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When You Suffer From Allergies

Allergy Sufferers are in Good Company

Allergic reactions occur when your body is exposed to a substance (called an allergen) that might otherwise be harmless in nonallergic persons. The allergen, such as common grass pollen or insect sting, triggers your immune system to counteract it causing symptoms such as a skin rash, headache, respiratory issue, nausea, etc.

Some people manage their allergies year-round such as to specific foods, dust mites, animals. Others have allergies that occur during specific times of the year from grass, pollen, mold, insect bites, chlorine, to holiday candy.

The most severe reaction known as anaphylaxis causes rapid, severe symptoms which can be life-threatening. Those with severe reactions like this often carry a portable dose of epinephrine (i.e., Epi-Pen) and should call 9-1-1 immediately.


Allergy or Illness?

Cold, flu, and allergy all affect your respiratory system, including runny nose, sore throat, difficulty breathing; but there are key symptoms which set them apart.

  • Colds and flu are caused by different viruses, with more severe symptoms for the flu including high fever, along with a headache, fatigue, and general aches and pain. Colds and flu last days and rarely beyond a couple weeks. Some colds and flu can progress to a bacterial infection requiring antibiotics .
  • Allergies are caused by your body’s immune system reacting to an allergen with symptoms lasting for as long as you are exposed, for example, six or more weeks during pollen season. Allergies often cause swelling, rashes, itchy and watery eyes typically not found with a cold or flu.


STAT MED is Here to Help

  • Provide immediate symptom relief which may include a respiratory treatment with albuterol or a steroid injection
  • Identify the cause of an allergic reaction
  • Recommend additional ways to control your specific symptoms from changes in your environment to over-the-counter or prescription medication
  • Refer you if needed to a local board-certified allergist-immunologist

FAQs

1When should I go to the ER vs. STAT MED?
If your allergic reaction is from peanuts or shellfish, is causing severe shortness of breath, or requires an EPI-pen, go to the ER. Otherwise, come to STAT MED for symptom relief and treatment.
2Can allergies be contagious?
Typically, allergies are not contagious, though if an allergic reaction progresses to a viral or bacterial infection, there is some risk of infection.
3Why do allergies affect my sinuses?
Sinuses are one of our body’s natural filters, with air cells that work hard to rid the body of the allergen exposure. Sometimes sinuses get clogged working so hard and this can lead to additional respiratory symptoms.
4Should I have a temperature with allergies?
Allergies do not present with fever; fever or chills are more likely symptoms of the flu or bacterial infection
For more information on allergies, causes and treatments, http://acaai.org/allergies