter rain. On the other hand, spring ranged from about one to two weeks tardy in the Northwest, the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic U.S. [Watch a Massive ‘Pollen Cloud’ Explode from Late-Blooming Tree]


Common allergies

Substances that cause allergic reactions are called allergens.

The more common allergens include:

  1. mould – these can release little particles into the air that you can breathe in
  2. animal dander, tiny flakes of skin or hair
  3. insect bites and stings
  4. food – particularly nuts, fruit, shellfish, eggs and cows’ milk
  5. dust mites
  6. latex – used to make some gloves and condoms
  7. medicines – including ibuprofen, aspirin and certain antibiotics
  8. grass and tree pollen – an allergy to these is known as hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
  9. household chemicals – including those in detergents and hair dyes

Most of these allergens are generally harmless to people who are not allergic to them.


Symptoms

The symptoms of allergic rhinitis may at first feel love those of a freezing.

But unlike a freezing that may incubate before causing discomfort, symptoms of allergies generally appear almost as soon as a person encounters an allergen, such as pollen or mold.

Symptoms include itchy eyes, ears, nose or throat, sneezing, irritability, nasal congestion and hoarseness. People may also experience cough, postnasal drip, sinus pressure or headaches, decreased sense of smell, snoring, sleep apnea, fatigue and asthma, Josephson said. [Oral Allergy Syndrome: 6 Ways to Avoid an Itchy, Tingling Mouth]

Many of these symptoms are the immune system’s overreaction as it attempts to protect the vital and sensitive respiratory system from exterior invaders.

The antibodies produced by the body hold the foreign invaders out, but also cause the symptoms characteristic of allergic responses.

People can develop hay fever at any age, but most people are diagnosed with the disorder in childhood or early adulthood, according to the Mayo Clinic.

What type of doctor should i see for allergies

Symptoms typically become less severe as people age.

Often, children may first experience food allergies and eczema, or itchy skin, before developing hay fever, Josephson said. «This then worsens over the years, and patients then develop allergies to indoor allergens love dust and animals, or seasonal rhinitis, love ragweed, grass pollen, molds and tree pollen.»

Hay fever can also lead to other medical conditions.

People who are allergic to weeds are more likely to get other allergies and develop asthma as they age, Josephson said. But those who get immunotherapy, such as allergy shots that assist people’s bodies get used to allergens, are less likely to develop asthma, he said.


RELATED VIDEO: