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Montgomery Family Care

Family Medicine located in Mt Sterling, KY

Allergies cause symptoms ranging from frequent sneezing and watering eyes to rashes and a swollen tongue. The team at Montgomery Family Care in Mt Sterling, Kentucky, knows how frustrating and potentially dangerous allergies can be and offers patients accurate testing followed by effective treatment. To benefit from the team’s skill in helping you manage your allergies, call Montgomery Family Care today or schedule an appointment using the online form.

Allergies Q & A

What are allergies?

Allergies cause unpleasant symptoms when you encounter substances that are generally harmless. These substances (known as allergens) could be anything, but common ones include:

  • Mold 
  • Dust
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Latex
  • Penicillin
  • Peanuts
  • Soy
  • Shellfish
  • Milk
  • Gluten
  • Insect venom

You develop an allergy when your immune system mistakenly views these or other substances as harmful. It goes into overdrive, releasing substances like histamine that trigger your allergy symptoms.

What symptoms do allergies cause?

Allergies cause a variety of symptoms. Ones you breathe in, like dust, pollen, and mold, typically cause:

  • Sneezing 
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Coughing 

Latex allergies produce contact dermatitis (a rash, reddening, and itching), and your skin might crack and bleed. Insect bites might cause urticaria (hives).

Food allergies can cause stomach cramps, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Some people’s mouths and tongues swell too. A severe allergic reaction can cause anaphylaxis, affecting your ability to breathe. You might lose consciousness, and some people die from untreated anaphylaxis.

How are allergies diagnosed?

The Stanton Family Clinic team performs skin prick tests to identify your allergies. They apply tiny quantities of possible allergens to your skin and slightly scratch it. If the substance triggers a response, such as reddened or swollen skin, it confirms an allergy.

If you might have a food allergy, your provider asks you to keep a food diary. This involves listing everything you eat and drink and any allergy symptoms you experience. You could also try an elimination diet, avoiding certain foods and then reintroducing them one by one to see if you have a symptom flare-up.

How are allergies treated?

You can manage your allergies more effectively by avoiding their triggers. For example, stay inside on days when the pollen count is high and frequently wash bedding to reduce dust exposure. 

If you have a food allergy, you should avoid eating anything that could contain the substance that triggers your allergic reaction.

Medications like antihistamines can also help. They decrease the body’s overreaction, reducing symptoms like sneezing and watering eyes. Steroid medications, which have potent anti-inflammatory properties, can be helpful for some people.

Another option is immunotherapy. This involves having regular injections or using sublingual drops that go under your tongue. The drops and injections contain your allergens. Frequent exposure to regulated doses over long periods reduces your body’s sensitivity.

If you’re vulnerable to anaphylaxis, your Montgomery Family Care provider prescribes epinephrine autoinjectors for you to use during an allergy attack. These injectors deliver medicine that could save your life in an emergency.

To learn more about managing your allergies successfully, call Montgomery Family Care or request an appointment online today.