Allergies are a major health problem and cost the society
many millions of dollars in school and work missed and
in the cost of both prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Allergies, hay fever, and colds are terms that are used
interchangeably. They describe symptoms of runny nose,
itchy and watery eyes, and sneezing.
Allergies or "seasonal allergic rhinitis" is a
condition in which foreign substances such as pollens, cat
dander etc come into the nose, eyes, or throat and trigger
a response from the immune system. The symptoms of allergies
(runny nose etc) are a side effect of this immune response.
This reaction is a normal reaction which protects the body
from harmful substances. However, in some people the immune
responses can become excessive. This is when a patient becomes "allergic" to
that foreign particle ("allergen").
fever is a type of allergy caused by pollens such as from
ragweed. Ragweed allergy is from late August into the fall.
Springtime allergies include many grasses and trees. In
addition to seasonal allergies, certain substances can
cause allergy problems all year long (yes, you can have
allergy problems all year long!). This include house dust,
pet dander, and food allergies.
Treatment of allergies includes environmental control and the use of both prescription
and over-the-counter antihistamines, decongestants, and steroids. "Shots" are
given for severe allergies to try to build up protective antibodies to try
to cure allergies.
can contribute to the development of infections which require
antibiotics. Allergies can also cause problems such as
polyps and nasal obstruction for which surgery is often
If you or a loved one suffers from allergies, please call our office to schedule
a consultation with one of our physicians.