Allergies affect over 50 million Americans every year and are the sixth-leading cause of chronic illnesses. If you have allergies or are starting to experience symptoms, Norman J Chan MD, in Chinatown, New York, can pinpoint the cause of your allergy and help you avoid the substances that are triggering your reaction. To learn more, call the office, or use the online scheduling tool to book a consultation for your allergies today.
Allergies happen when your body overreacts and attacks a foreign substance that is harmless to most people. The substance you are allergic to is called an allergen, and when you have an allergy, your immune system creates antibodies to fight the allergen. The symptoms from your body fighting the allergen is referred to as an allergic reaction.
You’re said to be allergic to something because you’re sensitive to a substance that is not normally harmful to others. There are many different types of allergens including:
Some of these triggers are easy to avoid, but others are present year-round, and you’ll need to learn how to manage your symptoms.
Symptoms of allergic reactions depend on your specific allergens and can range from mild to severe.
Food allergens like nuts and dairy can cause:
Insect allergies like bee stings can cause:
Airborne allergens like pollen, mold, animal dander, and dust can cause:
Chemical allergens like latex, drugs, and ingredients in household products can cause:
Some people experience an extreme, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. If you’re going into anaphylactic shock, you may experience symptoms like:
Most allergic reactions go away on their own when you are no longer exposed to the allergen, but a life-threatening reaction like anaphylaxis needs immediate medical care.
Your allergy treatment plan by Norman J Chan MD depends on identifying your allergens and assessing the severity of your allergic symptoms. The practice may recommend the following tests to identify what you’re allergic to:
The test involves you receiving pricks that contain a small dose of known allergens. If you develop a red bump at the prick site, you are likely allergic to that specific substance.
Dr. Chan may order a blood test to assess how sensitive you are to known allergens.
Once Dr. Chan identifies your specific allergens, he is able to diagnose you and create a customized treatment plan to help you manage your symptoms. Dr. Chan may suggest one or a combination of the following:
Dr. Chan takes your lifestyle into account and develops a plan for you to avoid coming into contact with your allergens.
If your allergen is present all year round and can’t be avoided, Dr. Chan may prescribe medication to help manage your symptoms. Decongestants are used to provide relief from nasal congestion. Antihistamines are used to relieve runny nose, sneezing, itchiness and prevent the release of chemicals in your body that cause your symptoms.
Dr. Chan may recommend immunotherapy to train your body to become less reactive by giving your body small, but gradually increasing doses of your allergens. The slow buildup of the substance makes your body’s immune system less sensitive to your allergens until your symptoms are completely gone.
If you’re experiencing seasonal or year-round allergies, you don’t have to continue to suffer. Call the office, or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment to be tested and diagnosed by Norman J Chan MD.