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All About Allergies

Allergies are extremely common. It is one of the most common chronic conditions in the world. In the U.S. alone, about 50 million people suffer from allergies. There are numerous types and forms of allergies, some can affect your day-to-day life and make it uncomfortable, and some can be even life-threatening.

What is an allergy?

Your immune system protects you from external organisms that may cause illness, but when it recognizes a harmless substance as an invader, it is an allergy. The immune system overacts to the substance, called an allergen, and produces antibodies, that through different processes cause an allergic reaction.

Some of the most common allergens that cause an allergic reaction include:

  • Food
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Insect bite and sting
  • Pet and cockroach
  • Animal dander
  • Mold
  • Latex
  • Drugs or medications

What are the symptoms of an allergy?

Allergens can cause skin or eye allergies, as well as allergic rhinitis (hay fever) or sinus infections. Symptoms vary according to the type of allergy, but the most common symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  • Tingling or discomfort in the mouth
  • Swollen lips, tongue, face or throat
  • Itchy red rash (hives)
  • Stomach pain
  • Sneezing
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Red, itchy or watery eyes
  • Wheezing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Dry and cracked skin
  • Rapid pulse
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue

How to treat an allergic reaction?

If you know that you suffer from an allergic reaction to a certain allergen, try to avoid it as much as possible. If you or someone you know are experiencing an allergic reaction, the most important thing to do is to determine how severe the symptoms are. If they are minor they can be treated at home. Hay fever, for example, may be treated by medications that were prescribed by your doctor. Small rashes or swelling can be treated by applying an ice pack to the affected area.

When should you visit our Urgent Care?

If you suspect that you or someone you know are having an allergic reaction, you might be wondering if you should seek for an urgent care facility. At Premier Care we can identify the cause of the allergy and treat the symptoms.

If any of these symptoms are severe and sudden, or the allergic reaction involves two or more body systems, it may be a sign of anaphylaxis, the most severe allergic reaction. Don’t wait for the symptoms to go away, as this can be a life-threatening situation. You should seek immediate emergency attention without any delays.