Allergy symptoms vary depending on the type of allergy, and range from mild to severe. They typically involve the airways, sinuses, nasal passages and skin. Seasonal allergies such as allergic rhinitis (often referred to as hay fever) are especially common. They produce cold-like symptoms including nasal congestion, watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, itchiness of the eyes and nose, sore throat and postnasal drip. These cause misery for millions of Americans going about their daily lives, especially when pollen counts are high or the weather is warm, dry and windy.
Skin allergies such as eczema cause itchiness, redness, hives, rash and flaking or peeling skin. Chances are, if you itch, you will be tempted to scratch. Doing so can worsen the condition, and might even lead to an infection. Insect stings may cause swelling, itchiness and hives. They can also produce coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest. Drug allergies can cause a person to develop itchiness, rash, hives, wheezing and facial swelling.
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that causes swelling in the throat and breathing difficulty. Symptoms come on very quickly – sometimes within seconds of exposure – and may include abdominal pain, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitations, slurred speech, swelling of the face or eyes, rapid pulse and mental confusion. It is a medical emergency and, if not treated promptly, can lead to shock, cardiac arrest and even death. Anaphylaxis can occur in response to any type of allergen, but is most commonly associated with insect stings or certain drug and food allergies.
MEET OUR ALLERGY SPECIALIST:
Kelli Umphrey has worked with Dr. Masdon since 2007 and has managed our Allergy department since May of 2003. Kelli has extensive training in allergy testing, injections and sublingual therapy. She was also certified by the Pan American Allergy Society in 2013 and 2014. Call our office today to learn more about Kelli and our allergy treatment options.