What Are Allergies?
Allergies are characterized by an overreaction or an exaggerated response of the immune system to foreign substances known as allergens. Types of allergens include pollen, dust mites, mold, pet dander, and even types of food or medications. Typically, an optimally functioning immune system would deem these allergens as harmless substances. However, there are times when the immune system sees these triggers as dangerous invaders that need to be eliminated from the body. These allergens produce an immune response that has side effects that can range from mildly uncomfortable to severe and life-threatening.
Allergies are quite common in Austin, in fact, the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology estimates that as many as one in five people have allergies. It is also estimated that around 50 million people in North America suffer from allergies.
In many cases, those affected by allergies are unable to specifically pinpoint the causes of their allergic reactions. Allergists, such as the doctors at Austin Allergy Associates, are specially trained to identify the substance or substances causing the allergy symptoms and develop and administer a course of treatment to manage or prevent the allergic reactions.
What Are the Most Common Allergy Symptoms?
Allergens can produce a wide variety of symptoms with varying degrees of severity, depending on how well the immune system responds. Some of the most common allergy symptoms include:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Watery and itchy eyes
- Scratchy or sore throat
- Rash or hives (Urticaria)
- Wheezing or difficulty breathing
- Stomach ache
A select few may experience a severe reaction called anaphylaxis that may result in breathing difficulties, seizures and even death if immediate medical attention is not sought right away.
Types of Allergies We Specialize in Treating
Different allergens can produce different reactions depending on the individual’s immune system. Here at Austin Allergy Associates, our doctors specialize in treating the following types of allergies:
- Asthma including chronic asthma and exercise induced asthma
- Persistent cough or recurrent cough
- Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
- Nasal allergies including eye symptoms
- Chronic or recurrent sinusitis and sinus conditions
- Food allergies
- Drug allergies
- Hives (Urticaria)
- Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
- Insect allergy
Common Allergy Treatments
There are many options when treating allergies. Both prescription and over-the-counter medications may help control the symptoms of allergic reactions. However, if you are looking for a multifaceted approach to treating allergies in Austin, Austin Allergy Associates works with you and your primary care physician to define your allergies and determine the best course of treatment to control your allergy symptoms. For more information on allergy diagnosis and treatments options, please visit our Diagnosis and Treatments page.
Austin Allergy Associates
T. Ray Vaughan, M.D.
P. Dennis Dyer, M.D.
3303 Northland Dr. Suite 301
Austin, TX 78731