First Come Allergy Tests, Then Allergy Relief
The world of allergy medicine has a language all its own. But the two words most important when it comes to understanding allergies are allergic reaction and allergen.
An allergic reaction is what happens when an individual's immune system has a hypersensitive reaction to a substance. And an allergen is the substance that triggers an allergic response. Allergic responses vary in their intensity. They can be as mild as a momentary fit of sneezing, or a faint rash. Or as life threatening as a sudden onset difficulty in breathing, or the ultimate - anaphylactic shock. - in which the blood pressure drops and the air passages narrow to the point of closing up and preventing breathing.
As for allergens, the list is a long one, and so before an allergist can treat it, she must prescribe allergy tests to discover what they are. People can be allergic to drugs, food substances, insect bites, pet dander, latex, mold, and pollen. And, as you may have noticed, most allergens do not affect the general population - only those whose immune systems view them as harmful and react by over-reacting and dispatching a protective antibody, Immunoglobulin E, by name, (IgE) to fight the perceived invader. In its haste to do battle IgE, irritates mast cells, which in turn, release an irritating chemical called histamine into the blood or affected tissue. And this sets off the allergic reaction.
First our doctor will prescribe a battery of allergy tests to determine what allergens are involved. Once she gets back the results of the allergy tests she will start a process called allergen immunotherapy to desensitize the body to the allergen's effects. Depending on the allergy, treatment may consist of nasal sprays, allergy pills, prescription decongestants, mast cell stabilizing sprays or drops, steroid shots or oral steroids, and in the case of anaphylactic shock, an immediate epinephrine injection.
There is also one more option - sublingual therapy, an FDA-approved alternative to injections. And since our doctor is qualified to prescribe it, we offer it at our Allergist ct Sublingual practice. In sublingual therapy, the allergy sufferer is prescribed pills to be placed under the tongue for a set number of minutes before swallowing them. Not every allergy practice treats allergies with sublingual therapy, but here at Allergy and Asthma Associates of Stamford we are proud to say we are an Allergist ct Sublingual office. This is but one of the reasons our patients regard us as the best allergists around