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Caring for and causes of Allergies

Author: Dr. William Rappaport
Date: October 2016

Allergies and those pesky symptoms that accompany them can be kept under control with smart preventative measures. Symptoms are key to detection. Keep a diary in order to help your doctor discover exactly what may be causing the uncomfortable, sometimes dangerous, allergies you may be experiencing.

this young woman sneezing into a tissue either has a cold or really bad allergies

  1. Do you or your child find certain foods cause constant cramping or diarrhea?
  2. When you or your child touch furry animals do you experience a rash or uncontrollable sneezing?
  3. Does walking through a park during certain times of the year cause itchy watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing and/or coughing?
  4. How about those itchy, stopped up, popping and infected ears?

They can all be caused by allergies.

COMMON SYMPTOMS:

  • Skin Rashes (eczema) or Hives
  • Stomach Upset
  • Sneezing, Coughing, Runny Nose, Itchy Eyes
  • Breathing Difficulty (Asthma)

COMMON TRIGGERS:

  • OUTDOORS: Tree and Plant Pollens, Insect Bites, Stings
  • INDOORS: Dust Mites, Mold, and Animal Fur
  • FOODS: Peanuts, eggs, shellfish, finned fish, milk, cheese, wheat, tree nuts, soy
  • IRRITANTS: Perfume, Cigarette Smoke, Exhaust from Vehicles, Paints

PREVENTION:

For dust control taking up the rugs, getting rid of old stuffed animals and encasing the bedding with dust mite covers is very helpful. HEPA filtration units are excellent to control animal dander and changing the air conditioning filters during the spring and fall hay fever seasons reduce the pollen burden in homes. For patients with severe food allergies such as peanuts or tree nuts, complete avoidance of these products in home is essential.

TREATMENT:

Immunotherapy can be a safe form of long-term treatment to decrease symptoms for people with allergic asthma, rhinitis, insect and conjunctivitis allergies.  These injections, given by an allergist, can be a cost effective long-term approach for most people. For people with food allergies, simply avoiding the trigger is the best way to deal with the situation.

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