Allergies Treatments

Allergies Treatments

Recently Answered

  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    Rapid immunotherapy is not for everyone. There's always a danger of a severe response from the rapid increase of dosage levels so the gradual build up over a period of months is generally more desirable. However, sometimes there's a pressing need for speed when allergies are involved.

    We had a small girl in the hospital with subacute bacterial endocarditis, a severe infection inside her heart. This is best treated with high dosages of penicillin, but the pediatrician called us because she had had a strong allergic reaction to penicillin in the past. Skin testing confirmed penicillin allergy. We began to give her thousandths-of-a-unit of penicillin by injection and every twenty minutes doubled the dose while we sat by the bedside ready to treat any bad allergic reactions. None occurred and many hours later she received a full dose of penicillin with no bad effects. Our job was done: As long as there were no breaks in treatment, she could safely receive her penicillin. Once the treatment was completed, however, her allergy to penicillin returned in a matter of weeks.

    This was an example of rush immunotherapy.

    Sometimes, there's no emergency, but an accelerated course of immunotherapy is still necessary. A teenaged boy named Bill was saving for college by cutting lawns. He came to us in April because the previous summer he had a severe allergic reaction to yellow jacket stings and he wanted to know what could be done for him by July, when the yellow jackets come out. How could we protect Bill by July? We had him come to our office two days a week with a day in between. We gave three increasing dosages twenty minutes apart each of those days. It took only six weeks to reach maintenance dose-full protection once a month.

    This was modified rush immunotherapy.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A Emergency Medicine, answered on behalf of
    If you start to have some type of reaction after exposure to an unknown allergen, there is no way to tell how quickly or aggressively the symptoms will progress. Your body can go into shock or your respiratory system can be compromised, among other things. Getting to the ER will allow the providers to control any progression of symptoms.
  • 1 Answer
    A

    If you decide to eat honey daily, it is best to use a local honey. That honey is usually produced within a few miles of where you live and there is a good chance that the varieties of flowering grasses and plants that give you trouble are the same kinds the bees are including in the honey they produce.

    After all, if you live in Georgia, it would not do you much good to eat honey with spores from a type of grass that thrives in Michigan.

  • 1 Answer
    A
    While the most common reaction to a sting from insects -- bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, fire ants -- is local swelling, some people have a systemic reaction. A systemic reaction seriously affects multiple body systems and can be life threatening, especially if the airway is restricted. Venom immunotherapy (VIT) is the most effective treatment for people with systemic reactions to stings.

    A patient who experiences a serious reaction should be evaluated immediately by a physician, who may administer epinephrine, lifesaving treatment in patients with systemic reactions. The patient then is referred to an allergy specialist. After an allergy is confirmed and identified, a rush protocol is begun that can last from eight to 12 weeks. As with other allergies, insect venoms contain substances that trigger reactions in some individuals. Twice a week, the allergy physician administers injections of a tiny amount of the insect venom, which contains the appropriate antigen. The physician gradually increases the dose, inducing the patient’s immune system to build resistance to the venom.

    After completing the rush protocol, the allergy physician starts a maintenance protocol using the appropriate dose (usually 100 micrograms), with a new interval and duration for treatment. During the maintenance period, the patient receives injections once every four weeks for three to five years. The purpose is to induce clinical tolerance in the patient. Knowing the details of the patient’s reaction to the sting is essential in deciding the best course and duration for treatment.

    Without treatment, an adult who has a systemic reaction has a 60 percent probability of having the same or worse reaction if stung again. The good news: While VIT does require extended treatment, the efficacy rate is high.
    The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Nor does the contents of this website constitute the establishment of a physician patient or therapeutic relationship. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
  • 1 Answer
    A

    Treatment options for skin allergies may vary depending on how severe the allergy and its symptoms are. Most importantly, the trigger of the reaction, such as nickel or specific cosmetic products, should be identified so the person can avoid that substance to prevent future allergic reactions. To treat symptoms like rashes or hives, cool cloths or compresses can be applied to the affected area, and for more severe reactions, a lukewarm oatmeal bath might help relieve itchiness. It's best to avoid topical antihistamines, since this can just further irritate the skin. Instead, topical creams that contain corticosteroids should be used. More severe cases might require corticosteroids, antihistamines, or other medications to be taken by mouth for a few weeks after the reaction happens.

  • 1 Answer
    A
    There is no cure for a food allergy. Strict avoidance is the only way to prevent a reaction, which can be caused by even small amounts of a food allergen.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A answered

    Considered to be the most effective treatment for relieving nasal allergy symptoms, corticosteroid nasal sprays work by reducing inflammation. It's important to use the spray correctly, directing it away from your septum, so follow the instructions closely. If you're still unsure, ask a healthcare practitioner to show you how to do to it. Side effects of steroid sprays may include nosebleeds, nasal dryness, and stinging.

  • 1 Answer
    A
    A answered
    Want better allergy relief? If so, take good care of yourself. Living a healthy lifestyle makes a big difference. It's as important as getting tested, avoiding your triggers and taking your prescribed medication. That's because bad habits, stress and poor sleep not only aggravate allergy symptoms -- they also make them much harder to cope with.

    Try these five steps to boost your health so you can fend off allergy symptoms:
    • Eat a healthy diet. Can the right diet cure your allergies? No. But it can help soothe your symptoms. Load your plate with inflammation quenchers, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and fish. At the same time, cut back on foods that aggravate allergy-causing inflammation, including refined grains, red and cured meats, alcohol and foods high in saturated fat and sugar.
    • Exercise. Will regular exercise improve your allergy symptoms? It may not help directly, but it can help you cope with them. Exercise improves your sleep, overall health, immunity, fitness and energy levels. It also increases the production of mood-boosting neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, to help ease allergy-induced stress. Ask your doctor about exercises that are safe for allergies and asthma.
    • Kick bad habits. You'll have an easier time taming nasal allergy symptoms if you don't smoke and you avoid inflammation-inducing junk food and cut back on the mai tais.
    • Get more sleep. Allergy symptoms can steal your sleep, adding to the daytime fatigue and misery brought on by a stuffy nose, constant sneezing and itchy, watery eyes. Ease nighttime symptoms with dust-proof pillow and mattress covers, a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your bedroom and a hot shower before bed.
    • Reduce stress. Allergies can dial up stress fast, so carve out time for a daily round of meditation, positive visualization, yoga, tai chi or even a weekly massage. These remedies won't cure your allergies, but they'll dampen the stress that comes with them.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    For this answer we will assume "cross allergies" refers to cross-reactivity. Cross-reactivity is when your immune system recognizes something as "foreign" to your body and then produces antibodies to identify it. Because they recognize the foreign object by chemical "shape," items with similar "shape" can cause an allergic reaction. Treating them is essentially the same as treating the original allergy: preventing contact, identification with testing if warranted, and being prepared for bad reactions. For certain types of reactions, desensitization may be an option. You should discuss this and any suspected allergies with your doctor. He or she may even be able to help you identify potential cross-reactive agents.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Antihistamines are often needed along with nasal steroids to treat severe allergies. These medications block histamine, a substance released by the body in response to allergens. Some oral antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine, can cause drowsiness and may be best when taken at night. For daytime use, consider loratadine (Claritin), fexofenadine (Allegra), or cetirizine (Zyrtec).

    Antihistamines in the form of a nasal spray are only available by prescription and typically used to treat more severe allergy symptoms. Compared with oral antihistamines, nasal antihistamines directly target the nasal passages, but may cause a bitter taste and headache.