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If you’ve got them, you already know that allergies can be brutal depending on the type and severity.  They also come in many forms including airborne, digestible, and even contact allergies.  It’s one of those things you don’t think about until you’re in the middle of it and it’s too late to avoid the triggers.  In general, allergic reactions are caused by our immune system reacting to bad particles in order to protect the body against things that it deems are harmful, such as bacteria and viruses. But it can also react to harmless allergens that it thinks are a threat.  Our immune systems will attack them as well thus causing the symptoms of allergies.

If you or a family member is suffering from allergies, schedule an appointment with one of our doctors at City Health Services to discuss allergy symptoms and treatments.  You can also bring it up in conversation during a regular therapy visit.  One of our doctors will then ask you a series of questions including:

• What are the symptoms?

• How long have you been experiencing symptoms?

• What time of year do symptoms occur?

• What seems to cause symptoms?

A physical exam will follow. If the diagnosis is allergic rhinitis, the doctor may perform a skin or blood test. This will help him or her find what may be causing the allergies. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor to treat allergy symptoms. Together, you can create a treatment plan that will be best for you or your family member.

Three ways to treat allergies:

  1. COMPLETE ALLERGEN AVOIDANCE –  It is advised that you try to avoid the allergens that trigger your allergic reaction, but it’s not always possible.
  2. MEDICATIONS THAT TREAT SYMPTOMS –  These medications can offer you effective, though temporary, allergy symptom relief. Some examples include antihistamines, decongestants, nasal steroid sprays, cromolyn sodium (anti-inflammatory medicine), eye drops, and other medicines your doctor may recommend. Some of these medicines are available without a prescription, while others require a prescription.
  3. ALLERGY IMMUNOTHERAPY (AIT) –  AIT works with your body’s natural defenses to change or adjust what it considers a threat to its health.  It is recommended for people who cannot avoid allergens, or for people who are not satisfied with their current over-the-counter or prescribed medicines used to treat allergy symptoms.


The two ways to deliver AIT immunotherapy treatment.  Allergy shots or sublingual (under the tongue) tablets.  AIT can help by working with the body’s natural defense system. AIT slowly trains the immune system to be less sensitive to allergens, so that it doesn’t respond aggressively with every exposure. This is done by introducing tiny amounts of the allergen to the body over time, slowly getting the immune system used to the allergen. Then, when the body is exposed to the allergen during normal day-to-day activity, the immune system doesn’t try to attack it. This can mean you or your family member may have fewer allergy symptoms.

Keep in mind that AIT may not be right for everyone. AIT can cause increased allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, nasal congestion, and hives. The administration of AIT has been associated with severe, life-threatening systemic reactions, including anaphylaxis and death.

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