Allergies are among the most common types of chronic disease and shape the lives of as many as 30% of adults and 40% of children in America. Otolaryngology Associates, LLC is an excellent resource for allergy care and offers testing, diagnosis, and treatment at their seven convenient locations in Indianapolis, Greencastle, Greenfield, Kokomo, Noblesville, and Carmel, Indiana. If you or a loved one are suffering from allergy symptoms and looking for answers, call the office or book an appointment online.
Allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to a substance that is not normally harmful to human beings. Substances known to trigger an allergic reaction are called allergens.
The primary way allergies cause problematic symptoms is by inflammation. When your body perceives the presence of a harmful substance, it can react by flooding the area with hormones, nutrients, and immune cells.
That process is a critical part of survival and serves you well most of the time. When your immune system misidentifies a substance as harmful, however, problematic symptoms can follow. Some symptoms are simply inconvenient, while others can be life-threatening.
Many different substances can trigger an allergic reaction, and your allergens can be very different from those of another allergy sufferer, even someone you’re related to.
Some of the more common allergens include:
This is far from a comprehensive list. There are many substances that can provoke an allergic reaction. Comprehensive allergy testing is a good way to determine which substances you are sensitive to.
There are two primary approaches to allergy testing: blood tests and skin tests. Blood testing works by drawing a sample of your blood and sending it to a lab. Technicians examine the sample for antibodies.
Skin testing is a more common approach. This diagnostic tool works by creating a very small prick or scratch on the surface of your skin and then placing a tiny volume of a potential allergen in that area. If you are allergic to the tested substance, your body will react, and visible skin irritation will occur.
Skin testing is not painful, and many different substances can be screened for during one appointment. Another form of skin testing requires you to wear a small patch impregnated with potential allergens on your back for a couple of days to see if an allergic response occurs.
Once the Otolaryngology Associates, LLC team has determined which allergens trigger your immune system response, they can devise a customized treatment plan to help. That plan might involve medications, immunotherapy, and learning optimal preventive strategies.
If you’re ready to fight back against allergies, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.