Allergies range from mildly annoying to life-threatening. They happen when your immune system reacts to a substance that’s normally just fine for most people. Allergies can affect the respiratory tract, digestion, skin, or sinuses.
Allergies can cause a runny nose, cough, fatigue, watery eyes, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, or a rash. Allergies can also cause a life-threatening condition known as anaphylaxis, which makes your body go into shock and requires immediate care.
At South Plains Rural Health Services, we treat all sorts of allergies in adults and children. Here are five of the most common ones and what you should do to avoid or relieve symptoms.
Pollen is a common allergen, especially here in the great state of Texas. Ragwood, cedar, and grass are some of the offenders that are dispersed in the spring and summer, irritating your nose and throat. Symptoms of a pollen allergy include an itchy or runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, and irritated, itchy roof of the mouth.
Reduce your exposure to pollen by staying in air conditioned areas, even when in the car. Exercise indoors on high pollen days, and shower after being outside. We can also recommend over-the-counter allergy medications and possible prescription medications or immunotherapy shots to ease symptoms.
Immunotherapy involves giving a patient a series of injections that contain a purified version of a known allergen. Usually these are given over a period of a few years to build up natural immunity.
Peanuts are one of the most common allergies in children. Peanuts are not a true nut, but a legume that grows underground.
Peanut allergies can be quite severe and cause anaphylactic shock in some individuals, so patients may need to carry an epinephrine auto injector at all times. We can offer immunotherapy for peanut allergies, but avoidance of all peanut-containing foods and foods that may be cross-contaminated with peanuts is the best way to prevent reactions.
Shellfish is another highly prevalent food allergy. People with a shellfish allergy need to avoid crustaceans like shrimp, prawns, lobster, and crabs. Some may also need to avoid bivalves and mollusks like mussels, oysters, scallops, octopus, squid, clams, and snails.
Shellfish allergic reactions range from mild responses, like hives or a stuffy nose, to severe symptoms like difficulty breathing and anaphylaxis. Avoidance of these foods is the best course of action to prevent reactions.
Animal dander contains tiny flecks of skin shed by cats, rodents, birds, dogs, and other animals. These can enter your respiratory tract and cause an allergic reaction. Proteins found in the saliva, feces, and urine of some pets can also trigger allergies.
Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, postnasal drip, cough, and facial pressure and pain. Over-the-counter allergy medications help you ease symptoms. You may also be a candidate for immunotherapy. Talk to our team today!
If you struggle with seasonal allergies, food reactions, or allergies to dander or dust, contact the South Plains Rural Health Services team in Levelland, Lamesa, or Big Spring, Texas.Call our nearest location today, or use the online tool to set up an appointment. We can test you for allergies, offer relief from symptoms, and develop a full treatment plan for serious cases.