Be greater than your allergies

Be greater than your allergies

The Most Common Allergy Symptoms

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Provided by The Weather Channel

Ask an allergy doctor how to treat what ails you and their first question will most likely be, “What are your symptoms?”

“As your allergist, if I don’t take a good history and I don’t understand what your symptoms are, I might give you a [treatment plan] that wouldn’t cover your symptoms,” Dr. Bryan Martin, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, told For that reason, inquiring about a patient’s symptoms is his first order of business during an appointment.

When evaluating symptoms, Dr. Martin explained that there are two reactions that can cause different types of symptoms: initial reaction and later reaction.

“I have to divide it up that way because if you walk into your aunt Millie's house and she has four cats and you haven’t been around cats for a while, the first thing that will happen is you have itchy eyes, itchy nose and you’ll start to sneeze,” he said, describing an initial reaction. A rule of thumb (that isn’t applicable in all cases, but in many) is if your symptoms are itchy eyes and an itchy nose, you’re probably dealing with an initial reaction

Continued exposure to allergens, or what Dr. Martin referred to as the later reaction, leads to problems with congestion and congestion-related symptoms like a runny nose. People with pollen allergies may see continued exposure during the pollen season, while those with indoor allergies may be dealing with constant exposure that never really goes away.

“Dust mites are in your bed,” Dr. Martin said. “Every night when you go to bed, you’re going to be exposed for hours.”

When it comes down to it, the symptoms are generally the same with these airborne allergens: itchy eyes and nose, sneezing, watery eyes, congestion and a runny nose.

“We have some drugs that can cover [some] of the symptoms of allergic reactions,” Dr. Martin said, listing intranasal steroid spray as one example.

In addition to medicinal treatments, Dr. Martin said that he often suggests lifestyle changes to avoid interaction with the known allergens. He will advise patients with pet allergies ways to reduce that interaction. Since most people won’t get rid of their beloved animals, he recommends his clients keep the dog and cat out of the bedroom. “We try and minimize exposure of the patient to the animal,” he said.