Allergies are an overreaction by your immune system to substances that are generally not harmful. When you come into contact with these substances, your body produces antibodies to defend itself, which causes a variety of symptoms – some severe enough to interfere with your quality of life.
Common allergy triggers include:
You can also be allergic to foods and certain medications.
Allergy symptoms can be similar to the common cold, causing a runny nose, nasal congestion, and a cough. You may experience these symptoms seasonally if you’re allergic to environmental allergens like mold and pollen.
If you have food allergies, you may experience gastrointestinal symptoms like:
In some cases, allergens can cause a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. This reaction describes sudden inflammation in your airways that makes it difficult to take in enough air to breathe properly.
Without prompt treatment, anaphylaxis can cause long-term respiratory complications and premature death. Spring Hospital provides emergency allergy treatment on a walk-in basis 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
To pinpoint the cause of your allergic reaction, your Spring Hospital doctor offers allergy testing.
Allergy tests involve pricking your skin with small amounts of suspected allergens to evaluate your body’s reaction - usually, a red welt or rash develops in the injection area. Your provider may also request blood work to identify antibodies your immune system is producing in response to allergen contact.
To keep you safe throughout testing, the Spring Hospital allergy specialists carefully monitor your vital signs and can address any reactions, including medical emergencies due to anaphylaxis.
Treating allergies may involve over-the-counter or prescription medications to reduce nasal congestion, cough, and other common allergy symptoms. Your Spring Hospital provider may also recommend lifestyle changes to help you avoid known allergy triggers, including certain foods and medications.
Immunotherapy (allergy shots) may also be an option for you. This therapy involves a series of injections of a small amount of an allergen. The injection helps your immune system build up a tolerance to the substance to reduce your body’s reaction over time.
If you may experience anaphylaxis, your Spring Hospital provider can help you create an emergency treatment plan in the event of sudden airway swelling. You may need to carry a pen that contains epinephrine, a medication to quickly reduce inflammation, so you can breathe.
Even with treatment, anaphylaxis requires a medical evaluation. The walk-in emergency room physicians evaluate your breathing and ensure you’re not at risk for additional respiratory or allergy-related complications.
If you need help managing seasonal or chronic allergies, call Spring Hospital, or visit the emergency room as a walk-in today.