What is an allergy?
Millions of people suffer from allergies each year. When certain materials come into contact with a person suffering from a specific allergy, their immune system mistakenly believes the material to be harmful. In response, the body will then produce histamine and other chemicals as a form of protection. Due to the presence of these chemicals within the body, reactions will take places such as a rash, swelling, and itching. In some cases, people may be affected by objects within the environment such as pollen, pollutants, mould, and dust. Reactions to environmental substances may include eye or skin irritations or breathing difficulty. In all cases, finding a successful allergy treatment is dependent on the type of allergy.
The most important step in successful allergy treatment is to avoid the materials that are causing allergy symptoms. In order to prevent an allergy reaction, testing must be completed to find out which specific substance is causing distress within the individual. Allergy treatment must begin with testing the skin to find out what substances react with the skin when they make contact on the body. An allergist, a doctor that specializes in allergy treatment, will use a scratch test or a patch test to introduce various materials onto the skin to see if the skin has a reaction. If the site of the skin test reacts with redness or swelling, it is determined that the individual is allergic to the corresponding allergen.
The doctor will then recommend the right course of action for an allergy treatment based on the results of the skin tests. The doctor will also obtain a detailed medical history and a detailed description of the types of allergy episodes the individual has encountered. Several options are available in allergy treatment. Avoidance of the substances causing an episode can prevent distress. Pets, mould, pollen, dust mites, or certain foods, depending on your allergy, should be eliminated from your daily life and exposure should be kept to a minimum. Allergy medications may also be recommended by your doctor and include antihistamine, decongestants, mast cell stabilizers, or leukotriene modifiers. These medications can help reduce inflammation, block histamines, or eliminate nasal and sinus congestion.
Allergy medications can be utilized on a short term basis, or if the allergy is more severe, a long term medication may be recommended. Short term medications do not require a prescription but can cause drowsiness. A long term allergy treatment may require a prescription medication that does not cause the same side effects as a short term over-the-counter medication.
Which allergy treatment to choose?
Allergy treatment depends on the specific allergy symptoms and the recommendations of the doctor. Certain over-the-counter medications could be used such as nasal sprays, creams, eye drops, pill or liquid decongestants, and antihistamines. Prescription-strength allergy treatment may be suggested by doctors if the allergy is severe and needs a quick resolution due to shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing.
Each individual will require their own specific allergy treatment. There are many options to help relieve the discomfort of allergy sufferers experience during allergy attacks. Working together with the doctor and routinely monitoring your current health status can lead to successful management of outbreaks and long term allergy treatment.