It Is Already That Time Of Year Again
Allergy sufferers nationwide usually hate to see winter end and spring begin. For those of us who live in Florida, there are very few months that we're not exposed to allergens. Although anything that enters the body through the respiratory system, the stomach or the skin can produce an allergic response, the most common allergens are pollens from trees, weeds and grasses. Food allergies can produce responses that range from minor discomfort to severe and potentially life threatening. However, food allergies only affect about two percent of the population.
Your genetic makeup provides the potential for you to develop allergies and the environment that surrounds us provides the culprits, often called triggers. In addition to pollen-related allergens, animal dander, dust mites, mold spores and insect venoms that are often transported via central air conditioning systems are common triggers. On the other hand, hair spray, perfumes, after-shave lotions and tobacco smoke are non-allergens that can make an allergy sufferer's symptoms worse. Those typically include a runny nose, itchy eyes, scratchy throat, sneezing and/or a dry cough. Eczema, which causes red, dry, itchy patches of skin, can also be caused by exposure to allergens.
Millions of Americans Suffer with Allergies
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, more than 50 million people in the United States suffer from allergic reactions every year. Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness with an annual cost in excess of $18 billion. Hay fever or allergic rhinitis is the most common medical condition that causes allergy symptoms. These are typically a problem during the spring, summer and fall months. Perennial allergic rhinitis is related to an individual's sensitivity to airborne animal dander, dust mites or mold spores with symptoms that occur year round. If one of your parents has allergies, there is about 25% chance that you will develop allergies. When both parents have allergies, the risk goes up to about 50%.
If possible decreasing your exposure to things that cause an allergic response is a prudent first step in avoiding allergies. Anyone with an allergic reaction to food should seek immediate treatment, since his or her medical condition can change rapidly. Both prescription and non-prescription antihistamines are relied upon the most each year, but immunotherapy (allergy shots) have a good track record for managing seasonal allergies. If you have allergies, don't suffer needlessly. Contact either PrimeMED location to schedule an appointment to discuss your best options for managing and treating your allergies.