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Medical City Healthcare

Allergy treatment

Allergies are conditions where your immune system reacts negatively to a substance. Common allergens include pollen, pet dander and some medications. Your treatment may include injections, allergy shots, medications and, in extreme cases, emergency care.

Adult and pediatric allergy treatment in North Texas

Allergies are common, but living with the symptoms doesn't have to be.

Whether your allergies cause you mild irritation or concerns about anaphylactic shock, you can receive immediate care and long-term allergy relief at Medical City Healthcare.

An allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to something that’s otherwise harmless. In most cases, allergies are mild and only cause discomfort. For many people, however, allergies can cause:

  • Asthma
  • Ear infections
  • Sinus pain or infections
  • Sore throats
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Dark circles under your eyes
  • Headaches
  • Pink eye

Many of these symptoms are a nuisance, but some can be life-threatening. In the event of anaphylaxis or an asthma attack, for example, you must seek emergency care for allergy symptoms.

Allergy risk factors

Certain factors make a person more likely to develop allergies. Having any of the risk factors below isn't a guarantee you'll have allergies, but the more risks you have, the more likely you are to develop allergies.

  • Your genes: Your chances of having certain allergies—such as allergic rhinitis (hay fever)—are much higher if one or both of your parents have that allergy.
  • Your health: If you have health conditions—such as asthma, eczema and food allergies—your chances of developing certain allergies are higher.
  • Your age: Some allergies are more common in children but can appear at any age. In most cases, allergies you have at a younger age may not come back when you're an adult, whereas if you develop allergies when you're 20 years old or older, they may last through middle age.
  • Where you live: Some allergies, such as hay fever, are more common in Western countries. Some allergies are seasonal, and environmental factors, such as air quality, can also increase your likelihood of developing certain allergies.
  • Where you work: If you're exposed to the following materials at work, you're at risk of developing certain allergies:
    • Seed, wood or textile dust
    • Animal dander
    • Chemicals or rubber latex
    • Certain foods and spices
    • Smoking or air pollution

Diagnosing allergies

To diagnose your allergies, your doctor may recommend the following tests to provide a more accurate diagnosis:

  • Skin testing: Skin testing is one of the easiest ways to find out which allergens may be affecting you. A tiny particle of the allergen in question is placed under the skin. If there's a reaction, it will happen within approximately 20 minutes. The test is confirmed (indicating you likely have some level of allergic reaction) if the skin becomes raised, red and itchy.
  • Blood testing: A blood sample can determine how much of a certain antibody is made in the body. This test is used to find out how you respond to allergens. Blood tests are only used when skin tests aren't available, are unsafe or won't work.
  • Nasal smear: A sample swabbed from the inside of your nose can be tested in a lab to identify allergens.
  • Nasal endoscopy: A tiny fiber optic camera may be used to view more deeply inside your nose. This is usually done to see if you're also having problems with your sinuses.

Pediatric allergies and asthma

Kids and allergies seem to go hand-in-hand. In fact, allergies are a leading cause of chronic illness, affecting millions of children each year. Thankfully, treatment options are available to help manage allergy symptoms.

The board-certified pediatric allergists at Medical City Healthcare will work with your family to help ensure your child will live a happy and healthy life, despite allergy symptoms that are either mild or severe. Immunotherapy (or allergy shots) and prescription medications are two ways we can treat allergies.

Asthma symptoms in children

Common childhood asthma symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Whistling or wheezing while exhaling
  • Constant intermittent coughing
  • Chest congestion
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Short, shallow breaths

If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, they should be examined by their pediatrician.

Pediatric allergy treatment

The allergists in the Dallas-Fort Worth area affiliated with Medical City Healthcare treat all common food and environmental allergies as well as:

  • Anaphylactic reactions
  • Animal allergies
  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
  • Dust mite allergies
  • Hay fever
  • Insect stings
  • Latex allergies
  • Mold allergies
  • Poison ivy/poison oak
  • Pollen allergies
  • Hives

Asthma management

Childhood asthma can't be cured. However, with careful management and an emergency plan, you can help protect your child's lungs and avoid unnecessary visits to the pediatric ER.

If you believe your child is having an asthma attack, go to the ER or call 911.

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