Allergies are extremely common, affecting about one in every five Houston residents. Understanding what causes them—and which particular allergens are responsible for triggering your symptoms—is the key to successful immunotherapy treatment through sublingual therapy or allergy shots.
Your immune system
The immune system functions as the body’s first line of defense against germs and bacteria. This system allows your body to maintain good health and prevent infections.
When the immune system encounters a foreign substance that is seen as a threat, it responds by attacking that substance. In cases of infection or disease, this is a positive thing; in other cases, like allergic reactions, it is not.
Allergies are an exaggerated immune system response to what should be considered a harmless substance.
Allergic reactions are the result of antibodies that trigger the release of histamines —chemicals that enter the bloodstream and cause swelling, inflammation, itchiness and mucus production—the telltale signs of an allergic response. Histamines may also cause a rash or hives.
For people in Houston, allergies may occur seasonally or year-round in. Pollens from trees, grasses and weeds are common allergens that cause hay fever in many individuals.
Year-round allergens in Houston include animal dander, dust mites, mold, medications, chemicals and insect bites. Allergy sufferers experience a variety of cold-like symptoms including congestion, runny nose, sneezing, itchiness, postnasal drip, watery eyes and sinus pain or pressure.
If you suffer from allergies in Houston, visiting a physician at an allergy clinic can help! Over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines and decongestants are only a temporary solution, as these medications cover up symptoms rather than actually reduce them. Allergy medications are not a cure for allergies, and their effectiveness is limited.
If you want a long-term solution for allergy management, you should schedule an appointment with a Houston allergist. Specialty clinics provide skin testing to determine the allergen(s) responsible for your symptoms, which is an important first step in finding an allergy treatment that will work for your individual needs.
Immunotherapy (allergy shots or sublingual drops) is an effective method that helps reduce the severity of allergy symptoms over time by helping your body build up immunity to the offending substance.
If you’re tired of dealing with the misery allergies bring, contact an allergist today. We are here to help and can offer the relief you need for a healthy and happy life.