Hay fever, just one of many possible allergies, affects 7% of all children and adults. Though many allergies begin in childhood, you can have your first allergy attack at any age. When you need help with allergy symptoms, Majid Torabi, MD, FACS, and Ryan Salvador, MD, at Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology, offer comprehensive diagnostic testing and allergy treatment. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Rancho Mirage or La Quinta, California, or request an appointment online today.
Allergies begin when your immune system mistakenly identifies a harmless substance as something that’s bad for your body. With every exposure to the substance, it triggers an immune response that causes your allergy symptoms.
This list gives you an idea of the types of allergies, along with a few examples of their allergens:
Substances in your surroundings cause environmental allergies. This category includes airborne, contact, and insect allergens, as well as others. For example, you may be allergic to horses, cats, dogs, cigarette smoke, or cockroaches.
The symptoms you experience depend on the type of allergy, but as a group, allergies cause:
Food, insect, latex, and drug allergies may cause anaphylaxis. It is a severe allergic reaction that causes fast and potentially deadly symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, swelling in the tongue and throat, dizziness, and loss of consciousness.
Though your medical history and symptoms often indicate allergies, the only way to determine your specific allergen is with one of these allergy tests:
The skin prick test is often the main choice to test for most allergens. It produces results in about 20 minutes while you wait in the office at Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology.
Your treatment may begin by avoiding your allergen and taking over-the-counter medications to ease your symptoms. If these steps don’t help or your allergy symptoms are too severe, you may be a good candidate for allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy.
Allergy shots are a type of immunotherapy that desensitizes your immune system by injecting regular doses of your allergen. Most patients need 1-2 shots a week for about 3-6 months. Then the schedule slows, and you get 1-2 shots a month for several years, or until you achieve optimum results.
If you have an allergy to grass, tree pollen, ragweed, cat dander, or dust mites, your provider may recommend SLIT. This treatment also desensitizes your immune system with regular doses of your allergen.
Instead of shots, SLIT is either a dissolvable tablet or a drop of liquid that goes under your tongue. You take the first dose in the office; then you take the rest of your SLIT doses at home.
If you need relief from the sneezing, congestion, or runny eyes of allergies, call Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology today or request an appointment online.