What You Need to Know About Allergies

Waking up one day to find yourself in the midst of an allergy attack is not the most exciting way to realize that spring is in the air. Luckily, allergiesyour otolaryngologists can help you narrow down what causes your allergies, manage your symptoms, and find the best treatment option for you. Find out more about allergies and how your doctor can help with Central ENT Consultants with offices in Hagerstown and Frederick, MD.

What causes allergies? 
Allergies occur when your body’s immune system mistakenly overreacts to an allergen or a substance which causes an allergic reaction. The allergens could be anything from certain foods to pollen to dust or mold. However, the body’s reaction is often the same. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  • red, watery eyes
  • sneezing
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • wheezing
  • itchy eyes
  • shortness of breath
  • an itchy red rash (hives)

Allergic reactions to food often produce symptoms like itchy or tingling mouth, abdominal pain or discomfort, hives, swelling of the face, including the lips, throat, and tongue, and wheezing.

Allergy Testing in Hagerstown and Frederick, MD
Avoiding allergens is the best way to avoid the allergic reactions that come with them. You must, however, know exactly which allergens to avoid for this method to work. Allergy testing uses a process of elimination to determine what substances you are allergic to. Most allergy testing occurs in the form of a scratch test. This test involves placing tiny amounts of allergens onto the skin, then scratching the skin to allow it to enter. If the skin reacts to the substance, you are allergic to it. If there is no reaction, you do not have an allergy to that substance. Allergy testing can also take the form of a blood test to search for the presence of antibodies produced by your body to fight off the allergen.

Allergy Treatments 
Treating allergies begins with avoiding the allergen itself. For example, if your doctor finds you to be allergic to cats, avoiding homes with cats in them can keep your allergic reactions away. Since simply avoiding allergens is not always possible, especially with allergens like pollen or grass, oral antihistamines can help get your allergic reaction under control. Nasal sprays are also helpful in managing allergy symptoms.

For more information on allergies, please contact Dr. Kirby Scott at Central ENT Consultants at their offices in Hagerstown and Frederick, MD. Call (301) 739-0400 to schedule your appointment at the Hagerstown location or (301) 694-9111 to schedule your appointment at the Frederick location today!