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Your Most Common Allergies: Symptoms and What to do About Them

When you have allergies, it means your immune system reacts to a substance that is normally harmless. Even though the substance is not poisonous, your immune system identifies it as such and produces antibodies in response to the perceived attack. This causes an allergic reaction which can include inflammation of the skin, sinuses, airways, or digestive system.

The severity of the allergic reactions varies on a case-by-case basis. For some people, allergies may mean sneezing and watery eyes; for others, they can be life threatening. Certain allergies are very common, others, less so. Although most allergies usually cannot be cured, they can be managed with good self-care and the help of your allergy doctor in New YorkDr. Shukla.

Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)

Symptoms:

  • Sneezing
  • Itching of the nose, eyes or roof of the mouth
  • Runny, stuffy nose
  • Watery, red or swollen eyes (conjunctivitis)

Remedies:

  • Stay indoors during times when pollen counts are high
  • Wash your hair before bed so you don’t spread pollen to your pillow
  • Over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines may help (you may have to try a few before you find one that works for you.)
  • Hold your head over a bowl of steaming water to clear your sinuses
  • Try using a neti pot. You can buy one at the drugstore or online

A food allergy

Symptoms:

  • Tingling in the mouth
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, face or throat
  • Hives
  • Anaphylaxis

Remedies:

  • Always read ingredient lists on food labels to make sure you are avoiding the food you are allergic to completely
  • Antihistamines block the chemicals your body releases when it comes into contact with allergens
  • Epinephrine (EpiPen and others) can save your life. Keep two on hand
  • You can carry a bronchodilator for asthma-like symptoms

An insect sting allergy

Symptoms:

  • A large area of swelling (edema) at the sting site
  • Itching or hives all over the body
  • Cough, chest tightness, wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Anaphylaxis

Remedies:

  • Remove the stinger immediately (it contains venom)
  • Apply a cold compress to the sting site
  • Take a painkiller and an antihistamine to control pain and itch
  • If you are severely allergic, make sure you always have two EpiPens (or similar) handy. They can save your life

A drug allergy

Symptoms:

  • Hives
  • Itchy skin
  • Rash
  • Facial swelling
  • Wheezing
  • Anaphylaxis

Remedies:

  • Stop taking the drug
  • Try an antihistamine
  • Oral or injected corticosteroids can treat the inflammation associated with more serious reactions
  • Carry two EpiPens in case of anaphylaxis

Atopic dermatitis (also called eczema)

Symptoms:

  • Itch
  • Redden
  • Flake or peel

Remedies [National Eczema Association]:

  • Know your triggers
  • Implement a regular bathing and moisturizing routine
  • Use over-the-counter and prescription medications consistently and as-prescribed
  • Watch for signs of infection:
    o Pus-filled bumps
    o Heat
    o Pain
    o Redness

Consult Dr. Shukla, your allergy doctor right away if you notice any of these.

Allergy Doctor in New York

Dr. Shukla has been diagnosing and treating allergy patients – both pediatric and adult – for more than 15 years. At his New York practice, he also treats patients with sleep disorders, asthma, and other pulmonary disorders. For help managing your allergies, or for a caring, competent diagnosis, Call 917-765-7469 or Contact Dr. Shukla Today!

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