Allergies are physiological reactions caused when the immune system reacts to a foreign substance (allergen) that has been inhaled, touched, or eaten by a person. Allergies are among the most common heath problems, with more than 50 million people afflicted with asthma, seasonal hay fever, or other allergy-related conditions each year.
Allergies can be triggered by:
- Grass, weeds, pollens, plants, trees and ragweed
- Natural rubber latex (protein)
- Dust mites
- Animal protein (dander, urine, oil from skin)
- Insect stings
- Cockroach droppings and body parts
Always consult a licensed health care provider for a diagnosis, but these common allergy symptoms will alert you to a problem:
- Allergy symptoms vary by person. Common symptoms of allergies
- Seasonal or allergic rhinitis (nasal stuffiness, sneezing, nasal itching, nasal discharge (runny nose), itching in ears or roof of mouth)
- Allergic conjunctivitis (red, itchy, watery eyes)
- Atopic dermatitis or eczema (red, itchy, dry skin)
- Urticaria (hives or itchy welts)
- Contact dermatitis (itchy rash)
- Asthma (airway problems, such as shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing)
Call 911 immediately if the victim has a reaction to an allergen and experiences trouble breathing or has a history of airway swelling (anaphylaxis).
Persistent allergy symptoms can be treated by a nasal steroid spray. For intermittent symptoms, take an over-the-counter, non-sedating allergy medicine such as loratadine or cetirizine.
Relief starts with expert diagnosis and treatment from CHI Health. Schedule an appointment with your Primary Care or ENT provider or visit with a Virtual Quick Care provider on the phone or online for help with your symptoms.