When you have allergies, avoiding your triggers and keeping your symptoms under control can be a constant source of frustration. At Frisco Medical Center, board-certified family medicine doctors, Luis Palacios, MD, and Jessica Huerta, DO, MS, can help you avoid your allergens and manage the symptoms of allergic reactions. To schedule an appointment, call or click today.
An allergy is when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance — an allergen — that is harmless to most people.
Your immune system is designed to fight off pathogens, which are organisms that cause disease. When you have an allergy, your immune system confuses a harmless substance for a pathogen. The symptoms of allergies result from your immune system’s response to the allergen.
Common allergy triggers include:
Children are more likely to develop allergies, especially food allergies, and many kids outgrow them. However, allergies can affect people of all ages, developing in adulthood or remaining from childhood.
Allergy symptoms vary depending on the allergen and the individual, but common signs of an allergic reaction include:
Allergies can be difficult to diagnose because their symptoms are often common to many conditions. Many people with undiagnosed allergies think they have a cold at first. However, if your symptoms continue for longer than five days — the usual length of a cold — or if there seems to be a seasonal pattern to your symptoms, you may have allergies.
Dr. Palacios diagnoses allergies by performing a physical exam, asking about your symptoms, and conducting allergy tests. Allergy tests involve exposing your skin to a tiny amount of an allergen or testing your blood for certain allergy causing antibodies. If you potentially have a food allergy, he may ask you to keep a diary to track the foods you eat and any symptoms you experience.
Treatment for allergies involves medication and minimizing your exposure to triggers. Dr. Palacios will discuss over-the-counter and prescription medications and guide you on avoiding allergens, which may require routine cleaning and other habits at home as well as learning to read food labels to see if they contain allergens.
If your allergies are severe, you may need to carry an epinephrine shot to use in emergencies. Dr. Palacios will teach you and your family members how to administer the shot.
To get treatment for allergies, schedule an appointment at Frisco Medical Center online or over the phone today.