Whether you have seasonal allergies such as hay fever, or life-threatening allergies to foods such as peanuts and shellfish, finding ways to minimize the symptoms and prevent serious illness are a priority. Shannah Steel, DO, of Steel Family Medicine in Pleasant View, Tennessee, is a family medicine specialist who provides comprehensive allergy testing services and effective treatment options for a whole range of allergies. Call Steel Family Medicine today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
Allergies are caused by a dysfunction of your immune system that makes you react to substances that aren’t harmful, such as certain foods, or overreact to substances that are mildly harmful, such as insect venom.
The immune system does a vital job of protecting you from infections and healing wounds, producing antibodies that identify and attack anything that could pose a threat. Your immune system is very good at targeting invaders in the system, but sometimes, for reasons that aren’t fully understood, the immune system produces antibodies when it doesn’t need to.
Allergens are substances that commonly cause allergies, such as:
Some people who have allergies experience mild but highly annoying symptoms, while others may suffer an extreme reaction called anaphylaxis that can be life-threatening.
The symptoms you experience if you have an allergy vary, so you may have respiratory symptoms from allergens you breathe in or skin reactions from touching something you’re allergic too. Symptoms could include:
Anaphylaxis can cause breathing difficulties, nausea and vomiting, a weak, rapid pulse, and loss of consciousness. Anaphylactic shock is a medical emergency, and if you have an allergy that may cause anaphylaxis, you should always carry an epinephrine auto-injector.
If you have the symptoms of an allergy, you may be able to identify what triggers the allergic response by keeping a record of what you were doing and where you were when you experienced the symptoms.
At Steel Family Medicine, Dr. Steel also takes blood and carries out specific allergy tests such as the skin prick, which involves testing minute amounts of possible allergens on your skin to see if there’s any reaction.
Treatment depends on the cause of your allergy and how the symptoms affect you. Avoiding the trigger for allergies plays a significant role in preventing allergic reactions, and is critical if you’re liable to experience anaphylaxis.
Dr. Steel can also help with medications to ease your symptoms and reduce the severity of the allergic response.
Find out more about managing allergies effectively by calling Steel Family Medicine today, or book an appointment online.