If you’re one of the 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies, you know the negative impact they can have on your life. From persistent and vague symptoms to having to be hyper-aware of your allergens and triggers – allergies can easily get in the way of living the life you want.
Although often overlooked, this common condition is the 6th leading cause of chronic illness. Allergies are not something to just deal with, having a holistic treatment plan in place will not only help you feel better now – but can protect you from developing more serious conditions later.
WHAT ARE ALLERGIES?
Allergies are an inflammatory response in your body that causes a variety of different allergy symptoms. These symptoms and inflammation are the result of your immune system overreacting to a foreign substance that is harmless to most people — anything from pollen to peanuts.
In the same way your body creates antibodies against a virus or bacteria, when you’re allergic to something, your body creates antibodies to fight against that “invader.” This immune reaction creates inflammation because of chemicals released during the immune response, such as histamines.
These allergic reactions can range from mild to severe.
WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF ALLERGIES?
The most common areas that are affected by allergies are your sinuses, skin, or respiratory system. Symptoms may include::
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Wheezing and shortness of breath
- Red, itchy eyes
In people with severe allergies, a drastic reaction called “anaphylaxis” can occur within minutes of allergen exposure. Anaphylaxis is when your immune system mounts an extreme response, ultimately causing your airway to narrow. This condition can be life-threatening, so people with signs of anaphylaxis such as a fast, weak pulse, increased heart rate, or difficulty breathing or swallowing should seek emergency care right away.
WHAT CAUSES ALLERGIES?
Many different substances can trigger an allergic reaction, such as:
- Pet dander
- Insect venom
- Dust mites
- Grass and weeds
- Prescription drugs
- Household cleaning products
Any of these perceived invaders could result in allergy symptoms. People with a family history of asthma or allergic conditions are at a higher risk of developing allergies. Children are also very susceptible, but you can develop an allergy at any stage of life.
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR ALLERGIES
The burden of allergy symptoms can make it difficult to function and feel your best. Fortunately, several treatments are available, so you don’t have to feel powerless in the fight against allergies.
OC Wellness Physicians Medical Group provides suggestions for beneficial lifestyle changes and effective treatments for environmental allergy sufferers.
We also offer immunotherapy, which is one of the most effective allergy treatments available today.
WHAT IS IMMUNOTHERAPY?
Immunotherapy is a way of desensitizing your body to allergens by administering small doses of the offending allergen via injection. Doses of the allergen are given over time, in gradually increasing amounts.
This modality is known as subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) or allergy shots. Gradual exposure to allergens causes your immune system to become less and less sensitive to them. Essentially, immunotherapy reprograms your immune system to decrease its response to allergens, providing relief from your allergy symptoms.
ARE YOU A CANDIDATE FOR IMMUNOTHERAPY?
If you’re not getting adequate relief with medications alone, experience side effects from allergy medications, or don’t want to continue taking them long-term, immunotherapy could be an excellent option for you.
Allergens can be difficult, or in some cases impossible, to eliminate from your life. But immunotherapy can be an effective solution to help you reclaim freedom from your allergy symptoms.
HOW WE USE IMMUNOTHERAPY
At OC Wellness Physicians Medical Group, we’re dedicated to helping you improve your allergy symptoms. We utilize HollisterStier immunotherapy shots in our clinic. HollisterStier is an innovative, patient-centered company with rigorous quality guidelines that match our standards of care.
But before developing a treatment course or starting allergy shots, it’s necessary to determine what your specific allergies are.
When you come in for a consultation, we’ll perform testing to determine the exact source of your allergies. Skin testing is the tried-and-true method for pinpointing the culprit of your allergies.
For this test, we’ll place a small amount of various allergens to different sections of your skin for 15 minutes and then measure the skin’s response. This will tell us which allergens your body responds to.
We provide comprehensive testing and treatment for two common types of allergies:
- Environmental allergies — resulting from substances in the environment that are typically airborne and cause asthma-like symptoms or inflammation in your respiratory tract.
- Pet allergies — reactions to the dander, urine, or saliva of animals, leading to a runny, stuffy nose and possibly wheezing.
If you’re a candidate for immunotherapy, we’ll set a treatment course for allergy shots and get started once we identify the allergen we’ll be treating.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR VISIT
When you schedule a consultation for your environmental or pet allergies, we’ll start by gathering your comprehensive medical history. We’ll then perform skin testing to discover what’s triggering your allergies.
From there, we’ll develop a comprehensive treatment plan that could include immunotherapy, wellness supplements, and lifestyle changes to help you avoid allergic responses. Allergy shots are administered in our clinic according to a dosage schedule tailored to your individual needs.
At OC Wellness Physicians Medical Group, our goal is to facilitate your holistic healing. We aim to help you overcome environmental and pet allergies to finally experience life without them.
Schedule a consultation today to get started. We hope to see you soon!