The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that more than 45 million Americans suffer from various types of allergies annually. Marrero allergies are the sixth leading trigger of chronic illnesses in the country. An allergy occurs when your immune system reacts abnormally to substances in your environment that usually do not harm most people. These foreign substances are called allergens and may cause an allergic reaction when inhaled, eaten, touched, or injected into your body.
An allergic reaction may come with various symptoms such as breathing difficulty, sneezing, coughing, runny nose, watery eyes, and worsening of signs of eczema and asthma.
Also, an allergen may cause anaphylaxis, a quick and severe allergic reaction that may lead to death, especially if you fail to seek treatment immediately. Anaphylaxis symptoms may include a rapid heartbeat, loss of consciousness, lightheadedness, and breathing difficulties.
One of the treatments your health specialist may recommend for providing relief against allergic reactions is immunotherapy. Subsequently, below are a few things to remember about the treatment.
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How immunotherapy works
Allergen immunotherapy works like vaccines.
Allergen immunotherapy introduces allergen extracts into your body for a period. After introducing allergen extracts into the body, your immune system becomes better prepared to identify and fight off future infections.
Often, it will take a few years of allergen immunotherapy before your body builds effective immunity against allergens; thus, your reactions will be mild.
Allergen immunotherapy treatment options
You can receive an allergy shot (injection) or an allergy medication, which your doctor will place under your tongue.
Allergy tablets are most suitable for relieving allergic reactions due to airborne allergens such as house dust mites, grasses, and short ragweed pollen.
If allergy drops or medications cannot control your symptoms, you may be the right candidate for allergy injections or shots.
Also, allergy shots are an excellent choice if allergy medications may interact negatively with other medicines you are using and cause severe side effects.
Furthermore, allergy shots are great if you have an allergic reaction due to insect stings from hornets, bees, wasps, or fire ants.
However, you may fail to respond to allergy injections if you have a lot of allergens in your environment and severe exposure to non-allergic triggers like chemical fumes or tobacco smoke.
Allergy injections may also not work due to failure to identify allergens during allergy skin tests correctly.
Alternative to immunotherapy
If an allergic reaction makes you have a severe runny or stuffy nose, your doctor may recommend balloon catheter dilation surgery, also called balloon sinuplasty.
This minimally invasive procedure involves inserting a wire catheter with a tiny balloon in your nostrils to access your airways. Your doctor then inflates the balloon, leading to a gentle opening of the nasal air passageways.
After deflating and withdrawing the balloon from your nostril, that relieves your sinus pressure and congestion. Therefore, you can breathe easily.
You can prevent allergic reactions and better manage allergies by avoiding allergens, taking prescribed medications, checking the labels of ingredients to ensure they do not have allergens that affect you, and preventing cross-contamination of foods.
Contact ENT of New Orleans today to schedule an appointment with an allergy specialist.