Millions suffer from allergies every day—regardless of age, gender or season. The truth is allergies do not discriminate. They can give a person trouble from childhood through adulthood, or they can be brought suddenly—at any age.
According to an allergy report released by Quest Diagnostics, 1 in 5 Americans suffer from allergies, and account for more than 17 million office visits each year.
In fact, allergies are a problem that seems to be increasing in America. Sensitization to mold and ragweed seem to be the biggest problems, contributing to an approximate 5 percent increase over the past four years.
But why? Many researchers claim the increase is due to a combination of a climate and environmental change, and how the human being responds to both the climate and environment.
What are the Common Types of Allergies?
Some common types of allergies include:
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
- Foods (such as peanuts, dairy products, and coconut)
Is it Allergies or Just a Cold?
Whenever you begin experiencing itchy, watery eyes, a sore throat, and maybe even sneezing and a cough, you often think – is this a cold or do I have allergies? In fact, this is one of the most common patient FAQs.
If your symptoms persist longer than 5 to 7 days, you are most likely suffering from allergies. Your home or environment could in fact be the trigger. Even if you have never suffered from allergies before, they still can be brought on by an environmental factor. Allergies are seasonal as well. Spring is when allergens are most active, but fall allergy seasons can be surprisingly active.
So how do you know if YOU have allergies?
A physician can help you determine whether or not you have allergies. By reviewing a history of your symptoms, evaluating your diet, exercise, and your overall lifestyle habits, an ENT can determine if you are suffering from an allergy.
The best way to confirm you are suffering from allergies is to visit an ENT and have him conduct an allergy test.
Does skin testing hurt?
One of the most common methods for testing allergies is by conducting a skin test. Both a small applicator and a small needle are used in order to place the allergen both above and below the skin of the arm. This procedure is typically pain free and is conducted in a matter of minutes. Welts reveal the problematic allergens.
If a patient is young or cannot endure skin testing, in-vitro allergy testing is also available.
What if I have allergies?
If tests indicated that an individual has allergies, then the physician will make sure that the patient is put on a treatment plan in order to combat whatever allergy is ailing him or her.
For more information on allergies, or to schedule an appointment for an allergy test, contact Light ENT today. Call our office in Boynton Beach, Florida at 561-737-8584.