Many people suffer from seasonal allergies, food allergies, and pet allergies. Allergy treatment is designed to provide relief from whatever types of allergies you suffer.
Common Allergy Symptoms
There is a range of common symptoms associated with allergies. The most common symptoms include:
Nasal stuffiness and congestion
Scratchy sore throat or hoarseness
If you have allergy symptoms and need to identify the underlying cause, you will need to undergo allergy testing. Your doctor will then use the test results to determine which substance(s) you are allergic to.
How to Avoid Allergens
The best way to prevent allergy symptoms and limit your need for treatment is to avoid your allergens as much as possible.
Remove the source of allergens from your home and places you spend time. For example, remove all nut-based foods from your home if you have a nut allergy.
If airborne allergens trigger your symptoms, wash your nose daily with a nasal saline rinse from a squeeze bottle or Neti pot. This can help reduce your exposure to airborne allergens.
Allergy Shots (Allergen Immunotherapy)
Allergy shots are a treatment option where you are given a series of shots to provide you with long-term relief from severe allergies.
Allergy shots are also known by a few different names, including:
Allergy shots are a treatment option we consider if you suffer from severe allergy symptoms that are getting in the way of your daily life. Allergy shots require a multi-year commitment, but they can provide you with long-term relief.
Sublingual immunotherapy, or SLIT, is a type of immunotherapy used to treat respiratory allergic diseases. It can improve allergy symptoms, help prevent the development of asthma and new allergies, and reduce the need for allergy medications.
With SLIT, instead of allergy shots to help overcome and control allergy symptoms, you are given daily allergy tablets that go under the tongue.
The tablet goes under the tongue for a minute or two and is then swallowed once it dissolves. The tablets are designed to increase one’s tolerance to pollen and reduce symptoms over time.
SLIT is given in doses that gradually increase one’s exposure to the allergen. It is an alternative to allergy injections.
SLIT can be used to treat allergic rhinitis, often called hay fever. Hay fever is an inflammatory disease that results in congestion, an itchy and runny nose, and itchy and watery eyes. SLIT can also be used to treat other grass allergies.
Over-the-Counter & Prescription Medications for Allergies
Don’t dismiss your allergy symptoms. You don’t need to suffer from a constantly running nose. In fact, not treating your allergy symptoms can lead to more painful problems, such as sinus and ear infections.
Here are a few safe prescriptions and over-the-counter medications that may relieve your allergy symptoms:
Nose sprays, formally known as nasal corticosteroids, help to reduce swelling. Nose swelling results in a stuffy, runny, and itchy nose. Nose sprays are an effective treatment for nasal allergies.
Antihistamines are used to block histamine, which triggers allergic swelling. They are designed to calm a runny nose, sneezing, itching, and hives. Antihistamines are used primarily to treat seasonal and indoor allergies.
You can take antihistamine medication in various ways, such as pills, nose sprays, melting tablets, and liquid medications.
Mast cell stabilizers
Mast cell stabilizers prevent your body from releasing histamine. This can help with common allergy symptoms such as an itchy and runny nose or itchy and watery eyes. Mast cell stabilizers are available as nose sprays and eye drops.
Decongestants help to shrink the swollen membranes in the nose. They help with stuffiness. Decongestants usually come in the form of nose sprays.
However, you have to be careful with decongestants. If you use them for more than three days in a row, they can make the swelling and stuffiness in your nose worse even if you stop using the decongestant.
Corticosteroid cream or ointment
Corticosteroid creams and ointments are used to stop the spread of a rash and reduce its itchiness. This type of cream can be used for about a week.
You may be prescribed oral corticosteroids if you suffer from severe allergic reactions. The use of this medication for allergies has to be carefully monitored.
Epinephrine, more commonly known as the Epi-Pen, is a pre-measured and self-injected treatment for someone experiencing a life-threatening severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). For an epinephrine injection to work, it has to be given within minutes of someone experiencing the first signs of an allergy reaction.
Your Treatment Plan
We will work with you to come up with a specific treatment plan that will help treat your allergies and provide you with relief from your allergy symptoms.
Allergy Treatment in Portland, Oregon
At West Hills Allergy & Asthma Associates, Dr. Anderson-Cowell has more than 23 years of experience diagnosing and treating patients with different types of allergies.
Her training and expertise make Dr. Anderson-Cowell a distinguished and sought-after zebra doctor who is an expert in diagnosing rare or unusual allergies.
If you’re looking for expert diagnostic experience and effective treatment for your allergy needs, Dr. Anderson-Cowell can help. For a consultation, please call (503) 297-4779 or request an appointment online.
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