Elgin specialists’ approaches surpass common store-bought allergy treatments
You don’t have to be among the 30 percent of Americans with allergies to know some of the most common treatments. You’ve probably seen the ads or heard the commercials for antihistamines like Allegra or Claritin. Maybe you’ve used decongestants like Sudafed or combination medications like Zyrtec-D.
Over-the-counter and prescription drugs may be recommended by the allergy treatment specialists in Elgin to manage disruptive and even life-threatening symptoms.
Your treatment, your allergies
Symptom management will be based around needs identified via an accurate diagnosis by allergists Drs. Noga Askenazi and Eugenia Hahn. In turn, the most common allergy treatments offered in Elgin are determined by the types of allergies to be treated at the Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates and Food Allergy Center of Illinois.
All allergies are caused by your immune system overreacting to typically harmless substances. The chemicals released by your body as it attempts to fight off this perceived invader cause watery eyes, sneezing, airway constriction, and other symptoms.
The most common allergies are characterized as Type 1. They produce reactions within seconds or minutes of exposure. Usually, the skin or the mucous lining of the mouth, nose, and windpipe are affected. Proteins associated with the following triggers are often to blame:
- Pollen from grasses, trees, and weeds
- Venom from stinging insects, such as honeybees, hornets
- Animal dander
- Dust mites
- Penicillin and other medications
Shellfish, eggs, peanuts, and other foods
Rarer allergies arise when damaged cells are treated as allergens by the immune system. For example, Type IV allergies are characterized by delayed-onset reactions that occur 12 to 72 hours after contact is made with allergens such as nickel.
Type 1 allergies can produce a potentially deadly reaction. Anaphylaxis causes the airways to constrict, the tongue and throat to swell, a weak and rapid pulse, vomiting, dizziness, and fainting.
Severe reactions require proactive measures. The doctors may suggest an epinephrine delivery device for quick relief during an emergency.
Anti-inflammatory drugs called corticosteroids come in many forms, including:
- Nasal sprays for runny and itchy nose and throat triggered by allergens like dust mites, pollen, and dander
- Creams and ointments for itchy rashes produced by latex, reactions to medications and food
- Oral corticosteroids to reduce swelling associated with severe allergic symptoms
You may find relief from common seasonal and indoor allergies with antihistamines. Formulated as pills, liquids, sprays, or drops, these drugs block the histamine released when your immune system overreacts to ragweed and other allergens.
A stuffy nose is a common symptom of many allergens, and can be relieved with decongestants. Some combination drugs are formulated to reduce many different allergy symptoms.
Don’t respond well to medications? Do you wish to reduce your reliance on long-term control drugs? Drs. Askenazi and Hahn have the advanced training and controlled environment to offer immunotherapy. These allergy shots are injected at intervals prescribed by the doctors. Injections contain a very small amount of the allergen. As treatment progresses, you will be exposed to increasingly greater amounts of the allergen. Over time your immune system builds tolerance to prevalent triggers, such as:
- Pollen and other seasonal allergens
- Mold, dust mites, and other indoor allergens
- Wasps, yellow jackets, and other insect stings
Immunotherapy is not an option for the many children and adults with food allergies. Eight foods account for 90 percent of all allergies. They include peanuts, almonds, milk, soy, wheat, and fish. Avoidance of the offending substance and emergency medication is crucial.
For lifestyle and other recommendations, call 847 888 8802 to schedule an appointment with your Elgin specialists.