It’s estimated that allergies affect more than 50 million people in the United States. Just about anything can cause an allergy, from ingredients in your favorite makeup to things floating in the air in your home. However, some allergens are much more common than others.
Living with an allergy can pose a challenge. You may have mild symptoms that serve only as a minor annoyance or severe symptoms that greatly disrupt your daily life. Some people have life-threatening allergies.
Regardless of the type of allergy you have, it’s wise to work with an allergy specialist to keep yourself healthy. Dr. Reinhard Kage, MD, of Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut helps patients manage a full range of allergies. Dr. Kage relies on over two decades of experience to find the most appropriate and effective approach for managing your allergies.
Here, we discuss three of the most common allergens and things you can do to better manage them.
Having a family pet is quite common, and so is having a pet allergy. People with pet allergies can have reactions to animal saliva, urine, or dander (dead skin). An allergy to pet dander is much more common than an allergy to pet urine or saliva.
Symptoms of a pet allergy include sneezing and runny nose. Some people have asthma symptoms, including wheezing, when they’re exposed to pet dander. People with severe pet allergies are unable to have a pet.
Individuals with mild pet allergies may be able to manage their symptoms with medication and at-home measures such as frequent vacuuming, keeping the animal’s hair short, and washing carpets regularly.
Allergies to peanuts and shellfish are among the most common food allergies. Cow milk, wheat, soy, eggs, tree nuts, and fish round out the “big 8” food allergens. The only way to treat a food allergy is to avoid the food in all forms — read labels carefully, and ask restaurant staff about how food is prepared when you’re eating out.
Peanuts, shellfish and tree nuts tend to cause the most severe reactions. However, even if you have a mild food allergy, doctors advise you to completely avoid the offending food. That’s because allergies can prove unpredictable. You may suddenly have a severe reaction to a food that you’ve only had mild allergic reactions to in the past.
Dr. Kage may provide medication to help you manage symptoms of an allergic reaction to food if you inadvertently come in contact with your allergen.
Pollen is the most common allergen that causes seasonal allergies. Also known as hay fever, pollen allergy triggers a host of uncomfortable symptoms, including:
- Itchy eyes
- Stuffy nose
- Swelling around the eyes
Seasonal allergies don’t just cause symptoms in the spring and summer. You may have symptoms as early as January and as late as November.
Antihistamines, corticosteroid nasal sprays, and medicated eye drops help manage pollen allergies.
Expert allergy management
The team at Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut is pleased to serve your allergy needs. We offer specialized care for the entire family. If you or a loved one has a diagnosed or suspected allergy, our team can ensure that you get the very best care.
To get started, call our office in Manchester, Connecticut, to schedule a visit with Dr. Kage, or book your request online today.