Allergies are relatively common disorders that affect about 50 million Americans. These conditions can occur seasonally or year-round, depending on the substances that trigger your allergies.
An allergy occurs when your immune system becomes extra sensitive to a foreign substance, called an allergen. When you’re exposed to a substance that your body identifies as an allergen, the contact triggers an allergic reaction to protect your body from something it interprets as harmful.
An allergic reaction triggers the production of antibodies that work to protect your body from foreign substances and diseases. Antibodies discharge chemicals that cause symptoms in your lungs, nose, sinuses, throat, stomach, or on your skin.
The allergy testing specialists at Macomb Medical Clinic in Sterling Heights, Michigan, can help you identify the source of your allergies with allergy testing. Based on the results of in-office allergy testing that includes blood tests and skin tests, they design a treatment plan to help you reduce allergy symptoms that interfere with daily life.
When you know the substances that trigger your allergies, making these simple adjustments can help you reduce the likelihood of an allergic reaction.
A pollen allergy ranks as one of the most common seasonal allergies. Pollen allergies are triggered when you inhale this substance outdoors.
Weeds, trees, and grasses produce most of the pollen that triggers allergic reactions. If you’re allergic to pollen, you can reduce your risk of symptoms by staying inside on windy days, when the wind can pick up small grains of pollen and carry them through the air, or days when your local weather forecast indicates high pollen counts.
If you spend time outside, avoid bringing pollen into your house by changing into clean clothes when you enter and bathing before bedtime to remove pollen from your hair and body. When inside, keep your doors and windows closed to keep pollen out.
Common indoor allergens include dust mites and indoor molds. If you’re allergic to these substances, it's likely that you’re harboring them in your home.
Dust mites are microscopic arthropods, the same species as spiders, that aren’t visible to the naked eye. They thrive on the tiny flakes of human skin that you naturally shed every day. Take these precautions if you’re allergic to dust mites to reduce your exposure:
Water damage or damp conditions can make mold grow inside your home. If you’re allergic to mold, contract with a professional service to test your home for mold to determine whether unhealthy mold levels in your home are triggering allergic reactions. The safe eradication of mold requires professional services to ensure the substance isn’t spread during its removal.
About 30% of people in the U.S. have an allergy to cats and dogs, though cat allergies occur about twice as often as dog allergies. You’re more likely to have any type of pet allergy if you have other allergies or asthma.
If you can’t avoid interaction with a pet in your home, limit your exposure by taking the following precautions:
Allergy medications can help you endure your body’s reaction to allergens. If you have seasonal allergies, taking your medication before pollen season can help you build up a tolerance before symptoms occur.
Depending on your specific allergies, medical history, and symptoms, your physician may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
Depending on the type of allergy you experience, you may also benefit from immunotherapy. This treatment helps you become progressively less sensitive to a specific allergen over time. Immunotherapy can be delivered by allergy shots or sublingual tablets, which dissolve under your tongue.
Managing your allergies starts with identifying your allergens so you can reduce your exposure to the substances that trigger allergic reactions. Find out more about allergy testing and ways to control your allergies. Call our office to arrange a consultation today.