Allergies occur when your body's defence system (immune system) overreacts to certain substances. The immune system treats a harmless substance as if it is a harmful germ or virus. Many things can cause this overreaction, including pollens, medicine, food, dust, animal dander, and mould.
Allergies can be mild or severe. Mild allergies can be managed with home treatment. But medicine may be needed to prevent problems.
Managing your allergies is an important part of staying healthy. Your doctor may suggest that you have allergy testing to help find out what is causing your allergies. When you know what things trigger your symptoms, you can avoid them. This can prevent allergy symptoms, asthma, and other health problems.
For severe allergies that cause reactions that affect your whole body (anaphylactic reactions), your doctor may prescribe a shot of epinephrine to carry with you in case you have a severe reaction. Learn how to give yourself the shot and keep it with you at all times. Make sure it is not expired.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Give an epinephrine shot if:
After giving an epinephrine shot call 911, even if you feel better.
Call 911 if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: September 29, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Lora J. Stewart, MD - Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics
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