Allergies are very common and are diagnosed at any age. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, there are over 50 million Americans that have allergies. You know you have allergies if you have an overreaction to a substance that is actually harmless. These are called allergens. Examples of allergens are pollen, dust, smoke, harsh chemicals, mold, pet dander, shellfish, dairy, and insect stings.
When an allergen causes symptoms, it’s called an allergic reaction. It happens because the immune system releases histamines and other chemicals that cause allergy symptoms to manifest.
Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe. Regardless, there is a proper way to respond to an allergic reaction. Here, we will talk about the different ways to respond to an allergic reaction.
Allergic Reaction Treatments
Allergy symptoms from allergic rhinitis such as sneezing, nasal pressure, congestion, and a runny nose can be treated with antihistamines. Antihistamines work by slowing down histamine activity, which leads to the easing of symptoms. Antihistamines come in pill form and can be taken as soon as the symptoms start. Since congestion is a problem, using a decongestant can also help with improving symptoms. Decongestants work to reduce the swelling of the blood vessels in the nose and open up the airways.
Allergic symptoms from asthma can lead to coughing and wheezing. Medications to treat allergic asthma include short-acting bronchodilators, which are delivered to the lungs through an inhaler. The medication relaxes the muscles surrounding the airways, making it easier to breathe.
Allergy symptoms from eczema and hives can also be treated with antihistamines. Hydrocortisone cream and anti-itch lotion can help control the extreme itchiness that comes with eczema and hives. Avoid wearing clothing that can aggravate skin allergy symptoms, apply a cool compress as needed, and sleep in a cool room. Using a humidifier also keeps moisture in the air and makes the environment more comfortable for people with eczema or hives.
Allergy symptoms from stinging insects and certain foods can be life-threatening. They may cause a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, which is considered a medical emergency and causes a constriction of the airways and a drop in blood pressure. Epinephrine should be administered via an auto-injector pen to patients who have a history of severe allergic reactions, and those who experience difficulty breathing after exposure to an allergen. Epinephrine works to relax muscles, open up the airways, and tighten blood vessels, allowing breathing to return to normal.
If your allergies are severe, they can impact your quality of life and can have serious risks. When it comes to allergy treatment, comprehensive treatment is always best. Most patients use multiple means to control symptoms and prevent allergic reactions.
Allergic Reaction Treatment in Downers Grove, Naperville, Elmhurst, and Plainfield, IL
Our board-certified allergists at Oak Brook Allergists can provide you with complete allergy and asthma treatment, which includes information on how to respond to an allergic reaction, as well as how to reduce the severity and frequency of allergic reactions through long-term treatment. Having allergies is more than an inconvenience and can lead to illnesses and serious complications. Trust your allergy doctors to provide you with the finest in allergy care in northeastern Illinois. To schedule an appointment, call us today at (630) 574-0460 or use our convenient online appointment request form.