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Options for Allergy Testing and Treatment

Allergies affect approximately 50 million people in the United States, and they’re the 6th leading cause of chronic illness — which is to say that allergies are incredibly common. Allergies can be tough to diagnose as there’s a wide range of allergic reactions, some of which mimic other health conditions. 

Thankfully, at Dallas Family Medical & Aesthetics, we offer full allergy services, including testing, which allows Dr. Julie Reihsen and our team to find the right treatment plan for managing your allergies.

Here’s a look at what allergies are, how we can test for them, and the available treatment options.

Allergies 101

In the simplest of terms, an allergy occurs when your immune system mistakenly registers something as hazardous (an allergen), causing it to jump into action to expel the invader and protect your body.

You can develop an allergy to many different things, but the most common allergies involve:

Medical researchers are still unclear about the exact mechanism that causes your immune system to overreact to a particular substance. Still, they believe that genetics and the environment play critical roles.

Identifying allergic symptoms

It’s challenging to provide you with a general list of symptoms as reactions can vary depending upon the allergen.

For example, if you have hay fever, you may find yourself with watery and itchy eyes from pollen during spring. Or, you may develop hives after you eat seafood or other foods that set your immune system off.

In many cases, allergies can present an ongoing nuisance, leaving you to struggle with symptoms that can affect your quality of life. In rare cases, allergies can be life-threatening when they cause your body to go into anaphylactic shock.

If you’re having trouble with your allergies, you should have us test you to come up with an appropriate management plan.

Testing and treating allergies

When we test for allergies, we do so in one of two ways:

Skin prick test

Using this test, we introduce small amounts of the suspected allergen into your skin to see if there’s a reaction.

Blood test

Another way to test for allergies is to check for antibodies in your blood. Called a specific IgE test, we draw some of your blood and send it off to a laboratory.

If we find that you have allergies, we tailor your treatment to your lifestyle and goals. Your treatment plan may include immunotherapy, which we administer through United Allergy Services. Immunotherapy is a great way to train your body not to react to an allergen slowly.

In addition to immunotherapy, we work with you on an allergen avoidance plan, and we also prescribe medications that can help when you’re having a reaction.

If you’d like to gain the upper hand on your allergies, please contact our office in Addison, Texas, to request an appointment.

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