According to reports, approximately 50 million people experience an allergic reaction yearly. It is one of the most common reasons Americans visit a doctor.
Allergic reactions are when your immune system becomes hyper responsive to an otherwise harmless foreign agent, such as dust, pollen, animal fur, etc. If you suffer from allergies and wonder why allergy treatments are important, this article is for you.
Let’s talk about allergic reactions, types of allergies, treatment of allergic reactions and their importance, and where you can go for allergy treatment in Downers Grove, Naperville, Elmhurst, or Plainfield, IL.
What An Allergic Reaction is Like?
An allergic reaction is a reaction of your immune system to an allergen (the substance that elicits an allergic reaction). When people with allergies encounter an allergen for the first time, their body reacts to it by producing IgE antibodies. These antibodies bind to the mast cell of the skin and respiratory tract and mucus membranes of the digestive tract.
When exposed to the same allergen next time, your antibodies bind to the allergen and take them to the mast cells. There are some receptors on mast cells to which these antibodies with allergens attach. This binding causes mast cells to burst and release histamine. When released from mast cells, Histamine causes allergy symptoms that affect airways, sinuses, nasal passage, skin, and digestive system.
Types of Allergies
There are many types of allergies depending on the allergen. The most common allergies include:
- Food Allergies – The allergens for these allergies can be peanuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, tree nuts, shellfish, etc.
- Inhalant Allergies – These allergies are caused by airborne substances like pollens, dust mites, molds, animal fur, urine, skin, and saliva. Inhalant allergies can be perennial allergies and seasonal allergies.
Perennial allergies are caused by allergens that may affect you throughout the year, while seasonal allergies occur during a particular season, like fall and spring.
- Drug Allergies – These are the allergic reactions that occur when you take an herbal, over-the-counter, or prescription medication. Medicines that can cause allergic reactions include insulin, antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and chemotherapy drugs.
- Sting/ Venom Allergies – Venom in the insect sting can also stimulate an allergic reaction. Stinging insects that can cause allergies are bees, hornets, wasps, fire ants, and yellow jackets.
What Allergic Reaction Treatment Involves?
It is advisable to avoid an allergen to treat allergies. However, this approach is often insufficient, so allergy doctors recommend various approaches to allergic reaction treatment. Some most common allergic reaction treatments are as follows:
An allergic reaction treatment involves antihistamines, nasal sprays, decongestants, asthma medications, and others. These over-the-counter and prescription medications work by reducing the severity of the symptoms of allergies.
Immunotherapy is an allergic reaction treatment that desensitizes a person’s immune system. It can be administered as injections (allergy shots) and sublingual tablets (allergy drops).
For immunotherapy, an allergy doctor administers a small but gradually increasing dose of the allergen to the allergy patient. This gradually increasing dose creates tolerance to the allergen.
Several months of allergy shots or drops are required to develop full tolerance in the body against the allergen.
Emergency Epinephrine Injections
For severe allergic reactions, patients are advised to carry an emergency epinephrine shot with them all the time. Epinephrine can reduce allergy symptoms until the patient gets emergency medical treatment.
Importance of Allergic Reaction Treatment
Getting an allergic reaction treatment is important for several reasons. Allergic reaction treatments can:
Relieve Your Symptoms
Even though there is no cure for allergic reactions, there are many ways to ease their symptoms. Nearly all allergic reaction treatment medications focus on decreasing the severity of allergy symptoms.
Medication can inhibit certain steps in the body through which allergen produces symptoms. For example, medications like antihistamines act by inhibiting the release of histamine from mast cells, thereby reducing the severity of allergy symptoms. Similarly, medication like decongestants relieves nasal congestion and eases breathing.
Prevent Allergic March
Allergies, even mild in the beginning, can become severe in the future when you are repeatedly exposed to allergens. For example, in children, allergies first express themselves as eczema, then eczema progresses to food allergies, allergic rhinitis, or asthma. This phenomenon is known as an atopic march or allergic march.
Reports have also shown that approximately 50 percent of children with eczema at a young age develop asthma later, while 33 percent develop food allergies.
Getting allergic reaction treatments earlier when allergies are mild can significantly help prevent the allergic march.
Prevent Allergy Complications
Having untreated allergies can put you at a higher risk of developing certain other medical problems, including:
- Anaphylaxis – This is alife-threatening allergic reaction that is more common in people who are allergic to certain foods, medications, and insect stings. People who experience severe allergy symptoms are also more likely to experience anaphylactic shock.
- **If you think you are having symptoms of an anaphylactic shock, such as weak pulse, trouble breathing, itchy and raised skin, and lightheadedness, inject epinephrine injection if you have that with you or call 911 immediately for medical help **
- Asthma–People with allergies are at higher risk for developing asthma, an immune system disorder that causes airway constriction and breathing problems. In most cases, asthma is triggered when a patient is exposed to environmental allergens. Such asthma is known as allergy-induced asthma.
- Sinusitis – This is the inflammation and fluid buildup of sinuses, which are air-filled pockets in the face. The fluid buildup in these airpockets causes pressure and pain in your face, a stuffy nose, and other symptoms.
Getting allergic reaction treatment early can halt the progression of the symptoms and minimize the risk of long-term consequences.
Improve Quality of Life
Allergies can result in a wide range of bothersome symptoms, such as itching, nasal congestion, sneezing, skin rashes, hives, difficulty breathing, and other symptoms. These bothersome allergy symptoms not only make individuals with allergies unwell and physically uncomfortable but also affect their sleep and take a significant toll on their mental health.
Furthermore, it can also limit your participation in social events, hobbies, and other outdoor activities that may involve further exposure to allergens.
Specialized in treating all types of allergies, your allergic doctor can provide you with allergic reaction treatments that can improve your health-related quality of life. This also allows you to maintain better productivity and engagement in their day-to-day tasks.
Allergic Reaction Treatment in Downers Grove, Naperville, Elmhurst, or Plainfield, IL
If you think you or your loved one are having an overreaction to a substance that is actually harmless, it’s best to avoid those substances and seek treatment for allergies right away.
Our board-certified allergists at Oak Brook Allergists can provide you with a comprehensive and personalized allergic reaction treatment plan. In order to develop a comprehensive allergic reaction treatment plan, our allergy doctor will do a thorough assessment, which involves knowing your family history of allergies, other concurring medical conditions, allergy symptoms, and the severity of the symptoms. We also offer several types of allergy tests to determine your allergen.
Allergic reaction treatment plans our allergy doctor will develop may consist of medications and immunotherapy. This may also include information on how to avoid an allergic reaction, how to respond to an allergic reaction as well as how to reduce the frequency of an allergic reaction.
In addition to allergies, our allergists also offer treatment for allergen-induced asthma, chronic sinusitis, eczema, and hives, among others.
If you want to know the underlying cause of your allergies or want to get treatment for your allergy symptoms, please contact us today at (630) 574-0460 or use our convenient online appointment request form.