When our immune system reacts to a foreign substance like pollen or bee venom it’s known as an allergy. The body creates antibodies to protect us from disease, but sometimes we produce antibodies when they’re not needed, like in the case of allergies. Our bodies think an allergen is harmful, even though it’s not, and set off a reaction that causes inflammation in our skin, sinuses, airways and digestive system. The severity of allergies varies from person to person. Allergies can range from a minor irritation to anaphylaxis which is a potentially life-threatening emergency. While doctors often can’t cure allergies, they can provide treatments to help reduce or mask symptoms.
Treatments & Therapies
The symptoms of an allergy often depend on the type of allergy. Hay fever for example causes sneezing, itching of the nose or roof of mouth, runny or stuffy nose, and watery eyes. On the other hand, food allergies can cause tingling of the mouth, lip swelling, hives and anaphylaxis. If you’re allergic to insect stings or bites you could have swelling, itching, hives, cough, chest tightness or anaphylaxis. Drug allergies could lead to hives, itchy skin, rash, facial swelling and anaphylaxis.
Severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis, can lead to loss of consciousness, drop in blood pressure, severe shortness of breath, skin rash, lightheadedness, rapid or week pulse, and nausea or vomiting. Those experiencing a severe allergic reaction should seek immediate medical attention. Treatment of allergies can include an allergy test, allergy shots, prescription medication or alternative medicine. An allergy test will help identify what you are allergic to. Once you know what allergens effect you it’s important to avoid contact when possible.
Allergy medications, or antihistamines, work well to relieve symptoms of different types of allergies including hay fever and food allergies. Antihistamines can reduce many of the symptoms of allergies, but decongestants are often prescribed alongside to help with congestion. Antihistamines come in nasal sprays, creams and pill form. There are side effects associated with allergy medications including dry mouth, feeling tired, drowsiness, restlessness and blurred vision. That’s why many patients are seeking alternative treatments to relieve their allergy symptoms.
Dayton Dandes Medical Center Approach
At Dayton Dandes Medical Center patients are treated for allergies with integrative medicine, an approach which combines conventional and alternative techniques. When patients prefer a natural approach to healing, we can suggest a variety of herbal and natural remedies to help reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies. Milk thistle is one way we help address allergy symptoms in our patients.
The main ingredient in milk thistle is Silymarin which works as an anti-inflammatory, helping to address inflammation caused by allergies. Browse all of our services and therapies to learn more about how Dayton Dandes Medical Center can help you reach optimal health.