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How Do You Get Allergies

How Are Allergies Diagnosed

What to expect when you go get tested for allergies

If you think you have allergies, don’t wait to see if your symptoms go away. When your symptoms last longer than a week or two and tend to come back, make an appointment with an allergy/immunology specialist.

Allergy skin testing may be used to identify the allergens that are causing your allergy symptoms. The test is performed by pricking your skin with an extract of an allergen, and then checking your skins reaction.

If a skin test cant be performed, blood work may be obtained. This test is not as sensitive as a skin test. The test evaluates the number of antibodies produced by your immune system. Higher levels of certain antibodies suggest possible allergy to that allergen.

Other types of allergy testing are available too.

What Is A Pollen Allergy

Pollen is one of the most common triggers of seasonal allergies. Many people know pollen allergy as hay fever. Experts usually refer to pollen allergy as seasonal allergic rhinitis.

Each spring, summer, and fall and even in the winter in some states plants release tiny pollen grains to fertilize other plants of the same species. Most of the pollen that causes allergic reactions comes from trees, grasses, and weeds. These plants make small, light, and dry pollen grains that travel by the wind. They then can find their way into your eyes, nose, and lungs, causing allergy symptoms if you have a pollen allergy.

Flowering plants that spread their pollen by insects like roses and some trees, like cherry and pear trees usually do not cause allergic rhinitis.

Do You Live in an Allergy Capital?

Your location can have an impact on your seasonal allergies. AAFAs Allergy Capitals report looks at the top 100 most challenging cities in the continental United States to live with seasonal pollen allergies.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America produces this report to:

  • Help people recognize, prevent, and manage allergy symptoms
  • Help communities identify where the needs of people with allergic diseases can be better met
  • Raise awareness about the impact of seasonal allergies and provide helpful information to improve the quality of life for people who experience them

Tree Pollen Allergy

Some of the trees that cause the most allergy symptoms are:

Dog Allergies Caused By Food

Dogs can develop a food allergy or food hypersensitivity at any age, and to any carbohydrate or protein component of their food. Antihistamines and steroids are usually not effective in treating a food allergy in dogs.

Instead, to identify and treat food allergies in dogs, most veterinarians recommend an elimination diet that will cut out specific ingredients, one at a time.

Once you identify the allergen, you can then eliminate that specific component from your dogs diet for good.

Your vet will advise you of the best way to carry out this diet. It is essential that you stick to the diet all the way through, even if your dogs symptoms subside. Treats and supplements are also components of the exclusion diet.

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How Do Allergies Happen

If a child with an allergy is exposed to that allergen, their immune system mistakenly believes it’s harming their body. It overreacts, treating the substance as an invader and trying to fight it off. To protect the body, the immune system makes antibodies called immunoglobulin E . These cause certain cells to release chemicals into the bloodstream to defend against the allergen “invader.”

It’s the release of these chemicals that causes allergic reactions. Reactions can affect the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, skin, and gastrointestinal tract. Future exposure to that same allergen will trigger this allergic response again.

The Definition Of Allergy

allergic contact dermatitis treatment

Allergy occurs when a person reacts to substances in the environment that are harmless to most people. These substances are known as allergens and are found in dust mites, pets, pollen, insects, ticks, moulds, foods and some medications.

Atopy is the genetic tendency to develop allergic diseases. When atopic people are exposed to allergens they can develop an immune reaction that leads to allergic inflammation. This can cause symptoms in the:

  • Nose and/or eyes, resulting in allergic rhinitis and/or conjunctivitis.
  • Skin resulting in eczema, or hives .
  • Lungs resulting in asthma.

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How Do Doctors Diagnose Pollen Allergy

Doctors use two tests to diagnose a pollen allergy.

Skin Prick Test

In prick/scratch testing, a nurse or doctor places a small drop of the possible allergen on your skin. Then the nurse will lightly prick or scratch the spot with a needle through the drop. If you have the immunoglobulin E antibodies toward that allergen, the spot will turn red, swell, and itch within 15 to 20 minutes. You may also see a wheal. A wheal is a raised, round area that looks like a hive. Usually, the larger the wheal, the more likely you are to be allergic to the allergen.

A positive SPT to a certain pollen allergen does not necessarily mean you have an allergy. Doctors must compare the skin test results with the time and place of your symptoms to see if they match.

Specific IgE Blood Test

Blood tests are helpful when you have a skin condition or are taking medicines that interfere with skin testing. They may also be used in children who may not do well with skin testing.

Your doctor will take a blood sample and send it to a laboratory. The lab adds the allergen to your blood sample. Then they measure the amount of antibodies your blood produces to attack the allergens. This test is called Specific IgE Blood Testing.

As with skin testing, a positive blood test to an allergen does not necessarily mean that an allergen caused your symptoms.

How To Get Rid Of Allergies

As allergy season rolls around each year, many of the 50 million people battling allergies find themselves wondering, can allergies be cured for good?

As the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S., allergies can significantly impact quality of life.

Many of us know firsthand the congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, and itchiness that accompanies the seasonal shifting of allergies.

Allergies typically belong to one of seven categories, and each results in a variety of symptoms that can range from mild to severe based on the person.

At their most severe, allergic reactions result in anaphylaxis, where the body goes into shock and can result in death.

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Treatment For Dog Allergies

Dog allergies and allergies, in general, are usually not treatable in themselves. You need to treat the symptoms and remove the allergen wherever possible.

There are a number of different treatments for the symptoms of allergies.

Which treatment you choose depends on many factors, including the type of allergy, which symptoms are present, the size and age of your dog, your budget, and many more.

What Are Allergies Exactly

How to Get Rid of Your Allergies

Long story short, allergies are genetic responses to non-harmful substances that our bodies inaccurately perceive as threats and dispatch an immune response to, so we stay healthy.

The exact cause of allergies is still a mystery, although research suggests many allergies such as allergic rhinitis are hereditary or begin in early childhood.

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Is It Too Late To Get Vaccinated

When it comes to COVID-19, know that it’s not too late to be vaccinated. And, if you haven’t already, you can now get your updated bivalent COVID-19 booster and this year’s flu shot. In fact, you can get them both at the same appointment.

COVID-19 vaccines take a few weeks to build up an immune response and provide the most protection. So if you haven’t gotten those vaccines yet, getting them now is the best way to be protected in the future.

Children as young as 6 months are now eligible to be vaccinated in the United States, and everyone 5 and up who’s had their first round of vaccination qualifies for the first booster shot. Adults age 50 and older and people 12 and up who are moderately or severely immunocompromised qualify for a second booster shot.

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A Complete Guide To Dog Allergies: Causes Treatments And More

Dog allergieslike allergies in humans and other animalsoccur when the immune system overreacts to a perceived threat from an outside source. Although increasingly common, it can be difficult to diagnose and treat. Read on to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and management of allergies in dogs.

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    When Friend Becomes Foe

    That being said, in some individuals, the bodys immune cells see the allergen as a threat, and a pro-inflammatory response occurs as a result. This is called a Type 2 immune response, and a different class of T cell appears on the scene: T helper type 2 cells.

    These cells stimulate the production of immunoglobulin E molecules in most allergies.

    The first exposure to an allergen that results in a Type 2 immune response is called allergic sensitization.

    Importantly, once the body has been sensitized, it maintains a lasting memory of the substance. And then, when it next comes into contact with the culprit, IgE molecules are primed to release a cascade of inflammatory players such as histamine, causing the unpleasant and potentially deadly symptoms of allergy.

    What Are The Types Of Allergies And How Are They Treated

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    You can be allergic to a wide variety of substances including pollen, animal dander, mold and dust mites.

    Pollen

    Seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is an allergic response to pollen. It causes inflammation and swelling of the lining of your nose and of the protective tissue of your eyes .

    Symptoms include sneezing, congestion , and itchy, watery eyes, nose and mouth. Treatment options include over-the-counter and prescription oral antihistamines, anti-leukotrienes, nasal steroids, nasal antihistamines, and nasal cromolyn. In some people, allergic asthma symptoms can be caused by exposure to pollen.

    Your symptoms can be reduced by avoiding pollen. Stay indoors when pollen counts are high, close your windows, and use air conditioning. Ask your healthcare provider about immunotherapy to treat pollen allergy.

    Dust mites

    Dust mites are tiny organisms that live in dust and in the fibers of household objects, such as pillows, mattresses, carpet, and upholstery. Dust mites grow in warm, humid areas.

    The symptoms of dust mite allergy are similar to those of pollen allergy. To help manage dust mite allergies, try using dust mite encasements over pillows, mattresses, and box springs. Also, remove carpet, or vacuum frequently with a high-efficiency filter vacuum cleaner. Treatment may include medications to control your nasal/eye and chest symptoms. Immunotherapy may be recommended if your symptoms are not adequately controlled with avoidance methods and medications.

    Molds

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    When Should You Get Tested

    “One of the biggest things is you want to avoid self-diagnosing. That means if you’re displaying any symptoms, you want to go ahead and get tested,” Torres said.

    When you get tested, depending on your symptoms and what your COVID-19 test results are, you might also get tested for the flu or strep throat.

    You can also get more than one illness at a time , or you can get allergies alongside COVID-19 or another condition. “What I tell people is, ‘We’re in a pandemic. Test for COVID. Rule it out first and then think about the other things,'” Torres said.

    With omicron and its subvariants making up most of cases right now, it’s good to know that rapid tests generally still work for omicron, TODAY recently reported. But it’s too early to know how well they work against omicron subvariants, Dr. Amy Mathers, associate professor of medicine and pathology and associate director of clinical microbiology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, previously told TODAY.

    That’s why, if you get a negative rapid test result, you can’t automatically assume you don’t have COVID. So, if you’re having symptoms that could be due to COVID-19, a cold, allergies or the flu and test negative, experts recommend taking another test two to three days later because you’ll have a better chance as testing positive if you do have COVID.

    How To Treat Seasonal Allergies

    In most cases, an over-the-counter antihistamine and decongestant will do the trick. If you have severe allergies, however, your doctor may prescribe a nasal steroid spray or allergy shots to dampen symptoms.

    It’s always a good idea to try your best to avoid your allergy triggers, but that doesn’t mean you have to hole up inside with a box of tissues. To get less exposure to your allergens:

    • Keep your windows shut when your allergies are active.
    • Use an air purifier if you’re sensitive to indoor allergens.
    • Wear a dust mask while doing yard work.
    • Check your local weather network for pollen forecasts.
    • Take a shower and wash your hair at the end of each day to get rid of pollen that attached to your clothes, hair and skin.

    The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

    The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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    Complications Of Allergic Rhinitis

    If you have allergic rhinitis, there’s a risk you could develop further problems.

    A blocked or runny nose can result in difficulty sleeping, drowsiness during the daytime, irritability and problems concentrating. Allergic rhinitis can also make symptoms of asthma worse.

    The inflammation associated with allergic rhinitis can also sometimes lead to other conditions, such as nasal polyps, sinusitis and middle ear infections. These are described below.

    The Immune Systems Response To Allergies

    What to Expect: Allergy Skin Testing

    There are many substances that have the potential to become allergens. You can inhale or ingest them while some can enter through your skin.

    In cases of allergic reactions like hay fever, hives, and forms of asthma, the immune system releases antibodies called immunoglobulin E, or IgE. IgE antibodies are specific to a certain allergen and react only when exposed to that antigen. For example, a person may be allergic to certain plant pollen, but not to another.

    When the body first comes in contact with an allergen, it releases a significant amount of IgE. Upon second exposure to the same allergen, you may experience an allergic reaction. The symptoms of the reaction can include a runny, stuffy nose, watery and swollen eyes, sneezing, coughing, and itchy skin.

    The severity of the symptoms varies from no symptoms to life-threatening anaphylaxis. It depends on the type of allergy, the amount of exposure to the allergen, and how the immune system responds to that substance.

    Allergies are more common in children. The most common allergies in children are food, like peanuts and shellfish, and stings. Some children do outgrow these allergies and dont experience symptoms later in life.

    Although, some people may develop allergies later in life instead of outgrowing them.

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    Will You Get More Allergies

    If your allergy symptoms seem worse, there could be another reason. You might now have a second allergy — or third or fourth.

    Having one allergy makes you more likely to get others. So if one year your ragweed symptoms seem more severe, it might be a reaction to another allergen that’s also in the air.

    Allergies can interact in unexpected ways. For instance, up to a third of people who are allergic to pollens also have allergies to foods that have similar proteins in them, like certain vegetables and fruits. Doctors call this Ă¢oral allergy syndrome. You could have more severe allergic reactions if you’re exposed to both at once — for instance, if you eat a banana at the height of ragweed allergy season.

    The key is to manage your symptoms and let your doctor know if you notice changes.

    Get Serious About Cleaning

    Every time you leave the house, you pick up traces of where you go throughout the day.

    If you have seasonal allergies, changing clothes when you get home and taking a shower can help reduce irritants and allergens you may have brought home.

    Additionally, regularly cleaning and dusting your home helps reduce allergens for further allergy relief.

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    Dog Food Allergy Symptoms

    The symptoms of a food allergy in dogs can include:

    • loss of appetite
    • allergy dermatitis

    Occasionally asthma or breathing difficulties may be associated with dog food allergies. Due to the wide range of symptoms that can indicate a food intolerance, allergy or sensitivity, they can be difficult to diagnose.

    This process should be left to a veterinarian. The symptoms of food allergies can also indicate other diseases or conditions, to make sure to rule out other causes.

    What Is Canine Atopic Dermatitis

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    Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition associated with allergies in dogs. It can either be the result of an allergic reaction, or due to coming into contact with an irritant, such as a chemical, or a certain plant or animal.

    Canine atopic dermatitis usually appears in younger dogs, between the ages of 3 months and 6 years. It may, however, take some time to diagnose, and can worsen with age.

    Symptoms include:

    Atopic dermatitis typically affects areas where the skin is thinner or more sensitive, such as the ears, around the eyes, underarms, groin, muzzle, and between the toes.

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