Allergies are a serious, yet common, condition. More than 50 million adults and children suffer from them each year, and an increasing number of individuals are being diagnosed. However, researchers don’t have a single theory for what’s driving the rise.
People develop allergies when their immune system overreacts to something that they inhaled, touched, or ate. Common allergens include:
- Pollens from trees, grasses, and weeds
- House dust mites
- Stinging insects
- Animals such as cats, dogs, and horses
When an individual is exposed to an allergen, allergic cells activate, releasing a variety of chemicals that cause symptoms ranging from bothersome to life threatening. These include a runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, a rash, difficulty breathing, swelling, and anaphylaxis.
In order to reduce exposure and decrease your symptoms, it’s helpful to identify your allergies. An allergy immunology doctor can work with you to determine the appropriate testing to uncover your triggers for allergic reactions.
If you need help identifying and better managing your allergies, you can make an appointment with an allergy doctor—no referral needed.
Dr. Carrie Caruthers is an Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Department specialist. She cares for patients of all ages, working with them to create an individualized care plan that allows them to function without limitations.