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What is Causing my Allergies?

Find out the real reason behind your coughing, sneezing and red eyes.

Approximately 20 percent of Americans have reported suffering from allergies; therefore, you are certainly not alone. However, you may be wondering what is causing your allergies and what you can do to keep them at bay. Here are the most common allergies we see, the main allergy culprits and what you can ultimately do to reduce your symptoms.

The Different Types of Allergies

Almost anything can be an allergen; however, find out what kind of allergy you may be suffering from:

Food: About 90 percent of all food allergies are the result of eggs, dairy, peanuts, fish, tree nuts, wheat, soy and shellfish.

Dust: Allergies to dust mites, cockroaches, mold, pollen, feathers and fur can cause sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes and nose.

Seasonal: Outdoor elements like pollen and ragweed can cause runny noses and sneezing.

Pet Dander: Rashes, sneezing and congestion can be caused by an allergy to common household pets like cats or dogs.

Insect Stings: The sting from a wasp, yellow jacket, fire ant, hornet or honeybee can produce an allergic reaction.

Medication: Certain antibiotics, penicillin, NSAIDs and chemotherapy drugs can cause allergic reactions.

Latex: Allergies to latex tend to be extremely serious and can cause asthmatic symptoms, hives and a stuffy or runny nose.

Allergy Symptoms

There are a variety of different allergy symptoms that you may experience:

  • Watery, red and itchy eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Skin rash
  • Lethargy
  • Hives

If you are allergic to a specific food then you may also notice stomach pains, cramping, diarrhea or even vomiting. Allergic reactions to insect stings can cause pain and swelling in the area where you were stung.

Allergy symptoms can also vary from mild to severe. In rare cases, some people experience a serious allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, which can cause shortness of breath, tingling of the extremities and tightness in the throat. Anaphylaxis is dangerous and needs to be treated immediately.

Allergy Treatments

The first and most common way to treat allergies is through medication. What may work for some patients might not work for others so you may have to try more than one kind of medication before you find the one that works best for you. Common allergy medications include,

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Steroid sprays
  • Nasal sprays
  • Eye drops

For those with more severe allergies that don’t respond to these medications, we may recommend allergy shots instead. Allergy shots are typically administered every couple of weeks over the course of several months, after which you will receive subsequent shots only once a month.

If you are suffering from allergies and no over-the-counter medications seem to be helping, then talk to your Maryland ENT today to schedule an appointment. We offer a full range of services including a variety of allergy treatments. Call us today and stop suffering from allergies!