Allergies are a nuisance for anyone who suffers from them. However, an undiagnosed allergy can lead to a confusing, irritating, or potentially dangerous situation. Do you know the difference between other conditions and an allergy? Learn the signs and symptoms of allergies and find out if you should have an allergy test with Dr. Christine Gilliam at Everyone’s ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX.
Do I have an allergy?
An allergic reaction usually has some specific symptoms which may differ based on the type of allergen. Three common allergens and their symptoms include:
- Seasonal Allergies: Seasonal allergies like grass or pollen produce symptoms like itching, watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, hives, and wheezing.
- Animal Allergies: Animal allergies produce symptoms similar to seasonal allergies. People are not necessarily allergic to the animal itself, but to the dander its hair and skin produce.
- Food Allergies: Food allergies produce slightly different symptoms than seasonal or animal allergies. Symptoms may include a swollen throat, tingling or itching in the mouth, dizziness or lightheadedness, wheezing or nasal congestion, diarrhea and nausea.
If you think you have an allergy, you should see your ear, nose, and throat doctor to pinpoint what causes your symptoms and talk about a treatment plan.
What causes an allergic reaction?
Allergic reactions occur due to an allergen coming into contact with your body. Your immune system confuses the allergen with a threat and attempts to fend it off, causing the symptoms of an allergic reaction. The antibodies produced attack one specific kind of allergen, causing you to have an allergic reaction from one thing, like a cat, but not another, like a dog. However, pinpointing the exact allergen your immune system mistakes as a threat can help you avoid that allergen and, in turn, avoid a reaction.
Allergy Testing in San Antonio, TX
Doctors usually use a skin test to diagnose allergies. This test places various allergens onto the skin. Your doctor then scratches the skin to introduce the allergen into the body. If the allergen produces a reaction, the patient is allergic to it. If the skin remains normal, the patient is not allergic. This allows your doctor to narrow down your allergens to come up with an effective treatment plan.
For more information on allergies or allergy testing, please contact Dr. Christine Gilliam at ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX. Call (210) 647-3838 to schedule your allergy test today!