Over 50 million Americans regularly suffer from allergies, and approximately 55% of all U.S. citizens test positive to one or more allergies. In our office, we can diagnose your allergies using a simple skin test, which will show if your immune system reacts to certain allergens. Generally, we test using the "top 20" panel of most common allergies, but we can test for hundreds of allergies. Using the results from an allergy test, Dr. Kay will choose the easiest and most effective treatment plan for her patients.
Generally, allergies can be treated with medicine that alleviates symptoms, or by immunotherapy (allergy shots) that desensitize the body to specific allergens. Both treatments are effective, but the best method of treating allergies is allergen avoidance. If that's not an option, we recommend NeilMed Sinus Rinse, which you can find at any pharmacy or drug store.
Finding out what specifically what you are allergic to is the best first step in treating your symptoms. Using a HEPA air filter if you have pets, or eliminating the dust mites from your home are two ways to proactively manage and avoid your allergy suffering. Come see us and get your life without allergy suffering started today!
Indoor - Mold & Mildew Allergies
WHAT IT IS
Mold reproduces through tiny, airborne spores. Indoor molds grow in damp areas.
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR
Any wet surfaces in the home will attract mold and aid in reproduction. Areas to look out for include: basements, bathrooms, shower stalls, refrigerator drip trays, house plants, humidifiers and garbage pails.
WHAT TO DO
The key to reducing mold is to keep your home dry:
- Fix leaky faucets and pipes
- Make sure rooms are properly ventilated
- Use a vented exhaust fan to remove excess moisture
- Keep humidity levels below 50% with air conditioners and humidifiers
- Use cleaning solutions designated to kill mold and mildew
Children & Outdoor Allergens
Grass pollen levels tend to be the highest in late spring and summer. If your kids enjoy playing in the yard during these months, make sure you keep the grass cut short. Pollen from grass is easily brought indoors by wind, people and pets, so encourage your children to shower and change clothes when they come inside.
Trees pollinate in late winter and early spring. They produce light, dry pollen that can be carried by the wind for miles. Be wary of this when your children are eager to get outside in spring. They may be allergic to more than one type of tree pollen and it’s not always the trees in your yard.
Weeds are a nuisance in more ways than one. They grow like crazy and produce vast amounts of pollen every day. The main weed pollen season is during the late summer and fall. Try to keep your yard weed-free and be on high alert when your kids play in areas with unkempt gardens.
Allergies at School
It’s important to talk about your child’s allergies with adults who spend time with them outside the home. This will ensure that caregivers and teachers are aware of any allergy problems and are able to help keep symptoms under control. It’s also a good idea to educate your child about allergies to help them cope.
Talking to Your Child
- Explain a child's allergies in simple terms.
- Show kids the items and places that will trigger allergies.
- Create a plan to help them cope with their symptoms when you aren't around.
Tips by Season
- Learn to recognize the types of trees that trigger your symptoms. Consider removing any of those trees from your property.
- Keep car windows rolled up while traveling.
- Try not to go outside between 10am and 4pm when pollen is at its worst. If you DO go outside, shower as soon as you go indoors to remove pollen from your skin and hair.
- Learn to recognize which grasses trigger your symptoms.
- Plan a low-pollen getaway to the beach.
- Think about replacing your grass lawn with low pollen ground cover - Irish Moss, Bunch and Dichondra - or pollen-free features like rocks, sand and water.
- Keep the grass in your yard short and weed-free.
- Wear a mask when you mow the lawn, or ask someone without allergies to help.
- Don't hang clothing or linen outdoors to dry.
- Mulch with rocks or plastic gravel to stop weeds from growing.
- Remove brush and weeds from your property.
- Learn to recognize the weeds that trigger your symptoms.
- Keep an eye on the mold spore count.
- Wear a mask or cover your face while gardening to avoid inhaling spores.
- Keep your garden tidy - piles of leaves or other foliage are a haven for mold.
- Try not to come into contact with damp soil.
Sublingual Allergy Therapy
Similar to allergy shots, sublingual allergy therapy is drops that are placed under the tongue that expose your body to the substance that you are allergic to. They gradually increase in strength to help your body build tolerance to the allergen. Patients usually use the drops 3 times a day for 3 to 5 years, though some patients may need more time.
Taken from the allergychoices website, here are the advantages of allergy drops:
- Treats the cause of your allergies, not just temporary symptoms. The goal of allergy drops is to help you build long-term tolerance to your allergens so ongoing treatment and medication is no longer needed.
- Affordable and convenient. Compared to other therapies, allergy drops are less expensive and require fewer office visits. And you can take your drops where and when it’s most convenient for you (work, school, sports practice, vacation, etc.).
- Less medication. Patients report, and research shows, that allergy-related medication use typically decreases after using drops, resulting in savings and less medication.
- Better quality of life. The end benefit of allergy drop treatment is feeling better and enjoying life with fewer related hospital and clinic visits, and less time lost from work and/or school.
Allergy drops are safe and effective, and a great alternative to allergy shots. Schedule an appointment today to consult with Dr. kay about sublingual allergy therapy.