WHAT IS AN ENVIRONMENTAL ALLERGY?
An Inhalant Allergy, more commonly known as an Environmental Allergy, is an exaggerated immune response to an airborne antigen. Examples of environmental allergens are pollen, mold, pet dander, fungi and dust mites.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Symptoms may include a runny nose, sneezing and itchy, watery eyes.
HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?
A skin prick test is often used to determine which allergens you are allergic to and your sensitivity to that allergen. This test is also called a scratch or puncture test. It involves penetrating the skin surface of the forearm with several different allergens. Your Gateway Asthma & Allergy Relief doctor will administer and monitor your response to determine your specific diagnosis.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
For pollen and mold, staying inside as much as possible on days with high pollen and mold counts will lessen your response. If you are sensitive to animal dander, it is best to avoid those animals that trigger a reaction. Decreasing the humidity in your home and washing bedding weekly in hot water may reduce the dust mite population in your home. Some medications may help lessen symptoms; antihistamines or corticosteroid nasal sprays are options. Immunotherapy, including allergy shots or tablets, may be considered. This involves being given a series of injections (or tablets) over time with increasing amounts of an allergen to help decrease your sensitivity. Your Gateway Asthma & Allergy Relief doctor will help you find the best treatment for your specific diagnosis.