By: Krysten C.
Allergy treatment comes in an array of options. Since allergies also come in an array of lovely varieties, this means going through a trial and error process to find the right fit for your specific case. Just breathe (some clean, filtered air) and be patient.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), there are three steps to allergy treatment: consultation, testing, and treatment.
Finding a board-certified allergist-immunologist means that you’re finding someone who will be able to listen to your specific allergy issues, examine your allergic reaction(s), and explain what is needed in order to get a handle on your allergies.
There are three types of treatments: prevention, medication, and immunotherapy.
Prevention is a crucial and easy part to overcoming allergies. Once you educate yourself about allergy triggers and ways of prevention, you’ll be way ahead of allergy season.
Some allergens, such as food and pet, can be eliminated completely or at least contained. On the other hand, some allergens such as pollen and molds can only be reduced. This doesn’t mean that you should give up and give in to allergens. Take the efforts to reduce these allergens and couple prevention with other treatment methods, such as medication.
Medication can be the cherry on top for some allergy sufferers. While medications can’t take away allergens or make someone un-allergic, it is an easy way to manage allergy symptoms. This means that allergy sufferers can get back to enjoying their life without the itchy, runny, red mess.
If you’re wary of taking medications due to other side-effects, have no fear. With new technology, the latest in allergy medicine have eliminated many and most of these side effects. Just like treatment options, try finding the best medication for you.
Some allergens can’t be curbed by medication, however. Luckily through consultation with an allergist-immunologist, these specific allergies can be identified with an allergy test. Once this is performed, those allergies can be controlled with allergy shots.
Allergy shots (immunotherapy) have been around for a hundred years and their improvement has been continual. Allergy shots work by increasing the bodies’ resistance to the allergen(s), helping the body build a tolerance to substances that trigger an allergic reaction. With small doses that gradually increase, patients can begin feeling better immediately. Monthly injections typically continue for 3 to 5 years after maintenance dose is reached.
Because pure extract of the allergy triggering substance is injected into the skin, adverse side effects can occur. These reactions include redness, itching and swelling around the injection site. They typically aren’t anything to fret over. Due to the direct injection of allergic substance, allergy shots are and should only be given under the attention of medical staffing and medications if serious reactions should occur (so, don’t try this at home).
CONSIDER THESE OPTIONS
Go au naturale. All of the highlighted preventative methods mentioned in April Allergy Kit Week 2: Allergy Prevention are great ways to take care of your allergies without any extensive measure (and a lot cheaper than a doctor bill, too).
We have given you lots of information to add to your allergy kit (so to speak). However, what about an actual allergy kit? Check in on April Allergy Kit Week 4: Allergy Plan of Action for information about what you should have at hand in case of an allergic reaction.
Filter the funk. You should be purchasing air/furnace filters every 3-6 months anyways, so why not purchase one that will help you and your families allergies? Read a bit about HEPA filters and tune in next week for more information.