An allergy is an abnormal reaction of the immune system to a foreign substance in the body. Allergies are among the most chronic conditions worldwide with symptoms ranging from uncomfortable to life-threatening.
When the immune system identifies a foreign substance in the body, it releases antibodies as protection. The antibodies travel to cells that release histamines and other chemicals that cause an allergic reaction. Common allergens that cause allergic reactions are pollen, dust, food, insect stings, animal dander, mold, medications and latex material.
The most common symptoms of allergies affect the nose, lungs, throat, sinuses, ears, lining of the stomach or skin. In some cases, allergies may trigger asthma symptoms. A serious case of an allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. Signs of anaphylaxis include difficulty breathing, skin rash, nausea, vomiting and shock. Anaphylaxis requires emergency medical attention.
The best treatment for allergies is avoiding the allergen causing the reaction. Nasal allergies can be managed with medication. However, immunotherapy in the form of shots, tablets or drops can help a patient build an immunity to the allergen. If a person is having an anaphylactic reaction, immediate medical intervention is required as this is a medical emergency.
If you or someone you care for is experiencing symptoms of an allergy, please contact our office at 717-728-9700 to schedule an appointment. If you or someone you care for is experiencing an anaphylactic reaction, seek emergency medical attention immediately.