What Causes Allergies and What Can I Do About It?

By AOO on December 9, 2019 under Allergy

What Causes Allergies and What Can I Do About It?

If you find that you regularly experience allergy symptoms during different phases of the year or in certain situations, then you’re likely allergic to things that can be difficult to avoid. There are a lot of common allergens that you can contact in different ways, but it’s important to know that allergies and their symptoms are treatable with the right allergy team. Here’s what to know about types of allergies and how we can help.

Pollen Allergies

One of the most common types of allergies happens during seasons like the early Fall or Spring when plants and trees generate lots of pollen. This pollen can be carried in the air and cause some miserable symptoms for a few weeks out of the year. A common name for this is hay fever.

Pet Allergies

Being allergic to cats or other pets with fur usually means that your body negatively responds to animal proteins commonly found in things like pet dander (dead skin cells), saliva, or urine. There can be varying levels of severity with pet allergies, where you might experience symptoms by simply being around someone who has a pet. Or, you may only experience symptoms when being near a pet.

Food Allergies

There’s a huge variety of foods that can cause allergic reactions and to different degrees. Although peanut allergies are one of the most well-known, other food allergies can include shellfish, milk, eggs, corn, soy, and many more. Some people experience a reaction simply by being around someone who is preparing these foods while others can eat these foods with minimal reactions.

Mold and Dust Allergies

Both of these particles can be found in your home in amounts that depend on its level of cleanliness. These can be the biggest culprits in allergies you experience in the winter since you likely spend more time indoors. Mold allergies can also flare up in the late Fall because of dead, wet leaves that are commonly raked up during yardwork.

How can I treat allergies?

Allergies can be managed in a number of different ways, but the major methods include avoiding allergens and controlling your environment, as well as medical treatments like medications, immunotherapy, and even surgery.

Environmental control can include avoiding your known allergens and reducing the number of allergens in each environment such as your bedroom or home. This might include using climate control and maintaining clean surfaces and filters (make sure to wear a mask when changing these!) Common medications for allergies include antihistamines, which can be purchased over the counter, and steroids or anti-inflammatory medications prescribed by your allergy team. Immunotherapy is a more sophisticated and long-term way to treat your allergies. It involves exposing you to small amounts of each allergen to help your body build resistance over time. This can be in the form of allergy shots or sublingual drops that are administered at our practice. In addition, our surgeons can assess anatomical issues with your nose and sinuses— often, nasal or sinus surgery can significantly improve allergies and your management options.

In short, you have plenty of options for improving your allergy symptoms and getting the treatment you need. During a consultation, our allergy team can create a customized treatment plan for your individual needs.

Schedule an Appointment

At Associates of Otolaryngology, we’re proud to offer a variety of allergy treatment options and comprehensive plans to help you break free of allergy symptoms. To meet with our allergy team and learn more about your options, contact our Denver, Lone Tree, and Castle Rock offices by calling or filling out our online form.