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Methodist Healthcare

Allergy treatment

Allergies are conditions where your immune system reacts negatively to a substance. Common allergens include pollen, pet dander and some medications. Your treatment may include injections, allergy shots, medications and, in extreme cases, emergency care.

Allergy doctors in San Antonio

Allergies can bring disturbances to daily life, but we work to ensure you can breathe easy and live easy.

Asthma and other allergic diseases are two of the most common health problems facing Americans today, with approximately 50 million having asthma, hay fever or other allergy-related conditions. If you experience allergies and allergic diseases, Methodist Healthcare is here for you.

What triggers an allergic reaction

An allergic reaction may occur anywhere in the body but commonly affects the nose, eyes, lungs, lining of the stomach, sinuses, throat and skin. Sometimes allergies can be controlled with the occasional use of an over-the-counter medication.

When allergies interfere with day-to-day activities, decrease your quality of life or become life-threatening, it's important to seek medical attention. There are hundreds of ordinary substances that can trigger allergic reactions. These triggers are called allergens.

Some of the most common allergens are:

  • Cleaning products
  • Cockroaches
  • Dust mites
  • Feathers
  • Foods
  • Household dust
  • Insect stings
  • Medicines
  • Molds
  • Pets
  • Plant pollen

Our allergy specialists will help you identify exactly what is causing your allergic reactions and work with you to develop an effective treatment plan.

Types of allergies

There are three primary causes of allergies: contact allergies, food allergies and airborne allergies. The severity of an allergy can range from mild to life-threatening. If you are afraid someone is having an allergic reaction, it is always best to get them to the nearest emergency room for treatment.

Contact allergies

Contact allergies are caused by an allergen coming into contact with a person’s skin. Symptoms associated with a contact allergy range from rashes to blistering. Contact allergies are rarely dangerous, but if there is drainage from a rash, it may be a sign of an infection.

Common contact allergens include:

  • Cosmetics
  • Laundry detergent
  • Nail polish
  • Poison ivy
  • Soap

Food allergies

Food intolerance, also known as a food allergy, affects an estimated 15 million Americans, according to the Food Allergy Research and Education. Reactions to a food allergy range from mild responses like hives to more serious conditions like anaphylactic shock, which could result in death.

Common food allergens include:

  • Gluten
  • Milk
  • Nuts
  • Shellfish

If someone you know is in anaphylactic shock, take them to the ER for treatment, even if epinephrine has been successfully administered.

Airborne allergies

Airborne allergies are the most common of all allergens. Sneezing and watery, itchy eyes are two of the most common symptoms of airborne allergies. These types of allergies are rarely life-threatening but can be extremely irritating to live with. Luckily, there are many over-the-counter and prescription medications that can be used to treat symptoms of airborne allergens.

Common airborne allergens include:

  • Air fresheners
  • Fungi
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Spray primer or paint

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