Common Allergy Symptoms
• Runny nose
• Sinus headaches
Researchers are still attempting to understand why some people have allergic responses while others do not. For unknown reasons, there are individuals with a hypersensitive immune system that reacts to common substances as dangerous, causing mild to severe reactions.
Maintaining a List of Reactions
Visiting a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating allergic responses is recommended. Ear, nose and throat specialists have the diagnostic tools necessary to determine what is causing uncomfortable symptoms before developing an effective treatment plan. One of the most popular methods to assist with determining the cause of an allergy is for individuals to maintain a journal of their specific reactions, the geographic location of the incident and what item is suspected of creating symptoms. This can help a physician narrow the possible substances that are creating problems. For instance, a child who has respiratory symptoms while at school may have an allergy to chalk dust.
What Causes Allergies?
Ear, nose and throat physicians understand that the patient’s age, gender or inherited characteristics are possible reasons for having allergic reactions. Alternatively, substances in various environments can cause someone to have allergic responses. An individual allergic to certain types of plants may only display symptoms when traveling to particular locations such as a farm or garden. By narrowing down the suspected allergens, an allergy clinic is able to test for fewer substances first rather than perform multiple tests. Most allergen testing involves pricking the skin of patients on their back or forearm with needles.
Testing and Treatments
Medical personnel draw grids or write numbers next to the prick areas on a patient’s skin to keep track of the substances inserted into the body. For children, a blood test is more appropriate to determine the cause of allergy symptoms. In most cases, only one vial of blood is needed to perform multiple tests. Laboratory technicians check the blood for antibodies to determine the most likely substances causing uncomfortable symptoms in the throat, nose or ears. Treatments for allergies include medications such as antihistamines, immunotherapy or desensitization.