Frequently Asked Questions

What Is An Allergy?
An allergy is an overreaction or hypersensitivity of the body's immune system to normally harmless substances, called allergens.

An allergic reaction occurs when the body's immune system responds to an allergen as if the substance were disease-causing. Subsequent exposures to this substance can result in physical symptoms that range from mild to life-threatening.

Who Gets Allergies?
The tendency to develop allergies is thought to be inherited, because they commonly develop in those who have a family history of allergies. It is possible for anyone to develop allergies at any age. Environmental factors can make our immune systems overly sensitive.

This could then trigger allergies in people with no family history or hasten the onset in those with a family history.

What Are Common Allergens?
Common allergens include the following:

Allergens can enter the body in a number of different ways, including inhaling, eating/drinking, injection (as with bee venom) and contact with the skin or eyes.

Anaphylaxis:  An Allergic Emergency
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening reaction. The onset of this reaction may occur within seconds or minutes of exposure. Symptoms may include a red rash over most of the body. Skin becomes warm to the touch, intense tightening and swelling of the airways make breathing difficult and there is a drop in blood pressure. Breathing can stop, and the body may slip into shock. If medication is not administered quickly, heart failure and death can result within minutes in the most severe reactions. Allergens in insect venom and medications, such as antibiotics, are more likely to cause anaphylaxis than any other allergens. Anaphylaxis is not a common reaction and can be controlled with prompt medication and the help of a physician.

What’s The Best Way To Manage Allergies?
The first step in managing allergies is to identify the type of reaction you are having, whether it is watery eyes, sneezing or difficulty breathing.

Second, try to identify the trigger or the situation that led to the symptoms.  If you have any questions about these situations or symptoms, feel free to contact us at 985-893-5780. For emergencies, dial 911.

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