Treating Allergies

 

Treating Allergies with Care

 

If you’ve never had a severe allergic reaction or cared for someone experiencing one, consider yourself lucky. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that more than 50 million Americans have an allergic reaction each year. Side effects to a severe allergy can be life-threatening, requiring a quick response and medical treatment.

When basic remedies cannot calm an allergic reaction, or symptoms worsen, get emergency-level care at a Premier Urgent Care facility.  We accept walk-in patients 365 days a year from 9:00am to 9:00pm in locations throughout Pennsylvania and in Delaware.

 

Types of Allergies

 

Seasonal and Environmental

“Hay fever” or seasonal allergies arrive with budding trees and flowers and the ever-popular layer of sneeze-inducing pollen. These outdoor elements can trigger itchy, watery eyes and sneezing. Inside the home (pet dander), school or office, dust, mold spores and other irritants in the air, can cause similar reactions, including trouble breathing or an asthma attack.

Treatment:

Depending on the discomfort level, over-the counter (OTC) medications, like antihistamines or a prescription inhaler can soothe mild to moderate reactions. However, extreme cases, especially with prolonged breathing difficulty, require medical attention.

 

 

Bites/Stings

Bees, wasps, ticks, fire ants and other insects can bite or sting, causing redness and swelling at the point of impact.  Itchiness at the site is common, however, if allergic to the insect’s venom, the small bite or sting could be serious. Severe reactions could lead to the throat tightening up, causing breathing difficulty.

Bites and stings aren’t the only source of skin allergies.  But fortunately, the same treatment can be applied to reactions to certain metals, chemicals, poisonous plants (poison ivy and poison oak) and animal saliva.

Treatment:

For mild, visible, allergic reactions, apply an ice pack in 10-15 minute intervals to the affected area. Calamine lotion can also provide relief and reduce the itchy sensation.  If discomfort persists, a topical cream containing steroids can help minimize itching and inflammation.  For severe or uncommon reactions to a bite or sting, seek medical attention.

 

 

Dietary Restrictions

Identifying a food allergy can be a gradual process of intermediate discomfort. The diagnosis – an intolerance to gluten or milk products, for example.  At the other extreme, the food allergy could erupt like an angry volcano.

A food allergy results from the body’s immune system negatively reacting to foods detected as harmful.  These allergens can be dangerous if untreated. Once a food allergy is diagnosed, the easiest treatment is avoidance and diligent m

Group of Multiethnic Hands Holding Allergiesonitoring of food preparation, especially outside the home.

Medical News Today has identified the following foods as the most likely to cause allergic reactions in children: peanuts, milk, soybean, tree nuts, eggs and wheat.  Common adult food allergies include: citrus fruit, nuts, fish, peanuts, shellfish and wheat.

People who are allergic to pollens, such as ragweed and grasses, may also be allergic to certain foods.  This cross-reaction occurs because these pollens share the same proteins found in some fruits and vegetables.

Treatment:

People with diagnosed allergies may carry an EpiPen, those who don’t, may require epinephrine to be administered intravenously (through an IV). Severe food allergies or insect stings could lead to anaphylactic shock, effectively blocking the airways, preventing normal breathing and possibly stopping the heart.

Pay attention to signs of an allergic reaction and always seek medical attention before symptoms worsen.