Allergies affect millions of Americans every year and cause a range of symptoms that have a significant impact on your quality of life. Though there is no cure for allergies, there are many effective treatments that help control allergy symptoms. Board-certified internal medicine physician Suresh Malik, MD, and the team at Quality Primary Care in Rockville, Maryland, specialize in the diagnosis and management of allergies. They take an integrative approach to care and design plans that focus on your total health, not just your allergies. Call the office or book an appointment online today.
Allergies are an immune system reaction to a foreign substance called an allergen. When your body comes in contact with the allergen, it triggers your immune system to release antibodies aimed at protecting you from the harmful substance, and this causes an allergic reaction.
The allergen, such as pollen or a food, that triggers the immune system reaction isn’t harmful to most people. Allergies are very common and are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States.
Allergy symptoms vary from mild to severe. In some people, allergies cause a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis, which requires immediate emergency medical care.
You can develop an allergy to almost any substance.
The most common types of allergies include:
A pollen allergy is a common seasonal allergy. With a pollen allergy you may develop a runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, or a scratchy throat.
Common food allergens include wheat, dairy, eggs, seafood, shellfish, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts. Food allergies can cause severe allergic reactions.
Insect allergies include stinging insect allergies (bees, wasps, hornets) and non-stinging insect allergies (cockroaches, dust mites). With an insect allergy, symptoms range from mild to severe, depending on the type of insect allergy.
Other common allergens include mold, latex, and pet dander. You can also develop an allergy to a drug, but true drug allergies are uncommon.
When you visit Quality Primary Care with concerns about allergies, the team conducts a comprehensive evaluation to assess your whole-body health and determine the root cause of your symptoms.
During your exam, your provider asks detailed questions about your symptoms and when they occur. They also review your personal and family medical histories and perform a physical exam.
To determine the allergen causing your symptoms, the team may recommend allergy skin testing or allergy blood testing.
Treatment for allergies depends on allergy type and the severity of your symptoms. The team at Quality Primary Care creates a customized treatment plan that’s aimed at minimizing your symptoms and improving your quality of life.
Your treatment plan may include:
For patients that have life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), the team at Quality Primary Care prescribes an epinephrine pen that you must carry with you at all times.
If you’re unexpectedly exposed to the allergen, the epinephrine injection reduces symptoms until you can get to the emergency room for care.
For comprehensive care for your allergies from a kind and compassionate team, call Quality Primary Care or book an appointment online today.